James McKnight has been named head of entertainment research and development for Pophouse Entertainment, which creates, acquires, and develops relevant brands within music, live entertainment, podcast and gaming.
His new role involves developing new and large-scale entertainment projects for global artist brands in which the company has invested. Current projects in the Pophouse stable include ABBA The Museum, Mamma Mia The Party, and The Avicii Experience, and he will be looking to expand this list with brands such as Swedish House Mafia as well as the company's future investments in intellectual property.
He will collaborate closely with Mr Ulvaeus, who is actively engaged in the company’s creative development processes.
The Scot will continue to be based in London, his adopted home city of 20 years, where he will open the new outpost for the firm, and where the ABBA Voyage show – Pophouse is lead investor and co-developer of the production and 3,000-seat bespoke arena – will premiere in May. The concerts will see digital avatars (or ABBA-tars) of the four band members performing.
Pophouse is welcoming Mr McKnight after seven years at The Blair Partnership, the literary, entertainment and franchise management agency that represents JK Rowling and her work, where he had a long tenure as chief creative officer. He said the new role entails “amplifying brands and taking them into broader entertainment spaces, focusing on storytelling across different formats, and introducing new audiences as we do so”.