DUBAI; Middle East story-telling company Rising Giants Network has launched its first paid subscription-based podcast, “Decision Points.”
Hosted by commentator and voice artist, Abdullah Mansour, the show, recorded in Saudi dialect, will discuss moments in political, financial, and technological history that changed the world.
Basel Anabtawi, chief executive officer and co-founder of RGN, told Arab News: “Our goal is to highlight how one decision can alter the course of history.
“These decisions include moments such as when Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) decided not to return to university resulting in the social media revolution; or when (former US President) Harry Truman decided to drop the atomic bomb, which ended World War II and started the arms race; or even when the (investment banking firm) Lehman Brothers decided to file for bankruptcy, which began a domino effect that resulted in the global recession.”
The show will pinpoint the moment these decisions were made followed by a deep dive into their consequences and aftermath.
“Decision Points” marks RGN’s foray into paid subscription-based podcasting under the banner of RGN Originals. Although the network has produced original shows before, such as “Beirut Blast,” the new show will be available on Apple Podcasts for 4.99 Emirati dirhams ($1.36).
“We decided to launch in alignment with Apple’s push towards this space (paid podcasts). We understand that this is a part of the platform’s strategic approach and we want to be at the forefront of that,” said Anabtawi.
Despite there being over 2 million podcasts available, many of which are free, Anabtawi remains unfazed about convincing listeners to pay for a show. “It’s a matter of proposition; if we can convince an audience that they are getting their money’s worth by providing them riveting and amazingly produced stories, we will see a conversion into paid podcasts.”
He added: “If Netflix can get you to pay for quality stories, I know podcast companies can too.”
With podcast listenership rapidly increasing in the region, the network has a new slate of shows ready to be released in the first quarter alone.
“We are planning seven new shows (under RGN Originals) at the moment, which would all be released this month,” Anabtawi said.
In March, RGN will also release a scripted show related to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, “Al-Tikriti,” followed by “Al-Rasool,” “7 Bharat,” and the second season of “Hakawati” during Ramadan.
“This (“Decision Points”) is not our first scripted show, but we’ve learned from our previous efforts that what best retains an audience is gripping and riveting content,” Anabtawi added.
“Decision Points” consists of five episodes with a new episode dropping every month.