March 17, 2021

Naomi Shah on Building Meet Cute One 15-Minute Romcom Episode At a Time

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Naomi Shah is the founder and CEO of Meet Cute, an audio romcom media company. With a focus on creating consistent 15-minute episodes versus trying to aim for hits, Meet Cute is building a robust catalog of IP that the company could use in the future for exciting opportunities.

During this episode, we talked about a lot, but a few things jumped out to me…

On consistency vs. hits

For many studios, the goal is to create a hit. They create a few big projects every year with the hope that when one is released, people will flock to it and it’ll be an economic success.

That’s not Meet Cute’s approach. Instead, the team strives to consistently deliver on its proposition: a 15-minute romcom audio episode. It doesn’t deviate from consistently delivering that product to people.

The benefit here is that the listener builds a relationship with the Meet Cute brand while the company is less dependent on any one piece of content being a savior of the business. I like the consistency over hits approach.

On IP and monetization

The easy road for monetizing would be throwing a quick ad in the beginning of an episode. But for a 15 minute show, a 30-60 second ad eats up a lot of time.

Instead, they are looking at all the IP they’re creating as an opportunity to monetize down the line. Consider opportunities like merchandise tied to specific characters. As people fall in love with them, they’ll want to represent those characters.

Another opportunity is taking these audio stories and turning them into videos. Could they take their IP and partner with Netflix to create a movie or limited series? When you own valuable IP, your means of monetization are endless.

On using data to inform decisions

While there is definitely a limited amount of data in audio, some of what they look for is how far into an episode a user got, how many actually completed the full episode, and how many went on to additional episodes.

With that limited data, they are able to push that back into their writing flywheel. For example, if they’ve found that cliffhangers often work, that might become part of their strategy going forward.

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