Podcast publisher iHeartMedia has signed a multi-year audio deal with Academy-award winner Bradley Cooper’s production company Lea Pictures, according to an exclusive report by Variety.
With this deal, Lea Pictures will co-produce a new slate of podcasts with iHeartMedia’s podcast division iHeartPodcasts, including its first audio project The Good Stuff podcast, which debuted last month and is hosted by Jacob Schick, the CEO of veterans non-profit One Tribe Foundation, and his wife Ashley.
“Sharing stories that inspire, motivate and resonate is one of the reasons I started Lea Pictures, and I’m excited to team up with iHeartPodcasts to bring them to life for millions of listeners,” said Cooper in a statement to Variety. “Our shows will feature real people telling real stories, and we knew iHeart was the perfect partner to reach as many people as possible. I look forward to dreaming up more extraordinary stories together.”
The new slate will be distributed by iHeartPodcasts and available on the iHeartRadio app as well as other audio platforms. Cooper will serve as the executive producer on all the podcast productions, having formed the production company in 2020 to develop and produce films, television, and digital content.
Other execs from Lea Pictures that will be working on the slate include the head of the film division Weston Middleton, head of the TV division Kristen Barnett, and head of Cooper’s charity organisation One Family Foundation.
“Bradley is one of the great creators of our time, inventing and reinventing, again and again, how great stories are told – across multiple genres and formats. We could not be more proud and excited to introduce his expertise, vision and approach to the exploding podcast medium with this partnership,” said iHeartMedia Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne. “At the end of the day, podcasting is all about a deep, meaningful connection – between a host and their audience, and the audience and the story. And iHeartPodcasts is uniquely positioned to reach mass audiences that will deeply resonate with these thoughtful, uplifting stories.”
According to podcast measurement data website Podtrac, iHeartPodcasts is the number one podcast publisher in the US as of June 2023, with over 377 million downloads and 833 active shows. The podcast division also recently signed a distribution and ad sales deal with Ted Lasso actor Brett Goldstein’s podcast Films To Be Buried With to go under Will Ferrell’s comedy podcast network Big Money Players.