Charlie Redmayne (CEO of Pottermore) Interview

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Nov 26, 2012

Posted by Catherine

Charlie Redmayne, the CEO of J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore, sat down for an interview with Bookseller. Mr. Redmayne is going to be a keynote speaker for The FutureBook Conference. Charlie Redmayne talks about all the work that has gone into Pottermore this past year, the Wonderbook: Book of Spells, and more. FurtureBook.net reports:

“I don’t think people always understand the scale of what we have done in the past 12 months. The level of work has been very intense’ says Redmayne. “What we’ve done with Pottermore is harness a fanbase of millions of the biggest Harry Potter fans. In terms of producing value to all of the rights holders”be it J K Rowling, Bloomsbury, Scholastic, Warner Bros, or indeed our sponsor Sony”that’s an immensely valuable thing as any new books, content or products come out. For any launch we have a direct relationship with those fans already, who we can then engage with.”

Registration for the limited beta release of Pottermore opened on 31st July 2011 (Harry’s birthday) with the site then opened to all this April. Redmayne says his job now is to “take what we’ve done with the browser experience to other platforms, be it YouTube, app stores, the gaming world.” He explains: “What we built initially was for hardcore fans, but what we will be shaping out now is how to engage with new fans. There are X million new eight-year-olds in the world who are discovering Harry Potter every year”how do we engage with them? How do we make sure Pottermore is an important part of that discovery of Harry Potter? “So there will be more interactivity, more community elements”this is critical for us if we are to engage with these new fans. You’re going to see stuff being developed on other platforms and you might also see things happening in the app and enhanced e-book space.”

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Last week saw the launch of the Book of Spells, an augmented reality spell-book for the PlayStation3, released as part of Pottermore’s relationship with Sony. When it comes to rolling out the Pottermore world to other platforms, Redmayne is very open to working with the “right brands”, explaining that “if you have a brand that is very relevant to 11 to 15-year olds, it is clear to me they consume more content on YouTube than on TV, for example. So therefore we have to think very carefully about what we do for Harry Potter and Pottermore in that environment.”

“The convergence of media challenges existing rights structures that were put together at a time when there was clear blue water between what publishers did and what film companies did.

There is a lot in the middle that you could do great stuff with, if the film and publishing companies got together and said ˜your rights, my rights, lets put them together and do something amazing on YouTube, with in-flight entertainment, or on tablet devices’. But in many cases, they look across suspiciously at each and don’t speak to each other, so that stuff in the middle drops through. Pottermore is about doing all of those things in the middle.”

The rest of the article can be read here.





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