Viola Davis’ Ashé Audio Signs Exclusive Audible Deal for Slate of Podcasts

Audible announced a new multiproject, exclusive deal with Ashé Audio Ventures, the newly formed podcast label co-founded by Viola Davis.

Audible will be the exclusive home for the scripted and unscripted audio originals from Ashé Audio, formed by Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions and Maurício Mota and Katie Mota’s Wise Entertainment. The slate will include original scripted stories, audio theater and self-development programs, with an eye toward “raising up fresh voices” through projects that feature writers, actors and up-and-coming talent. Audible and Ashé Audio are set to begin rolling out the originals in 2024.

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The announcement of the deal comes on the heels of Davis’ best audiobook Grammy win for her memoir “Finding Me,” which earned her EGOT status.

Davis said in a statement, “After the outpouring of love for ‘Finding Me,’ I’m excited for the opportunities that Ashé Audio Ventures and Audible will create for memorable stories to be both explored and celebrated in a meaningful new way — a way that spans borders and connects us to a shared human experience.”

Maurício Mota, co-president at Wise Entertainment, said: “Ashé is a Yoruba word that means the power to make things come to life with your voice. When we started to talk to Julius and Viola about exploring the audio renaissance, it was clear that they were the right partners for us, and together, Audible is the perfect home for us to reach worldwide audiences.”

Julius Tennon, president at JuVee Productions, added: “We spent more than two years deep diving into the U.S. and international audio spaces with Wise Entertainment and identified Audible as the perfect collaborator. We’re excited to bring new stories to global communities in this endeavor.”

Zola Mashariki, head of Audible Studios, commented: “Viola Davis’ distinctive vision, curatorial spirit and unparalleled performances have touched audiences in so many ways — all of which is a testament to her well-deserved EGOT. In this partnership with Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, Maurício Mota, and Katie Mota, we are honored to bring their original audio entertainment exclusively to our listeners worldwide. Ashé’s mission resonates and aligns deeply with Audible, and we look forward to introducing original projects that reflect our collective ethos.”

The collaboration joins Audible’s production and development deals with top industry creatives such as: President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground, George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street, Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani’s Hillman Grad Productions, Daniel Dae Kim’s 3AD Productions, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere’s Flavor Unit, Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video Enterprises, SBH, a joint venture between Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat and Charlamagne Tha God’s CThaGod World Inc, LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s The SpringHill Company, and James Patterson Entertainment.

Audible, a subsidiary of Amazon, offers a catalog of more than 800,000 titles, including originals as well as audiobooks and podcasts from leading studios, print, audio and magazine publishers, and entertainers.

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