Very ListenABLE: Angus & Dylan explain their podcast success
At the end of 2018, head of the SCA’s Hit Network Gemma Fordham mentioned to broadcaster Angus O’Loughlin she was interested in securing Dylan Alcott for a radio role. “I immediately had a good feeling about potentially working with him,” O’Loughlin told Mediaweek.
Fast forward 18 months and the two host the Hit Network’s weekend breakfast plus the PodcastOne series ListenABLE, a podcast about living with a disability.
“We have since become best mates, we hang out together and I have learnt much about the disabled community,” he continued.
Alcott continued the story for Mediaweek. “I had been doing radio for about nine months before we came up with the idea for ListenABLE. One cool thing about the concept is that a lot of people think it would have been my idea. But it was actually Gus’s idea after he started learning about the sort of things me and others experience out in the world. It was pretty cool for an able-bodied dude to come up with an idea for a show about disability.”
O’Loughlin pitched a number of ideas for podcasts to the company, but for this one he wrote a full presentation deck which he delivered with three finished episodes.
Alcott noted they aim to entertain and educate for what is a big target audience. “There is one in five Australians with some sort of disability – 4.5m people. There are absolutely no reasons people with a disability can’t be players in the economy, there is no reason they can’t get jobs, no reason they can’t be consumers and no reason they can’t listen to podcasts.”
One of the appeals of the podcast is the wide range of guests, all who have compelling stories to tell. Alcott: “Gus and I could have just got a bunch of famous people with a disability and tell their stories. We wanted to also give a voice to everyday people who have a disability who have incredible stories they want to share.
“We are learning so much together. I have no idea what’s like to have a high level disability like Natalie Wade who we had on. I have no idea what it’s like to have Tourette’s so we had someone on. This is not a podcast just for people with a disability. It’s a podcast for absolutely everybody – not only to learn, but it’s bloody entertaining.”
The Natalie Wade episode is a brilliant listen, especially where the lawyer tells about how it takes two hours to get ready to leave the house. Alcott said it takes him maybe 45 minutes, while O’Loughlin reckons in five minutes he can be ready. Alcott disagreed: “I have seen Gus in front of a mirror where he can put in some serious time.”
The podcast is making a difference too. O’Loughlin related a story about a coffee shop owner who just made his business wheelchair accessible after listening.
The podcasts vary in length, with Adam Hills a little longer than some. O’Loughlin does the edits: “I listened to Adam Hills twice and I couldn’t cut anything out. It has become our third most-listened to episode.” The series stats are off the chart with over 80% listening all the way through. Alcott: “My favourite thing about it is that able-bodied people are listening in huge numbers.”
Both hosts are in lockdown in Melbourne, but tennis champ Alcott is still in training and he departs for the US Open in the first week of September. Then it’s to Paris for the French Open.
O’Loughlin just recently revealed to listeners he will soon be a father, and Alcott put Mediaweek on the spot asking if he’d be a good godfather. “I’m not sure,” was my reply. “Me either, you and I both,” laughed O’Loughlin. “I guess we’ll find out soon.”
Both hosts have a wish list of guests – the one topping both is Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones.
Steve Price goes On The Record
Former 2GB evening host Steve Price started up his own weekly podcast last month. The longtime radio host launched his On the Record series with a former colleague from Price’s days at 3AW – Sam Newman. In the seven episodes since launch he’s had some great guests including News Corp podcast star Hedley Thomas, 3AW’s recently departed breakfast host John Burns and his former 2GB evening colleague Andrew Bolt. One of his next will be with The Australian’s must-read food critic John Lethlean.
Price said he was the second podcast to be launched by recent start-up Talent Corp and Nature Bee had signed on as a sponsor. Price told Mediaweek he has constructed a recording studio at his home in regional Victoria just outside of Melbourne. Talent Corp doesn’t manage Price, he is still looked after by Chris Giannopoulos at Bravo Management.
The Talent Corp business has been launched by former 2GB sales boss Mark Noakes in partnership with former 2GB colleagues Ruth Thompson, Ross Greenwood and Mike O’Regan. Greenwood also hosts a Talent Corp podcast The Money Minutes and the series are being hosted on the Whooshkaa platform, founded by, you guessed it, another 2GB alumni, Rob Lowenthal.
Price said the business is about making branded content, and not just podcasts. “Branded content is going to be very important in the future as we come out of Covid with media companies looking for ways to make their investment stretch further. A package that offers good content and revenue is going to be very appealing.”
Price has discovered podcasting in a big way since he has entered the space. His radio listening is limited to a few days of Ray Hadley or Neil Mitchell each week.
What did the former 3AW program manager make of the decision to drop John Burns from breakfast? “It was a crazy idea. Why would you change something that has been doing so well for so long?” As well as his regular gig on The Project, Price does his own breakfast spots a couple of days a week with Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy on Triple M’s The Hot Breakfast.
Australian Podcast Awards entries open September 1
The Australian Podcast Awards seem to have only started yesterday, but already they are about to open entries for their fourth year on September 1 which covers works of the previous 18 months January 2019 to July 2020. New categories this year are Sex & Relationships, Best Indigenous Podcast and Best Lockdown Podcasts.
Documentary maker Sophie Harper from Not by Accident is chairing the judges. This year a live online ceremony will be held in November 2020.
Australian Podcast Awards 2020 categories
Best True Crime Podcast
Best Family Podcast
Moment of The Year
Best Branded Podcast
Best Comedy Podcast
Best Arts & Culture Podcast
Best Documentary Podcast
Best Radio Podcast
Best Business Podcast
Best Network or Publisher
Best Wellbeing Podcast
Best Lockdown Podcast
Best New Podcast
Best Sports Podcast
Best Current Affairs Podcast
Best Entertainment Podcast
Best Sex & Relationships Podcast
The Creativity Award
Best Indigenous Podcast
The Spotlight Award
The Bullseye Award
Podcast of the Year
Tanya Hennessy collaborates with Spotify on her first podcast
Spotify has announced the launch of the original podcast, I Can’t Stop, with Tanya Hennessy.
The series is promising listeners an inside look at the realities behind social media, television, and radio while bringing the trials and tribulations of Hennessy’s day-to-day in a frank and honest way. With conversational anecdotes and longer form storytelling at its heart, each episode of I Can’t Stop explores her idiosyncrasies, hang-ups and the ideas she can’t get out of her head.
Season one will run throughout 2020 with weekly 45 minute episodes.
Hennessy explained: “I wanted to create something that was honest, real and funny – so I Can’t Stop was born! I really found who I was when I was behind a microphone on the radio, but I wanted to go further, more in-depth and talk about the topics that I care about. I Can’t Stop is different to anything I’ve ever done before and will bring together all the ideas I have, combined with real honest conversation and absolute chaos.”
Aboriginal comedian and Ydinji woman Steph Tisdell will also feature on the podcast as a weekly guest, bringing a conversational element and sense of companionship to the show, asking questions on behalf of listeners to dig deeper into the topics Hennessy explores. Tisdell has been a guest in Channel 10’s Stand Up for Christchurch Benefit, Hughesy We Have A Problem, and as both an interviewee and presenter on The Project.