Charlie Redmayne (CEO of Pottermore) Interview


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. 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.”


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.

5 Responses to Charlie Redmayne (CEO of Pottermore) Interview

Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Obviously there is a loooong way to go on this project. I think I shall wait at least 6 months or so before I visit again.Avatar ImageWant to be a Weasley says: Totally agree with Won, I have decided to limit my visits to once per year, if that often.Avatar Imagetrontech says: I'm happy to know about the plans for this being a long term project that is connected to other Potter material. I mean, besides the months required to get the contents of a book built and presented on the Pottermore site. I even hope the Pottermore site builders will eventually go back and add to books that were already presented. There, I've said it. The Pottermore site has a lot more material to work with than they used in their presentation of the first and second books. There is room to improve. Please do not take that as not appreciating the immense amount of work it takes to build Pottermore. Just accept the idea that a Harry Potter fan is always interested in more content, and there is a lot more available than what is already on the Pottermore site. Thank you for the opportunity to present my opinion.Avatar ImageEeyore says: I agree with you, trontech. I know they are trying to make the site appealing to younger users, but I wish they would also keep in mind that some of us are adults who like lots of content. It's the reason we have read and reread the Harry Potter books so many times. I really don't care about the games but I have very much enjoyed reading the extra content. I also really like the artwork on each of the chapters. It's enchanting.Avatar ImageNundu says: They need to develop a functioning method for the users to give them feedback and receive responses. They also need look at their 'reporting' system for drawings, etc. Currently anyone can report an artists' drawing and it is immediately removed from the site. The site doesn't contact the artist to confirm the drawing is their own or explain why the drawing doesn't meet their 'approval'.

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