Alice Sandelson

Commercial director of audio, Tortoise Media

Alice Sandelson is commercial director for audio at Tortoise Media. Having pivoted to become an audio-first publisher towards the end of 2021, Sandelson joined Tortoise in January 2022 with the task of scaling Tortoise's audio business by expanding its reach and driving new commercial opportunities and revenue models for Tortoise's audio arm. Before Tortoise, she was head of strategic partnerships at Founders Factory, a startup accelerator and venture studio, where she worked with their portfolio of over 200 early-stage startups and Founders Factory's corporate partners to build successful and meaningful collaborations.

Since joining, Sandelson has led Tortoise's commercial audio strategy – resulting in successfully growing Tortoise's listenership 90% year-on-year (which does not include the significant listenership from when Sweet Bobby launched October 2021). Sandelson has worked closely with the Tortoise audio editorial team on which shows to launch, when, and how best to launch them, focusing on how to redirect, grow and retain the global audience from Sweet Bobby to across other Tortoise investigations and daily and weekly shows. 

She has worked closely with podcast platforms including Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music and others to ensure that every individual Tortoise show is promoted at launch to be discoverable by new audiences. Sandelson has also driven the commercial success of Tortoise audio: working hand in hand with Tortoise's ad sales partner, Acast, to build advertising and sponsorship revenue across Tortoise inventory, negotiating budgets and fees with external talent that Tortoise partners with, whilst also executing on new revenue streams. This has included signing a multi-year first-look partnership with Sky Studios to exploit Tortoise podcasts for film and TV, signing partnerships with podcast studios for the rights for Tortoise podcasts translations in Europe, and multi-show commissioning deals for Tortoise to co-produce content for audio platforms. 

Nominated by: Andrew Butler, head of social and PR, Tortoise Media