Himalaya is one of the independent podcast apps battling to sign up listeners, and like rival Luminary it launched earlier this year with a very-big funding number: $100m of backing, with its lead investor being Chinese podcasts giant Ximalaya.

Now the company is ramping up its original production, spinning out an entity called HiStudios that will focus on signing up sports stars, digital influencers and other celebrities to do their own shows. HiStudios actually launched quietly in March, but it’s only now that its parent company is talking about it.

The podcasts created by the new division – stars already on board include Mike Tyson and influencers ‘Zane and Heath’ – will be distributed through all podcast apps, rather than just Himalaya. That said, those celebs will be able to try out Himalaya’s paywall system, where paid subscribers can get exclusive and/or advertising-free podcasts.

There’s also an affiliate scheme in operation here according to The Verge: podcasters can earn up to $0.50 for every listener they send to Himalaya (measured by the number of people who follow their profile on the service).

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