Podcast production venture backed by Sir Ian Rankin completes Glasgow studio move

A podcast production company backed by high-profile investors from the Scottish cultural scene including Sir Ian Rankin and Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr has hit the growth path.

The Big Light, founded in 2020 by broadcaster Janice Forsyth and producer Fiona White, has taken on new studio and office space in Glasgow as it targets commercial expansion. The “state-of-the-art” recording studio, editing suite and production office will allow the venture to expand its original content output as well as open up commissioned podcast revenue streams. The firm has moved in with marketing agency Frame at its base in Glasgow’s Pacific Quay.

The Big Light has made podcasts for commercial clients including BBC Sounds, Spotify and The National Trust. It also creates original podcasts for its independent network including popular weekly shows such as TalkMedia with Stuart Cosgrove and Eamonn O’Neill, Blethered with Sean McDonald, and Talking Derry Girls. The podcasts attract some 150,000 listeners every month from more than 50 countries. The company’s investors include Rankin and fellow Scottish crime writer Val McDermid.

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White, co-founder and chief executive of The Big Light, said: “Podcasting is the fastest growing sector in digital media and having our brand new studio space in the heart of Scotland’s media district will allow us to capitalise on that opportunity. Janice and I set up The Big Light in early 2020. So much of our production has - by necessity - been remote. Thanks to our incredible network of podcasters, we’ve enjoyed continued growth and now we hope to take it even further.

“It’s fantastic to be up and running in our new space which will allow us to build out our commercial capability. Sharing a space with Frame’s team of 70 specialists from PR, advertising, design, content and digital media will also help us to unlock new creative opportunities.”

Kerr, singer with Simple Minds and investor in The Big Light, said: “We are huge fans of both the rapidly growing podcast medium and the very impressive team involved - we believe the opportunity to support The Big Light as it inevitably climbs from one level of success to the next is not to be missed.”

McDermid said: “In these tough times, it's vital to have independent voices, particularly here in Scotland, and particularly from the arts. We all need nourishment for our souls, and it's the promise of that which has made me want to be part of The Big Light journey.”

Rankin added: “I don’t suppose John Rebus is much into podcasts - though these days who knows? But to me it’s a vibrant can-do medium with a lot to say. (And I should add that both John and I are long-time Janice Forsyth fanboys). So three cheers and bunnets hurled high for The Big Light.”

The Big Light was founded in 2020 by producer Fiona White and broadcaster Janice Forsyth.

The podcast firm’s reflective series, Ida Schuster’s Old School, was nominated for best documentary in the 2021 British Podcast Awards. This year, musical-drama series, Atlantic: A Scottish Story, was nominated for best fictional storytelling at the 2022 ARIA Awards. Comedy show Talking Derry Girls picked up the gold award for best arts and culture at the 2022 Irish Podcast Awards.

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