Matthew Lieber
Alex Blumberg

Matthew Lieber & Alex Blumberg

Cofounders, President and CEO of Gimlet Media

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON September 29, 2015

Discussion

Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
Hi, this is Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, cofounders of Gimlet Media, the Brooklyn based company behind the podcasts StartUp, Reply All, and Mystery Show. Alex… is the CEO of Gimlet and host of StartUp, a podcast about what it’s really like to start a business. Before that, he was the creator of NPR’s Planet Money podcast, and a producer for This American Life. Matt… is the President of Gimlet, and occasional cast member on StartUp. Before that, he produced podcasts (Slate Culture Gabfest) and radio shows (NPR’s On Point), and spent a few years consulting for digital media companies at BCG. Ask us anything!
Tyler Mikev
Tyler Mikev@tylermikev · Director of Mobile @ DRYV
How do you feel Season 2 of StartUp was received in comparison to Season 1? How has Season 2 influenced the direction of Season 3?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@tylermikev They were pretty different beasts. I think season 1 got a little more into family issues, and felt a little more immediate and intimate. and I think taht was basically because I was reporting on myself. You can't beat that combo, reporter and subject, as one. Season two though I thought got at a lot of broader issues in Silicon Valley. Also, it got at a bunch of interesting business issues around running a dating site. Also, there was a lot more actual drama! The response has been pretty great to both seasons.
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@tylermikev Season 2 did well. I was amazed at how open Emma & Lauren were about their experience, and we heard from many listeners who preferred it to SE01. In terms of audience, we kept most of the SE01 audience, and then saw growth on top of that. There's just something powerful about telling the honest story of starting a company, because there's so much mythology & layers of truthiness layered on top of startups these days.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@abexlumberg @tylermikev also, re: season 2 (a bit a of a side plug) Lauren Kay, the CEO of Dating Ring, will be doing a LIVE chat on Product Hunt as well, on Oct. 9th: http://www.producthunt.com/live/...
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@tylermikev Oh and in terms of Season 3... we want to do something fresh & different. I think that's all I'm permitted to say about it at this point.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@mlieber @tylermikev oh c'mon.... :P
David Mazza
David Mazza@dmzza · iOS Freelancer @ Peaking
@mlieber Marco Arment has said (something like) he is dreading the day when every podcast network has its own app. Do you think Gimlet Media could become a software company without creating a silo for your own content? Maybe like Medium for podcasting?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@dmzza We are focused on creating narrative audio, not building software. I think others (including @marcoarment, whose Overcast app I use) are way better positioned to do that.
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@dmzza No plans as of now to create Gimlet centric software or apps. We're good at making content. There's a hunger for the content we can create. We're going to stick to what we're good at.
Tyler Mikev
Tyler Mikev@tylermikev · Director of Mobile @ DRYV
@mlieber @dmzza @abexlumberg What is the biggest need for podcast producers right now in terms of a app / platform / channel to listeners. I know on /r/podcasts, the big ask seems to be better podcast discovery, but thats mainly being requested by people hosting smaller, niche shows. Product Hunt did a great job by introducing better episode discovery; is there another large need the podcasting industry has right now to help it grow / improve?
Michael Davis
Michael Davis@mikeymiked
@mlieber @abexlumberg In the last season of Start Up (which was great) one thing I felt was missing was what happens to the investors when a Start Up "fails" like Dating Ring? What is Dating rings liability to them. do they still get a cut of the "lifestyle" companys profits? How do they feel about it?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@mikeymiked You know, that's a good questiont aht we never really dove into. My assumption is that they don't share lifestyle profits with investors, but others here might know better than I.
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
OK everyone, thanks for the awesome questions! I have one request: tomorrow find someone who's never listened to a podcast, and tell them about your favorite show. Doesn't have to be Gimlet. Treat it as a gift to your friend, and to the medium. Good night!
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@mlieber love it . great idea. thanks Matt!
Tyler Mikev
Tyler Mikev@tylermikev · Director of Mobile @ DRYV
@mlieber Done.
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
Hi, this is Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, cofounders of Gimlet Media, the Brooklyn based company behind the podcasts StartUp, Reply All, and Mystery Show. Alex… is the CEO of Gimlet and host of StartUp, a podcast about what it’s really like to start a business. Before that, he was the creator of NPR’s Planet Money podcast, and a producer for This American Life. Matt… is the President of Gimlet, and occasional cast member on StartUp. Before that, he produced podcasts (Slate Culture Gabfest) and radio shows (NPR’s On Point), and spent a few years consulting for digital media companies at BCG. Ask us anything!
Adam Kazwell
Adam Kazwell@kaz · Product manager/observer
@mlieber In the first season of Startup, you met with the Google Ventures team to prototype an app (episode here)...it was one of my favorite episodes and I'm curious - is there still a chance that you'll build your own podcasting app?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@kaz I wouldn't rule it out, but we have no immediate plans. It's difficult to get distribution, and while I'm aware of some of the things that need to be fixed about podcasting tech, I'm humble about what it takes to do it well.
Tyler Mikev
Tyler Mikev@tylermikev · Director of Mobile @ DRYV
Whats the response been to the premium service? Do people actually want access early content and a semi-decent looking shirt? I just signed up to support. The t-shirt was, well..... it was a t-shirt.
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@tylermikev premium service went pretty well. It was a great start. People seem to like access to early content. We got a TON of feedback about our initial pilot that was up there. And yes, t-shirts are t-shirts. But people, including me, like them.
Tyler Mikev
Tyler Mikev@tylermikev · Director of Mobile @ DRYV
@abexlumberg @tylermikev Haha I like mine too, but would definitely done a higher price point for something a little nicer. How did you guys decide on $60 as your ask?
Ben Stern
Ben Stern@benstern0 · Product @Dropbox
Recently, Reply All especially has been collaborating with non-Gimlet podcasts. I assume the presumed value there is a "rising tide lifts all boats" sort of thing, but is it at the expense of long term success of Gimlet? Asked another way, how do you think about competition?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@benstern0 There isn't competition yet. Most people still don't listen to podcasts. Every break out hit, like serial, that raises the profile of the medium helps us all. These collaborations pay huge dividends as we each benefit from shared audience.
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@benstern0 We don't think that much about competition. We are fans of WNYC, Radiotopia, Earwolf, Slate, Panoply, NPR, and many more shows. The more listeners coming into the medium, through whatever portals, the better it is for all of us.
Ben Stern
Ben Stern@benstern0 · Product @Dropbox
@abexlumberg Makes sense. Would FM radio in the car be the biggest competitor to podcasts in general?
Lisa S
Lisa S@lparke
@benstern0 I think the biggest competitor to podcasts is ignorance :) Occasionally I turn off my podcasts for music, so *maybe* you could consider that a competitor, but I think people not knowing they would like it is the biggest road block.
David Mazza
David Mazza@dmzza · iOS Freelancer @ Peaking
@lparke @benstern0 That's a good way of putting it. Podcasts are competing for minutes of auditory attention in the day.
Benjamin Peskoe
Benjamin Peskoe@benjaminpeskoe · Student
Hey guys -- been loving following your progress so far. In your opinion, what's the biggest challenge for podcasting as an industry right now?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@benjaminpeskoe Hey Ben! We're still just at the beginning of the industry. I would say the biggest challenge is distribution. In the US Market there are 200M+ people who should be listening to podcasts, and aren't. We need to get them into the medium.
Joe Filcik
Joe Filcik@jfilcik · Writer, Product Manager
@mlieber @benjaminpeskoe have you looked at distributing on @Spotify yet? They say they're moving into podcasts. Do you know enough to have an opinion on that yet?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@jfilcik @benjaminpeskoe Yeah, we're in Spotify, and when it rolls out wide you'll be able to listen to us in there. We want to be available ubiquitously, across platforms.
Joe Filcik
Joe Filcik@jfilcik · Writer, Product Manager
@mlieber @benjaminpeskoe What do you think of @Spotify adding advertising over the top of your show?
Benjamin Mock
Benjamin Mock@benjaminmock
What other podcasts do you listen to regularly?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@benjaminmock Death Sex Money, Longform, Another Round, Recode/Decode, a16z, Strangers
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@benjaminmock I'm always listening to new stuff. Combat Jack. Another Round. How to Do Everything. Love and Radio. As well as my old favs, TAL, RadioLab, Planet Money. 99%.
Jeremy Kun
Jeremy Kun@jeremyjkun
@mlieber What is the minimum viable (projected) audience size for a new Gimlet podcast? (Assume everything else about the pitch is good) Say, if someone comes to you and says "I think can get X weekly downloads starting immediately and Y weekly downloads by next year," what do you need X and Y to be to justify launching? In other words, how niche is too niche?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@jeremyjkun We don't try and predict audience sizes, because we've found we're not very good at it. But for us to want to pursue a show, we basically want to see that there's three things 1) a solid framework that will accomadate good stories 2) companionable hosts / characters 3) the potential for listeners to learn something. We don't think too much about "niche" or "not niche," because even while they're focused we try and give the shows some element of universal appeal. For instance, StartUp is a niche subject (a documentary about starting a business), but we hope that our treatment makes it accessible to a broad audience.
nicole delcore
nicole delcore@nicoledelcore
@mlieber I'm a freshman in college and my dream job is to write for/create a podcast. What should I major in?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@nicoledelcore wahtever you want! Whatever you love. The best podcasters are people who are passionate about something other than podcasting.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Hi @mlieber and @abexlumberg, a lot has happened in the podcasting world in the past year. What developments have excited you most, and what what developments do you hope to see next year (in addition to expanding the percentage of Americans listening).
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@alexcartaz Most exciting development of the last year was Serial & the global boom of attention to the medium. Development I'm most hoping for: a universally installed app for listening to podcasts on Android.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
HYPOTHETICAL SCENARIO: If you were somehow not yourselves but knew everything about yourselves* what question would you ask "Matt Leiber" and "Alex Blumberg" right now in this Q&A? Also presume, in this hypothetical scenario, that you are much better at phrasing questions than I am.
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@eriktorenberg What happened to that half pint of chunky monkey that was in your freezer last night? Did you really eat the whole thing? All at once? What's wrong with you?
Zach Whelchel
Zach Whelchel@zachwhelchel · Napkn
How open are you to outsiders pitching you on a show? Is the goal to develop all the show concepts inside Gimlet or are you hoping people will come to you with ideas that they want to head and join Gimlet in the process?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@zachwhelchel Very open to outside pitches. We need great people with great ideas. We'll take them from anywhere!
Zach Whelchel
Zach Whelchel@zachwhelchel · Napkn
@abexlumberg @zachwhelchel awesome. Where is the idea box? Email best?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@zachwhelchel yeah. email is best.
Joe Filcik
Joe Filcik@jfilcik · Writer, Product Manager
@mlieber @alexblumburg What do you think of people who listen to your show at 2x speed ? 👂💨
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@jfilcik How dare they! Just kidding. I often listen to shows at 1.5x speed. I can't handle 2x, but i'm working up there. Some shows I listen in real time, if there's a lot of effort put into sound design and whatnot. My rule of thumb is, if they're going for something artistic, then I listen in real time. If it's just info, I can speed it up. But I don't begrudge anyone listening at any speed. As long as they're listening, I'm happy.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
HUGE Thanks for @ablexlumberg @mlieber for taking the time to chat with us today, for their support to PH throughout, and for making StartUp, which made it easier to tell our parents what we do for a living. Listen to all the shows on www.gimletmedia.com, and sign up for premium! you'll feel good about yourself and people will affirm you.
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
My advice, pay attention to your own boredom and your own confusion. If some part of you doesn't quite get what someone is saying, go back and make them lay it out. I'm always talking to young reporters who come back with tape, and I'll listen, and I'll ask, what did so and so mean when they said that? And the reporters don't know! They didn't pay attention to their own confusion.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@abexlumberg love it. noted!
Brandon Brown
Brandon Brown@brandonb927 · work @sendwithus
@mlieber I've been following along with Startup, ReplyAll, and Mystery Show for awhile now and I have the say that the production quality of the show is amazingly top-notch! Currently working for a startup, I can align with most of the feelings you guys experienced growing your idea into what it is now. I'll probably never understand the stress behind raising money and the emotional rollercoaster of everything around that. My one other comment is that I unfortunately was never exposed to podcasts until earlier this year where I discovered Startup Podcast here on Product Hunt, so I have yet to discover This American Life or other NPR shows, however I've become emotionally invested in the shows that Gimlet Media produces and am a paying member :) My question for you is, what was one of the untold hurdles to launching Gimlet that was never aired nor mentioned in Startup?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@brandonb927 Thanks Brandon! I think we put most of the hurdles into StartUp. Today we had an infestation of moths in our studio, because they started feasting on the soundproofing materials. Getting rid of them is definitely becoming a hurdle.
Euan McAleece
Euan McAleece@macohibs · Radio/Audio ninja
Can you see the UK following the US in having properly financed podcast shows/networks.? or is the BBC holding back the potential industry?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@macohibs I think there's no reason that the same ad supported model we're doing here couldn't work in the UK.
Eric Metelka
Eric Metelka@eric3000 · Product Manager, PowerReviews
@mlieber What makes a great Gimlet show? What is your criteria for evaluating if a new show pitch is good enough or not?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@eric3000 That's a great question. And it's hard to answer. One thing we need, a great frame. Like Mystery Show, it's a great frame: personal mysteries, which starlee solves. It's simple, but there's so much ground you can cover between the posing of the mystery and its solution. But when I say simple, I don't mean simple to execute, because it's very difficult to do what Starlee does. But the frame is simple and easy to understand. But it's flexible and allows you lots of room for surprise and wonder. That's what we're looking for.
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
What was the "hook" that got you really addicted to podcasting (and therefore making it into a career)?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@katesegrin I heard a David Rakoff piece on This American Life, about posing as Sigmund Freud in a Barney's shop window. I was like, what is this? I was hooked.
kt
kt@ktzhu · product and engineering at medium
@mlieber @abexlumberg what do you see as the biggest challenge for Gimlet in the next year?
Christopher Levesque
Christopher Levesque@mstphrchrstphr · Director
@mlieber Listened to the first season again recently. Were the Ads replaced after first release?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@mstphrchrstphr Yes, we went back in and replaced the ads.
Kevin
Kevin@kevinkuhl
I know technology came up a bit in the first season. Are you finding that there are interesting innovations to enrich the experience for listeners and that's something interesting to your business? Or are you feeling like that's a little outside the wheelhouse at this stage?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@kevinkuhl outside the wheelhouse, definitely. Others are hard at work on those problems.
Joe Filcik
Joe Filcik@jfilcik · Writer, Product Manager
@mlieber @alexlumberg I'm in Centeal Europe this week, which makes me wonder what has the international reception of your shows been like? Any fun stories?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@jfilcik one of our colleagues, Chris, was in Brazil last weekend, walking down a beach with his Mystery Show t-shirt. An older man came up and stopped him, with a huge smile on his face. He said he loved Mystery Show, and used it to teach himself English.
Joe Filcik
Joe Filcik@jfilcik · Writer, Product Manager
Tim Hiatt
Tim Hiatt@timbohiatt · Computer Programmer
@jfilcik As an Australian I would be interested to know the spread of the Audience as well.
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Hey Alex and Matt! Love love love what you've built at Gimlet. StartUp is one of my favorites right now. What's your favorite podcast? 😊
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@rrhoover see above!
Lesley Claire
Lesley Claire@lesleyclaire
Curious about your talent attraction. Are people jumping on board because of Alex Blumberg's rep? Do they love podcasts? Are they excited to be involved in a start-up? All of the above?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@lesleyclaire I think all of the above.
Tim Hiatt
Tim Hiatt@timbohiatt · Computer Programmer
@mlieber and @abexlumberg can you talk a little about your production workflow from design of an episode through to editing and publishing. I know there is a lot in that. But programs, tools, meetings. How does an episode all come together from an idea into the fantastic package of bliss that reaches my ears.
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@timbohiatt We're actually planning to do a whole ep about that on an upcoming episode of Startup. It's pretty involved. Someone comes up with an idea. it gets kicked around and refined at a story meeting. The person goes out and reports the idea. Then they write a script and pull their cuts. Then we do an edit. Then they do rewrites. Then antoehr edit. Then maybe more rewrites. Then it gets scored and mixed. And then there's a mix edit. And then it goes up. Each episode can take 3 or 4 weeks at shortest. many months at the longest.
Euan McAleece
Euan McAleece@macohibs · Radio/Audio ninja
Would you consider taking on a show from outside of the US or do you prefer to keep production in-house?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@macohibs We would consider taking on a show from outside the US. In fact, news on that front coming in another month or so.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What is your FAVORITE interview question? or series of interview questions?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@eriktorenberg What would the you of 2 years ago thought of the you of today?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@eriktorenberg I'm going to answer this for @abexlumberg, and he can correct me if I'm wrong. "How do you feel about that?"
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@abexlumberg @eriktorenberg i really like that one . do you have a list of favorite questions somewhere? my friends and i made a list but we're amateurs: https://docs.google.com/a/produc...
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@eriktorenberg those are good! I'm going to steal some of those! (Assuming that's cool?)
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@abexlumberg @eriktorenberg of course!! Bold the ones you like, if you can, so i'll know to ask them too
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
I think they're focused on what's the emotional truth at the center of everything going on there. They don't take canned answers. They're going for something real. Something emotionally true.
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
Thanks everyone!
Joe Filcik
Joe Filcik@jfilcik · Writer, Product Manager
@abexlumberg what stories do you wish you could tell, but can't because it's not topical to one of your shows right now?
Ivan Raiklin
Ivan Raiklin@ivan_raiklin
Matt/Alex: Great first season!!! Matt, missed the chance to talk to you at @podcastmovement #PM15, however, wanted to see if you or Alex were interested in speaking at DCPodcfest 6-8 Nov? Would love to have you. DM me if interested.
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@raiklin DM me...
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Hi @mlieber and @abexlumberg, thanks for joining us today to do a LIVE chat! =)
Tim Hiatt
Tim Hiatt@timbohiatt · Computer Programmer
Hey @mlieber and @abexlumberg Firstly I just want to say a serious thank you for the content you produce week in week out. A friend first recommended ReplyAll and I fell in love with the style and within days had listened to the back catalog. I am now halfway through season 1 of Start Up and loving the emotional roller-coaster that it is. My question would be: Could you share a little bit about where Gimlet is heading. What is your plan for future shows and when can we expect to see more awesome content. Thanks Guys!
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@timbohiatt We've got a bunch of stuff coming. Two new shows launching this year, including a project with my former partner in crime Adam Davidson. Then a bunch of new stuff in 2016, as well as the return of new seasons of existing gimlet shows. Also, in just a couple weeks, we're launching a special startup miniseries. 4 or 5 episodes all about Gimlet.
Tim Hiatt
Tim Hiatt@timbohiatt · Computer Programmer
@abexlumberg @timbohiatt Legend thanks for the answer. You guys delivery quality every time and it is with so much ease that I utilise that subscribe button across platforms. Ill keep preaching to others and you guys keep doing what you love. :-)
Danny Henn
Danny Henn@dannyhenn
I remember that one of Alex's original inspirations for starting Gimlet was the experience of the Planet Money t-shirt series. Will this sort of model be employed later on with Gimlet, i.e. some sort of specific product/experience that is highly linked with the content of your shows? Or is that what was intended with the premium service offering?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@dannyhenn The premium service launched is just the beginning, and we plan on continuing to add to that experience. And yes, we do want to do some integrated products/experiences. But we want to make sure the shows are stable and reliably producing quality work first. The planet money t-shirt came after Planet Money had been up and running for 4 years I think. Not saying it'll take that long for us, but we want to make sure everything else is in order before we take it on. But yes, something like that is coming in the next year or two. Probably. How's that for a hedge?
Danny Henn
Danny Henn@dannyhenn
@abexlumberg @dannyhenn Well I look forward to it if and when you guys get to it. I'm enjoying all the great podcasts in the meantime :)
Ben Gold
Ben Gold@bengold · Designer
@abexlumberg any plans or desire to host your own regular show on Gimlet again?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@bengold I'll continue to co-host Startup for the time being, but eventually, I imagine, I'll get too busy, you know, being a CEO.
Joe Filcik
Joe Filcik@jfilcik · Writer, Product Manager
Hi @mlieber - Love the shows. Startup has been an awesome show and a huge inspiration. Question: What do you think of Podcasts on Product Hunt (thus far)? Specifically, as creators, how do you feel about the show being unbundled into episodes?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@jfilcik I'm into it. I think there's a strong logic to featuring shows at the episode level. Oftentimes when you hear people talking about shows, they'll talk about their favorite episodes. BTW my two favorite Reply Episodes are #29 (The Takeover) and #36 (Today's the Day)
Gretchen Edwards
Gretchen Edwards@gretchedwards
Big fan of Gimlet here. Love all the shows. Recently I started listening to Limetown (http://www.limetownstories.com/), what do you all think of fictional podcasts? Is it a space Gimlet would ever move in to?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@gretchedwards I love fictional podcasts. And I think Limetown is great. Lots of fans at Gimlet actually. Definitely something we're looking at.
Lisa S
Lisa S@lparke
@mlieber why was it necessary to officially/legally start a company rather than just starting podcasts yourself? Was it mostly for the purpose of being able to fundraise and because you need employees to host the new podcasts? I'm trying to compare the startup experience to that of just starting a podcast and what is and isn't necessary.
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@lparke if you're just starting a podcast, you probably don't need to raise. But we wanted to start a podcast network. That requires startup capital to pay for infrastructure and salaries and stuff.
Lisa S
Lisa S@lparke
@abexlumberg That's what I was thinking, but I wanted to be sure. I am loving all of your podcasts so far, and I am one of those podcast-hungry consumers that has just been searching for more storytelling podcasts. Thank you!
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Matt & Alex - Welcome! Do you think if Odeo was built today that it would have a vastly different result?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@eriktorenberg That is an excellent question that I don't know the answer to. But I sure would like to see what an @ev designed podcast app would look like in 2016
Tim Smith
Tim Smith@ttimsmith · Frontend Designer
@mlieber @alexblumberg how can a small podcast reach bigger audiences and land bigger guests?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@ttimsmith Good question. Try and cross promote with other similar shows. Invite them on your show, and then get on their's. Good way to swap audiences.
Kyle McLean
Kyle McLean@kylemclean
@mlieber following up on something you just mentioned about driving listeners to podcasts, what are some of the ways Gimlet is going to drive listeners to it's shows and to the medium at large? Will marketing campaigns work for podcasts when potential listeners already have so many preconceived notions about the format?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@kylemclean I think marketing campaigns will work. We are still a ways away from trying them. We're getting strong growth just through secular drift to on-demand listening and word of mouth. Not sure when we'll turn to targetted marketing. Probably coming soonish.
PCZ
PCZ@flyindarkness
@mlieber do you guys plan on expanding beyond English speaking podcasts?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@flyindarkness No immediate plans, but someday.
Euan McAleece
Euan McAleece@macohibs · Radio/Audio ninja
Do you think that the rise of Web based ad blocking could be a catalyst for a growth in podcast native ad spend?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@macohibs It certainly comes up in conversations I've had with advertisers. To quote someone smarter than me "There is no shortage of noise online. Podcasts promise signal."
Cristian Espinoza
Cristian Espinoza@crisgarner · Founder @ http://startupreef.co
Hi Alex and Matt! I love StartUp Podcast and can't wait for season 3, what advise would you give to new podcasters? what can they do to grow their base audience? specially if they are bootstrapping all :P
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@crisgarner Keep making episodes, and keep getting better. Find other podcasters who are doing shows similar to yours, and see if you can cross promote.
Dan Duncan
Dan Duncan@d_seb · Founder, humansole
@mlieber @abexlumberg What has the biggest challenge been in operating a for-profit business in a traditionally non-profit space?
Zach Kahn
Zach Kahn@zkahn94 · Lead Podcast Marketing @ Vox Media
@mlieber @abexlumberg Hey guys! Long time listener, first time speaker. What was the product of your design sprint with Google Ventures? Any plans to do partnerships with other tech / media companies, whether they're focused around learning, platform, or content?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@zkahn94 Hey Zach. Here's the product of our GV design sprint.
Those guys are absolutely master practitioners.
Zach Kahn
Zach Kahn@zkahn94 · Lead Podcast Marketing @ Vox Media
@mlieber Sorry, wasn't really clear there! Saw that you guys built the app (and previewed the membership) but was wondering if there were any learnings / products beyond that.
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@zkahn94 Ah, sorry. Yes, the main learning for us was that while we were incredibly tempted to do so, we should not build an app. Which even though it runs counter to prototyping was a very, very valuable lesson.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What was the most surprising reaction you've gotten from the episode with Chris Sacca sharing the story about Travis from Uber beating his dad in Wii Tennis?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@eriktorenberg nothing stands out. "You're one of the weird ones" got some juice on twitter though.
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@abexlumberg @mlieber talking demographics, I believe Jenna Weiss-Burman recently said on Press Publish that the average podcast listener is a white male in their 30's. Do you know if this demographic holds true for most of your shows? What do you think is needed attract younger, more diverse listeners?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@alexcartaz I think if you look at the evolution of digital media- blogs, video, images- the earliest content often originates from the early adopters- tech geeks. And as the medium matures, I expect both the creators & audiences to get more diverse.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions people have 1) around podcasts? 2) around gimlet?
Alex Blumberg
Alex Blumberg@abexlumberg · CEO
@eriktorenberg I have no idea re: Gimlet. But re: podcasts, I think there's still a Wayne's world connotation to them in most people's minds. But I think as the industry continues to evolve that perception will evolve as well.
Joe Filcik
Joe Filcik@jfilcik · Writer, Product Manager
@mlieber Did you get any feedback from @Microsoft when you spent a whole episode agonizing over the ad for @Outlook?
Matthew Lieber
Matthew Lieber@mlieber · StartUp, cofounder
@jfilcik Never heard from them about it.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Interviewing tactics for a second - what makes Terry Gross so great? Or Howard Stern? Or Charlie Rose? Feel free to ignore that question if not helpful. More broadly, what is your advice for young aspiring interviewers (beyond the standard getting reps in?) ALSO we will link to your great Creative LIVE class!
Euan McAleece
Euan McAleece@macohibs · Radio/Audio ninja
Apart from platform what are the main differences between narrative driven podcasts and narrative driven radio?
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@abexlumberg and @mlieber thanks so much for stopping by and answering questions. This is was really insightful and enjoyable. =)
Brian A. Teller
Brian A. Teller@bateller · CTO - Signera
Is Mystery Show coming back? Why such a short season?