In about four years Nerdist Industries has grown from founder Chris Hardwick’s podcast and website to become the successful digital arm of Legendary Entertainment, which acquired the company in 2012. Today Nerdist offers daily tech news, a YouTube channel with more than a million subscribers, the NerdMelt Showroom performance space, and now a new online store full of branded merchandise.
President Adam Rymer joined the company in March of this year, after successful stints as COO and CFO at Lava Bear Films and as Senior VP at Universal Pictures Digital Platforms.
In episode 68 of The Wolf Den podcast he tells host Adam Sachs that, working at Nerdist, “it’s the first time that I’ve ever felt like a startup that could function within a large entity. It is almost impossible for startup digital companies to work within old media.”
However, working within Legendary, Rymer says “we’re part of a company that believes in long-term vision.” At the same time, he says that Nerdist has no problem being nimble and seizing opportunities as they arise.
Podcasting remains one of those opportunities.
"It’s a very, very meaningful part of the overall revenue and bottom line for the company. It’s an important avenue for us to reach our audience with. And, we really do see it as part of the multi-dimensional aspect of Nerdist.
“It’s not just a nice to have. I think it’s a must have.”
In line with that, Rymer says that the company is working to better integrate the podcasts into Nerdist’s overall strategy. That includes having topics and content that cross over between the website and podcasts, giving talent from the website their own shows, and recording live episodes from events where Nerdist has a presence.
Looking to the future, Rymer explains that, “The Google-fication of the world has made it very difficult to discover things that stand completely on their own.” So he wants the company to be, “a little bit of a voice in the desert,” as a trusted advisor and curator, as well as a content destination for its audience.
Nerdist may also extend into new content platforms and verticals, such as film.
Listen to the full episode to learn more about what lies ahead for Nerdist, what Rymer sees as the company’s place is in the shifting media landscape, and how busy CEO Chris Hardwick remains involved with the company.