Native digital production company SickBird Productions partners with brands, studios and talent to release original content. Their work includes three Facebook Watch Originals for The Shade Room — The shadow brunch, thick house and locked love – ten Snapchat Discover series, including three SickBird Originals, and branded content for TikTok, including Noah Schnapp company TBH. In just three years, SickBird has generated millions of dollars in revenue and tens of millions of views on various platforms.
The company’s founder, Jade Watson, is only 26 years old. She founded SickBird to empower women and BIPOC content producers, who she realized were lacking in the space. Its goal is to adapt emerging media and technology to create authentic content that educates and excites next-generation audiences.
At 23, the Toronto native successfully pitched her business idea to the US Embassy. Watson then built an impressive list of clients by fostering personal relationships. With her team of diverse young creatives, she has captured the coveted attention of Gen Z and Millennials by putting audiences first and applying data analytics best practices in a production company environment.
SickBird recently announced the launch of a TikTok creator incubator to test public reaction to longer form content. The company identifies emerging talent with highly engaged subscribers and offers them the opportunity to shape, record and publish original podcasts and digital series, giving talent shared ownership of intellectual property.
Kicking off this incubator launch are three original SickBird podcasts – Minor offensesco-hosted by Ceara O’Sullivan (@CearaJane – 500k followers) and Griff Stark-Ennis (@griffstarkennis), Rebranding, hosted by Daniel BenneR (@DxnielbenneR – 450k followers.) Coming later this year is greener grass, hosted by Watson itself.
“I always knew I wanted to be a producer and create interesting content,” Watson said in an exclusive interview for Forbes. “Personally, I believe content is our window to the world. When I was growing up, I always retained information better by watching documentaries and shows. I became obsessed with the possibility that this could be my job.
The gap in the market is what most inspired Watson to found SickBird. “I’m constantly inspired by the desire to see more women and POC creators and business owners as decision makers in the industry,” she explains. She is proud to have brought SickBird to a place where the company can independently fund its own shows and develop its own intellectual property. Now, says Watson, the challenge is to grow while maintaining quality. “I never want to be one of those companies that just mindlessly creates content.”
For young people looking to tap into their life purpose, Watson offers this advice. “For a lot of people, finding your passion and purpose is hard. It’s important to try a lot of things to see what you like. Sitting around and waiting for something to happen is never the answer.
Watson offers his own career path as an example. She started in New York but was unable to stay due to her visa expiring. She had to go back to live with her parents and start over. Meanwhile, instead of sitting still, she has made finding a new job her job. She worked full time sending her resume to people on LinkedIn, studying the career paths of people she admired, researching other companies she found interesting, and engaging in a routine of not feeling out of control of their own life.
Ultimately, Watson says, she succeeded with SickBird by keeping operating expenses extremely low and hiring a variety of people who were passionate about their work. “My team really enjoys the content we create and finds it entertaining. It sounds so simple, but I know it sets us apart.