BBC Studios Production has hired James Payne to lead the music content creative and commercial strategy for the studio’s entertainment and music business.
Payne will report to Suzy Lamb, MD for entertainment and music, and will oversee the delivery of new IP to grow the brand’s creative, and commercial prospects while also expanding its production slate in music, live events, series and documentaries for the BBC and with other broadcasters and digital platforms.
As part of his new role, Payne will be managing and nurturing diverse on- and off-screen talent in order to bring the most creative artists to BBC Studios Production and create music content that will appeal to multiple audiences. He will also work alongside the central development team and with executive producer Alison Howe, who oversees such music fare as Glastonbury and Top of the Pops.
“I’m eager to use my experience across the TV and music industry to bring a fresh perspective and energy to BBC Studios music propositions – building on the already incredible titles in its production armory,” Payne said in a statement. “Looking beyond the traditional linear narratives and formats to represent Britain’s brilliant on and off camera talent on a global scale is something that particularly excites me. I’m incredibly proud of the opportunities Lemonade Money has created for young, diverse talent for over a decade, so I’m really pleased that BBC Studios is fully empowering me to continue doing this.”
Payne’s own indie company, Lemonade Money, launched in 2010 as a creative studio backing diverse music talent. The company’s primary focus was music and youth culture programming, with an impressive list of credits including No Hats No Trainers, a music and culture show for BBC2 that saw the television debuts of a slew of new artists like Ed Sheeran, Skepta, Giggs, Jessie J and Tinie Tempah.
The indie also developed Apple Music’s Beats Radio UK launch content strategy and produced five series of the award-winning music and culture show FourtotheFLoor for Channel 4. Lemonade Money has also been a partner for Spotify, producing live performance films including Justin Timberlake at the Roundhouse and Paul McCartney at Abbey Road – and the production company also launched VEVO’s LIFT program and worked with artists from Sam Smith to Lorde and Rita Ora.
“I feel incredibly lucky that we’ve enticed James to join us. His passion for music programming is unrivaled and is coupled with a huge breadth of experience,” Lamb added. “James is strategic, creative and entrepreneurial and will grow our commissions from platforms and broadcasters whilst also helping us attract a more diverse team of talented content makers.”