‘Calm’ not your cup of tea?

May 29 · 3 min read

Studio X are using proven psychological techniques to create entertaining content that makes people feel great. We sat down with Founder Deborah Coughlin to learn more.

Why did you create Studio X?

I’ve spent the best part of 20 years making content that has a purpose — uncovering hidden stories that need to be told and imagining a better future — for some of the UK’s biggest platforms including The Guardian, BBC and Vice (I’ve launched some of my own platforms too).

One of the issues I’ve written, produced and presented content about is mental wellbeing.

There’s now loads of products and services out there that tackle this issue, but not everyone uses them, in fact around 45% of the UK population would never go to CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) even if their doctor told them to. These people often think the ‘Calm’ app is a waste of money and that self help and Ted Talks are for knobs.

The current solutions out there may be scientifically proven, but they don’t attract and aren’t accessible to people in hard hit areas — and that’s what I want to change — by making proven psychological techniques entertaining, attractive and accessible.

How does Studio X work?

We are creating the Netflix of prescribed entertainment. We make high quality content, with proven psychological techniques at the heart of it, and deliver it on your phone so we can personalise and even prescribe entertainment that will help you live your best life.

We make high quality content, with proven psychological techniques at the heart of it.

We’ve already proven we can increase self efficacy, positivity and the ability to get out of bed on time with our pilot Wakey! Our test audience was slap bang on demographic, and they loved it, so much so they keep asking when it will return.

What’s the market opportunity for Studio X?

The space is massive — video on phone is set to grow 50% every year for the next 5 years, and with this demographic, if they aren’t watching TV on an actual TV, they are watching it on their phone.

Plus, people in hard hit areas are much more likely to think TV has got worse, so there’s a massive gap for high quality entertainment.

What does success look like?

Success for us is a world where everyone has access to high quality entertainment that makes us feel great, and proven psychological techniques that are attractive and accessible.

We want to be a world player, creating the next great global format that happens to have a load of stuff in it that will help people feel awesome.

Studio X is one of the 16 companies to come out of Zinc’s second company builder programme — tell us about the Zinc experience versus starting Studio X on your own:

I’ve always been someone who can make shit happen, but it makes a massive difference when a whole network has your back.

If everyone got the kind of support you get on an incubator like Zinc, the world would be a very different place. In fact, I think everyone should have access to this kind of experience.

If everyone got the kind of support you get on an incubator like Zinc, the world would be a very different place.

Having the support of expert mentoring, career coaching, a network of people who can help you in any number of domains, and access to investors has been invaluable.

What’s next for Studio X?

We’re beginning to fundraise! We have both B2B and B2C traction and an engaging product — we’re excited!

We’re looking for investors who understand the ambition of our company — yes we are doing something that is doing good — but this isn’t provincial, this isn’t just for the UK — in fact, it’s the good at the heart of the production process we think makes this universal.

We also want more team members to come join us. Particularly engineers. So please get in touch if you’d love to be involved.

Get in touch with Studio X at hello@wakeywakeytv.com

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