Everyone Has A Thing They’re Nerdy About.
The thing your spouse is tired of hearing about — the thing your parents don’t understand. In our heads, we tell ourselves that if the world knew about this interest, we might get judged. That’s the thing you should podcast about.
Once you do, like-minded people will gather around, and a community will be built that will change your life. It happened to me, and I want to help you have the same life-enriching experience of starting a podcast.
Starting a podcast can be a big commitment, and Podcasting and Platforms exists to make your launch quicker and stress-free. I am taking you behind the scenes of the building of this brand to show you how to build your own great podcast and platform! Whether you’re ready to start a show or a seasoned veteran, my goal is to help you break through to the next level.
Chris Spangle on His Podcasting Background
At 8 years old, I sat on my front lawn on Halloween afternoon in 1992 and listened to the famous War of The Worlds broadcast on my local NPR station on my best friend, my Sony Walkman. Orson Welles had adapted the H.G. Wells novel into a contemporary drama and it aired 54 years before the terrifying broadcast entered my brain. It had the same effect on me that it had on the country in 1938. The hair on my arms stood in terror as Martians had landed in Grovers Mill and began their takeover of Earth. This is the day that I realized the power of audio as a medium.
I spent hours listening to the BOB & TOM Show, WIBC and Dave the King Wilson, comedy albums, and audiobooks from the local library. I liked music. I loved talk. My dad and I bonded over the Bob and Tom tapes I stole from him. My grandmother taught me about politics as we drove in her Mazda Miata with Rush Limbaugh on the radio. In high school, I helped set up the AV department and worked for the high school newspaper. I knew that I wanted to grow up and be on the radio.
Then I got a job in radio. In 2007, I got an internship at Newstalk 1430 AM WXNT. From 2004 to 2008, I watched 13 people leave my small station without being replaced. I talked to DJs that had spent 30 years in the business with a salary of $30,000 dollars. It was obvious there wasn’t much of a career path on-air. But digital was beginning to blossom, and we experimented with live video streaming our morning show. With no budget, social media became essential to marketing the talk show I produced, Abdul in the Morning. Podcasting seemed like a no-brainer, so I asked the program director if I could podcast the show. “No. Why would we piss off sponsors over some technology that no one knows how to use?”
Eventually, we would go on to try it, and it gave the show a new life for people that didn’t get our AM signal. That was the proof of concept that changed the trajectory of my career, and that of many others. Early adopters to podcasting saw its potential on many fronts.
First, audio is a more intimate medium than writing or video oftentimes. Yes, people will bond with the words of an author or a YouTuber, but how many? Reading and watching require being present in front of a device, whereas podcasts are heard while mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, or working on that spreadsheet for a boss. the brain absorbs information better when in passive mode than task mode, which means podcasts are a great medium for learning while the user gets through more shows than video or blogs. I co-host the Patdown podcast with comedian Ms. Pat. With over 6 million downloads total and an audience of over 50,000 a week, her show ticket sales have wildly increased. Why? Her fans, the Crack Babies, are die-hard fans because she spends an hour a week with them. In a value-for-value proposition, they reward her for offering a vulnerable, hilarious look at the world that is meaningful to her audience.
Second, it is decentralizing the media for brands and individuals. I would go on to work at my dream job: Digital Director for the BOB & TOM Show, a nationally-syndicated, Hall of Fame radio show. Starting in 2013, my task was taking a mainstream media format like radio and adapting it to the changing landscape of digital media. At the time, they had one of the only premium subscription services for content on the web in their VIP service. The full show podcast has not changed much, but the video program went from a 2005 security camera to an eight-camera shoot that now feeds a TV show on YouTube and Facebook with tens of thousands of listeners and free and premium live video feeds. A new mobile app feeds a 24/7 live comedy channel with replays of the show all day to a huge audience. Four podcasts serve tens of thousands of people a week. Digital products now compliment the listener’s habits as they transfer from app listening on a smart speaker to the local station in the car to the video stream at work. Digital platforms are expanding listener’s choice while growing revenue for a broadcaster. At the core of it all is audio content with a rabid fan base.
Decentralization is benefiting individuals and communities as well. Every stream of income in my life currently comes from technology not widely in existence when I began my career less than 20 years ago. I started a podcast in 2012 called “We Are Libertarians” that allowed me to live out the dream of being a talk radio show host. Such a job would have been impossible in the current environment of radio gatekeepers. I was able to purchase $1500 of equipment, gather some friends, and over the past decade, we have built a brand with over 5 million downloads, over 20 shows with hundreds of hosts, a magazine, a website, and a large presence on social media thanks to memes and video. It is the core of my social group, and through our community, I met my wife. (Our network has led multiple other marriages!) Decentralized media with podcasting as a lead allowed us to influence political discourse in a way that would not have been possible before 2005.
These experiences have given me an incredible foundation in building podcasts and platforms with skills like marketing, editing, lighting, audio and video production, video streaming, and marketing. I’ve learned to write political columns, press releases, comedy writing, and copy editing. I’ve helped set up over 100 podcasts. Thanks to BOB & TOM, I’ve edited and uploaded almost 20,000 podcasts over ten years. Based on Podchaser statistics, I have 3,200 hours of hosting or guesting on podcasts.
I now want to take this experience and help you grow your podcast into a platform that changes your life and helps build up your community in an impactful way. If you’re stuck on a problem, don’t know where to start (or if you should), or are five years into your show and on a plateau, Podcasting and Platforms will help you find an answer.
We are going meta. This podcast will be about building this podcast and platform. Starting at the beginning, listeners will sit by my side as I think through this new podcast and platform and then build it out. I’ve had thirty interns shadow me over the years, and I’ll train you like I would train them before the semester is over: With a full appreciation of the opportunity and power of your own brand and the tools neccessary to get there.
If you can’t wait, I am available for one-on-one coaching and other services. Click here to book now.