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alumnae/i profiles

FROM FILMMAKING TO FINANCING A NEW MEDIUM Revolutionizing the business of podcasting

TK Sean Carr

Sean Carr and Matt Belknap Class of 1993

by Nancy Shohet West ’84

T

HE CREATIVE synergy between classmates Matt Belknap ’93 and Sean Carr ’93 has come a long way

since their attempt to make a film about a bologna sandwich as sophomores in a CA film class. The company they dreamed up during hikes in Los Angeles’ Runyon Canyon, ART19, has recently burgeoned, to the point where they can barely keep up with the demand they face. ART19, which officially launched in August 2016, is a podcast hosting, distribution, and monetization platform, reflecting a need Belknap recognized during his own early days as a podcaster. While working in the film industry with the goal of becoming a screenwriter, he got involved in the alternative comedy scene in LA. In 2006, he started a podcast called Never Not Funny with one of his favorite comedians, Jimmy Pardo. Carr was less familiar with the world of podcasting. Like Belknap, he moved to California to pursue an interest in filmmaking. Positions at 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks gave him “a terrific amount of exposure to the industry, but the work wasn’t glamorous,” he says. He went on to found his own literary management and production company, but problems with the business model were frustrating him— and, unrelatedly, so was the sense that he was getting out of shape. He solved the second problem by suggesting to Belknap that the two start taking daily fitness hikes together. “Hiking every day, we needed something to talk about, so we talked about our professional challenges,” Belknap says. For him, this meant describing the difficulty of monetizing podcasts in a useful way. At that point in 2010, “bigger names were beginning to enter the space, but almost none of them were making money,” Carr says. Podcasts are typically free to listeners, like blogs. Carr remembers talking with a high-profile comedian affiliated

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10/21/16 7:36 AM

Profile for Concord Academy

CA Magazine Fall 2016 Issue  

The fall 2016 issue of Concord Academy magazine features stories about CA Labs and commercial drones, as well as a preview of an innovative...

CA Magazine Fall 2016 Issue  

The fall 2016 issue of Concord Academy magazine features stories about CA Labs and commercial drones, as well as a preview of an innovative...

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