Hachette Children’s Group editorial director Jessica Tarrant has left the firm to join children’s audio start-up Yoto as its content director.
Tarrant’s new role will see her made responsible for developing relationships with content owners across publishing, music, education, radio and podcasts and commissioning new projects.
Yoto’s first product is a “clever speaker” for children which uses smartcards to load stories and music onto the device. It already partners with Hachette UK alongside PRH, HarperCollins and the Roald Dahl Story Company.
“Since discovering Yoto a year ago, I have been a passionate advocate of its pioneering approach in delivering audio content to children," Tarrant said. "I am thrilled to be joining the team at such an exciting moment in the company’s journey, and can’t wait to commission and create the very best children’s audio content for Yoto’s growing audience.”
Tarrant had been at Hachette Children’s Group for seven years, most recently as editorial director for series and IP. During her time there, she headed up the Orchard Fiction list, acquiring titles and managing the publishing of major series and brands, including Rainbow Magic and Beast Quest. Her role was expanded in 2018 to include management of the HCG audio list, where she oversaw the production and publication of the audiobook editions of Matthew Syed’s You Are Awesome and Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry: Up, Up and Away among others.
Prior to her stint at the company, Tarrant worked as a Random House editor after cutting her teeth at Penguin.
Yoto c.e.o. and co-founder Ben Drury said: “Jess’s experience in editing and commissioning commercial children’s titles for some of the UK’s leading publishers makes her the perfect person to deliver on our ambitious plans to curate and develop a comprehensive library of audio content for kids. We’re delighted to welcome her to the team, and look forward to working closely with her to help deliver on our vision of Yoto as Audiotime for kids.”