Podcast Week: The Books That Changed My Life, Froomes, Unpopular Opinion + more

The Beanies

Facebook podcasts, ARN & New York Times, Bowen and Brooke, and ASIC

Compiled by Trent Thomas

Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald on The Books That Changed My Life

Shameless Media’s Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald launched The Books That Changed My Life on LiSTNR on the 15th of June.

The podcast will see the pair talk with guests including Kevin Kwan, Laura Henshaw, Jock Zonfrillo, Susan Carland, Hamish Blake and Delta Goodrem about the books that have had a profound impact on them and gives audiences insight into some of their favourite personalities through the books they love.

Mediaweek’s Trent Thomas spoke to both Andrews and McDonald about their new podcast and working with LiSTNR

The pair said that the idea of partnering with LiSTNR had been in the works for a while and was too good of an offer to turn down.

McDonald: “I think one of the core principles of Shameless is to keep the core product independent, but we have been in conversations with LiSTNR for years. There is a whole group of people and a couple in particular who are just wonderful and been great mentors to us when it comes to content, even though we haven’t had anything to do with them in a business sense, but we have had great contacts there.

“Earlier this year when Sam Cavanagh, in particular, came to us with this idea, we thought this is the perfect way that we can work with the network and have a team of people that are incredible and also keep our original podcast at Shameless by ourselves.”

Andrews: “Particularly because we had just stopped doing In Conversation episodes as well, we were kind of talking about that for a while and talking about the idea for Scandal and wanted to do more celebrity-focused content under the Shameless banner. So, for LiSTNR to come up with this incredible interview series that was so up our alley with books and literature it was almost unpassupable if that’s a word.”

Books That Changed My Life

The pair aren’t new to podcasting with their popular Shameless podcast series and their Book Club podcasts. McDonald and Andrews both agreed that there is a big appetite for book and literature podcasts.

McDonald: “What we find with our audience because we have had a book club for a while now is that women love talking about books. When the internet can feel like a very dark and scary place, conversations about books and stories feels like a very wholesome corner of the internet.”

Andrews: “Podcasts are such a great way for people to connect and find community, Book clubs are the exact same so when you combine both of those elements you get an incredibly soft, nurturing, gorgeous, friendly place.”

While the podcast series sounds like a book nerds dream, the co-hosts said that you don’t have to be an avid reader to take something away from the show.

Andrews:” The great thing about The Books That Change Your Life is that you don’t even need to be a bookworm to love it. We adore reading, it’s a huge hobby of ours but ultimately, we are using these conversations to get a deep insight into the people we are interviewing.

Hamish Blake is an interview we are releasing in a couple of weeks, and we feel like we were able to have such a deep and interesting conversation with Hamish about the books. But ultimately the books are only 25% when 75% ends up being about that person and what makes them who they are.”

Guests are asked to select three books before going on the show. When asked what the books that changed their lives were the hosts described their choices as ‘quite random’ with McDonald having the Andre Agassi memoir among her three selections, and Andrews selecting The Courage to Be Disliked as one of her choices. The duo also said that they were very surprised by some of the book choices that their guests had.

Andrews: “A lot of them ended up being non-fiction books, which is pretty understandable when you think about the books that changed your own life. But we are huge fiction readers and we have had quite few fiction books brought to the table.

“Books that have changed a lot of people’s lives are books that speak truths and speak obvious truths but are almost like a good refresher.

“We have also had a lot of children’s books be brought to the table, and it’s lovely to think back to that time in everyone’s life where you pick up that first children’s book or remember your parents reading it to you and finding that solace for the first time in your life.

McDonald: “I reckon 80% of these books I actually hadn’t heard of, and we had to do a lot of research into these books to really understand how they impacted someone which was wonderful. We have been walking out of these podcasts and buying the books ourselves.”

[Listen to The Book That Changed My Life here]

Froomes answers all the small questions for Nova

Is your phone listening to you? Does the Queen have a passport? Launching on the Nova Entertainment Podcast Network earlier this month, Where Are All The Baby Pigeons? answers all the questions we’ve argued with our mates over once and for all.

Mediaweek’s Tess Connery spoke to Froomes (Lucinda Price), host of Where Are All The Baby Pigeons? about how the podcast came together and what her favourite topic to cover was.

Starting the project

Froomes says that the project came together when Nova came to her and asked if she’d be up for joining the podcast.

“I got a call from Nova saying ‘we’re launching this podcast project, we’d love to have you on in some capacity’. The idea of a mini life-investigation podcast came up. They thought it was a perfect fit and so did I. “

Books That Changed My Life

When it came to choosing what topics to cover, Froomes says that it came down to what got people talking.

“We brainstormed all these funny pub myths that you hear about – they’re called sacred cows, pub myths that you talk about and everyone has an opinion on.

“We would just sit down, a big team at Nova and myself. We’d come up with things that we’d always wondered about ourselves, and see what resonated in the room.” 

Where to start

With topics ranging from the Bermuda Triangle to whether twins are telepathic, it can be hard to know where to begin the search for answers. Froomes says that step one is consulting the internet.

“We start by Googling, and from there we try to find really niche experts that can answer the question in a way that you couldn’t Google. For example, for the episode about what shoes over power lines mean, we’d speak to someone who has spent years researching it and can give us funny little anecdotes.

A lot of the people we get on the line are Americans, because they seem to have varied interests – and a lot of conspiracy theorists, which is fun.”

Shameless Media

Going down the rabbit hole

Of all the subjects that the podcast covers, Froomes says one topic in particular was her favourite.

“Whether or not periods sync up. What I did with a few of the episodes was put callouts on my Instagram asking people do you have experience with this? Do you think this is true? And that was one where pretty much every single person I spoke to was convinced it was true.

Whether or not it’s true, there’s so much interesting literature around it, and it kind of points to women’s health being not properly represented. We go into rabbit holes like that, which I think are quite interesting. 

“That’s the hardest bit about the podcast. They’re 15 minute long episodes, but we could have made them an hour because you can go really deep on all of these questions.”

Hopes tor the pod

With the third episode released today, Froomes says that her hopes for the podcast are to bring the topics back to where they originated.

“My dream for it, in terms of the way people engage, would be for them to listen to it and then talk about it with someone at the pub. Instead of taking your phone out and Googling it, you have all these interesting answers and anecdotes you can share with people.”

Listen to Where Are All The Baby Pigeons? here.

Hit90.9 brekky crew go into podcasting

The Bianca Dan and Ben Hit90.9 breakfast show has launched a new podcast called Unpopular Opinion which is an extension of their brekky show.

Every Thursday they release a new episode, it’s a nothing off-limits podcast with guests who are opinionated.

Ben Hannant said: “It’s a great platform to explore new content that is a little more controversial, which we can’t discuss on radio. It’s an opportunity to ask those questions we all want the answers to, and it’s really interesting discovering how people in our community live a certain way and how they do certain things that aren’t always considered the norm.”

Dan Anstey said: “We love getting inside people’s minds and hearing how they think, for better or worse. We uncover those opinions and everything in-between with this podcast.”

Bianca Dye said: “Being a part of a ‘commercial radio’ breakfast show is so much fun every morning and the three of us can never stop laughing, BUT there’s only so much you can do and only so many in-depth questions you can ask with the time we have, and of course with kids listening in cars.

“When we speak to guests that have unpopular opinions, we really wanted to push the boundaries and take it to another level, so a podcast like this is perfect for us! There is no place we won’t go, no lines to cross and no questions we won’t ask! It’s loose, it’s raw and it’s ground-breaking. This is the kind of poddy you listen to as you’re driving around in the car, on a neighbourhood walk or at the gym. You’re guaranteed to gasp, laugh out loud and possibly even cry!

“I’m really proud of the interviews we have done so far, it’s the kind of podcast I would want to listen to to!!!”

[Listen to Unpopular Opinion here]

Facebook launches podcasts for members

Back in April this year Facebook announced the impending arrival of podcasts for its community.

More than 170 million people are already connected to hundreds of thousands of podcast pages on Facebook, and more than 35 million people are members of fan groups around podcasts — but until now, they had to leave the Facebook app to listen to those episodes. From this week podcast creators are able to reach and connect with new listeners — all directly within the Facebook app.

To start, the initial slate of podcasts will include rapper-turned-YouTube broadcaster Joe Budden of The Joe Budden Podcast; comedian “Jess Hilarious” of Carefully Reckless from The Black Effect Podcast Network and iHeartRadio; Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin, and Jac Vanek of The LadyGang podcast; and Nicaila Matthews Okome of the Side Hustle Pro podcast.

People can listen to podcasts while browsing Facebook, via a miniplayer or full-screen player experience with playback options, including with their phone display turned off. People can listen to select podcast creators on their Facebook Pages, as well as in News Feed.

Later this Facebook is promising additional features, like captions and the ability to create and share short clips of a podcast.

ARN announces deal with The New York Times

ARN and The New York Times have reached an agreement for ARN to become the advertising sales representative for The New York Times’s podcast portfolio in Australia.

The deal will enable Australian brands to connect with Australian listeners to The New York Times’s podcasts, such as The Daily, Serial and This American Life, for the first time.

ARN’s head of digital audio Corey Layton said: “The New York Times is at the pinnacle of podcasts enjoyed world over and particularly here in Australia. From The Daily to SerialThis American Life and more, for the first time, Australian brands can now be part of these global sensations. We’re proud that The New York Times have entrusted us with representing their brand and look forward to pairing their podcasts with both Australian audiences and brands.”

We Think Media will continue to represent The New York Times digital and print advertising business for the Australian market.

The Bowen and Brooke – with GQ too

Back in April Podcast Week wrote about Chris Bowen, one of Australia’s most successful radio producers and most knowledgeable car enthusiasts, who has combined his skills in a new adventure Bowen’s Garage.

That adventure more recently started a new podcast featuring Bowen with a former 2GB colleague Brooke Richards on a series he has labelled Bowen and Brooke – Two Bs in a Pod. Richards is living the dream in regional NSW while Bowen broadcasts from his northwest Sydney car compound.

The two podcasters have great chemistry which ensures lots of laughs for the audience. Joining them on a recent podcast was former Bowen collaborator and EFTM contributor Geoff Quattromani. The two tech and motoring enthusiasts were treading carefully during their on-air reunion, but hopefully GQ will have regular guest spots to enrich Bowen and Brooke.

[Listen to Bowen and Brooke here]

ASICS Australia announces Sound Mind, Sound Body Stories

ASICS Australia has announced the launch of its new podcast – Sound Mind, Sound Body Stories powered by ASICS.

The 12-episode series will speak to guests about reaching their sporting and wellness goals, as well as what helps them keep a sound mind and a sound body.

Hosted by ASICS Ambassador and TV presenter, Teigan Nash, the podcast will hear from guests including Registered Psychologist, Meg McClurg; Australian Diamonds captain, Caitlin Basset; Australian Wallaroos and Jillaroos player, Millie Boyle; Olympic marathon runner, Jess Stenson; Wallabies player, Reece Hodge; triathlete, Jake Birtwhistle; Olympic rugby sevens gold medalist, Charlotte Caslick, Olympic high jumper, Brandon Starc; Western Bulldogs premiership winner, Tom Boyd; Australian paracanoist, Mark Daniels; Australian cricketers Mitch Starc and Alyssa Healy and Bondi lifeguard, Andrew Reid.

The first three episodes of Sound Mind, Sound Body powered by ASICS, featuring Meg McClurg, Caitlin Basset and Brandon Starc are currently available, with additional episodes rolling out on Tuesdays each week.

ASICS is also enabling everyday athletes the impact of movement on their own mind. The ASICS Mind Uplifter tool uses a combination of facial scanning technology and self-report data collection, to allow users to capture the mental and emotional uplift that sport and movement has on the mind and body.

ASICS challenging everyday athletes to use the Mind Uplifter tool to capture their pre and post exercise mental wellbeing before sharing their results on social media using #UpliftingMinds. 

[To get involved click here]

[Listen to Sound Mind, Sound Body Stories here]

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