Podcast Week: Brooke Boney, Chris Bowen, Em Rusciano cashes in

From Zero

• Plus Acast sponsored stories and more Craig Hutchison

Compiled by Trent Thomas and James Manning

Brooke Boney on podcast years in the making

In Feburary of this year LiSTNR launched The Dream Club hosted by Brooke Boney and Linda Marigliano. The show aims to provide authentic conversations between two of Australia’s most connected entertainment tastemakers talking through all the things happening around the globe from film and fashion to relationships, mental health, politics and everything in between.

Mediaweek’s Trent Thomas spoke to Boney about life in podcasting and what goes into making The Dream Club.

The podcast is billed as a pop culture conversation you don’t feel guilty about, and Boney said the show is designed to be easy to digest and provide the hosts opinions about the biggest events in culture, pop-culture, or music without a massive time investment.

“It is sort of just like bringing all those things that we would normally talk about to a 25-minute podcast.”

Boney said that the origins for the podcast started when the pair worked at triple j and would chat about all the type of things that would eventually talk about in the podcast, and had an inside joke telling the other one to ‘dream big!’.

“We always talked about doing a podcast but it just sort of never worked out. Then Linda left triple j and I was becoming a little more settled at the Today show and then we thought we would pitch it to SCA for LiSTNR and they loved it and we were on air not long after that.”

Boney said that despite it taking years to get off the ground the pair never doubted that it would eventually happen.

“The magic of podcasts is that you can really be anywhere in the world. You don’t have to necessarily be in the same geographical location for it to work.

“Because I spent so much time traveling before Covid and she spends so much time in LA we were just like we are definitely going to make this work happen day. So, when it finally happened it was a really big moment for us, and a lesson in perseverance.”

Brooke Boney

Boney has come to prominence from her time as the news reader on triple j breakfast and her current role as the entertainment reporter on the Today show, but she said she is enjoying having her own personal project to work on with close friend Marigliano.

“It is the first time that I have hosted something as one of the main hosts and it’s nice to be able to have more input about the content we put to air and talk about things that I am interested in and hope that we are building an audience of like-minded men and women. It feels almost selfish making something that I want to listen too!

“There is no better feeling than finishing a show whether it’s the Today show, triple j breakfast, or the Dream Club and knowing you have made something that you feel really good about and think yeah we nailed that.”

Creative process

The creative process for the podcast was described as very informal by Boney, who said the show peeks behind the curtain of the entertainment industry thanks to Marigliano’s experience in music and Boney working at Today.

“We have a look at what the biggest moments are and there is stuff that we had been talking about anyways like movies that we have watched, or interviews that we have done or conversations that we have had with people in and around the industry.”

Linda Marigliano & Dylan Alcott

Is making a podcast what she expected?

With both Boney and Marigliano having extensive experience at triple j, Boney said that they both still bring radio traits with them to the podcast.

“It is funny, when we record sometimes it will be a 40 minute and sometimes it will be half an hour and almost bang on because we are so used to putting content to air live.

“I have never done another podcast and I don’t know what the experience is for other podcasts that people make but I imagine there is a lot of editing and back and forth, but for us it is pretty close to what we produce anyways.”

Bowen’s Garage hits the accelerator

Chris Bowen, one of Australia’s most successful radio producers and most knowledgeable car enthusiasts, has combined his skills in a new adventure. Bowen spent 20 years at 2GB.

Bowen’s Garage is the name of his new motoring brand that can be found via BowensGarage.com.au where he has a collection of car and tech reviews plus podcasts and video reviews.

“It’s long been a hobby of mine way back into my radio days when I used to do occasional reviews of sponsor’s cars,” Bowen told Mediaweek. “I have had the support of many motoring brands over the years getting access to their press fleet. Each week I would do a written review, and more recently video reviews.

“Adding video reviews has been a big learning curve for me.”

Bowen is a delight to listen to with his special laid-back, quirky style. “Cars without the jargon” is one of the phrases he uses to describe his brand.

Monetising the new venture will come, he feels, but it will take time. “I want to remain independent so taking money from car brands is a conflict. We are out looking for other sponsors and I am working on that with a marketing company. It will be a long, slow burn and I am hoping for some decent results later this year.”

Bowen’s best work in audio since he left 2GB was his time with former 2GB colleague Trevor Long on the EFTM podcast. Now out on his own, Bowen is building his own podcast business and is doing some recording with another great who passed in and then out of EFTM, Geoff Quatttromani.

“I am reasonably happy with how many listeners I have been getting. But I wanted to improve the quality so I have been building a home studio. I will know start pumping out more podcasts as I structure the working week around Bowen’s Garage.”

Bowen shares the studio with his wife, Network 10 news reporter Gillian Bowen, who has recorded some voiceovers there.

Bowen meets the Porsche Taycan electric car in September 2019 near Berlin

One project Bowen worked on after 2GB was the ambitious radio streaming strategy News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph embarked on with Miranda Devine in 2018 before she headed off to work in the US. “At the same time News Corp started heavily investing in podcasting and the Hedley Thomas series The Teacher’s Pet went off and they had huge success,” said Bowen.

Bowen keeps his neighbours entertained with the different cars that appear in his driveway in northwest Sydney – including McLarens and Ferraris – although there are plenty of Hyundai and Toyota badges too. He did have a Rolls Royce Ghost too. The car, worth close to half a million, didn’t fit in the garage so it was parked on the nature strip overnight!

Listen to Bowen’s Garage here.

Quarter of all Australians listening every week

The latest data from Edison Research’s Infinite Dial Australia was released this week. The headline stat about podcasting was that 26% of Australians are listening to a podcast every week. That compares with 41% of people in the US. Across a month, 37% of people are listening to one or more podcasts.

The awareness of podcasting across the general population here is 91%, compared to 78% in the US.

Podcast listening: 87% of podcast listening happens in the home. 59% in car/truck, 51% while walking and 39% on public transport.

The average listener is consuming five podcasts a week and 73% of people listen on a mobile device.

Read more about The Infinite Dial Australia 2021 here.

Acast launches sponsored stories in Aus and NZ

Acast has launched Sponsored Stories in Australia and New Zealand, a new ad offering available exclusively through the Acast Marketplace. Sponsored Stories take traditional sponsorship reads further, giving advertisers longer spots with high production values, more opportunity for storytelling, and a greater share of voice within ad breaks.

Unlike branded segments that are baked into specific podcast episodes, Sponsored Stories — like Acast’s traditional ads and sponsorships — are dynamically inserted in ad breaks across a show’s entire back catalog, and are available to buy across any of the network’s growing global portfolio of more than 25,000 shows. Ads will run anywhere from 90 seconds to four minutes in length. 

Sponsored Stories has also launched globally, and one organisation already taking advantage of Sponsored Stories is the Department for Education (DfE), which ran a campaign in the UK to promote its Get Into Teaching programme. The DfE sponsored the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast, with the hosts talking to teachers at different stages in their careers about why it’s such a rewarding profession.

Em gets “sweet, sweet” cash from Spotify

Former PodcastOne host Em Rusciano left the platform late last year. She moves her now indie podcast onto the Spotify platform from May 13 as one of the first Spotify exclusives. Listeners won’t be able to get it on any other platform.

Speaking to her Emsolation audience about her new deal, Rusciano said: “Our little pod has levelled up and will be one of Spotify’s first Australian Exclusives. It’s a big deal. The fact that they chose us to be one of the first is most excellent. The changeover will happen on May 13, so you have until then to download the app and get your head around it. Just to be clear you’ll only be able to hear us on Spotify. No other app. Spotify are paying sweet sweet cash for the privilege and we love them for it! But it’s free for you! It’ll always be free. Yay us. Yay you. Yay. I’m actually beside myself despite the lacklustre yays.”

MAFS couple sign with Podshape

Married at First Sight‘s Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson have landed a new podcast gig with Australian Independent podcast producer Podshape.

The most controversial couple from this years season of MAFS will aim to provide a warts and all look at the development of their relationship. They will also talk to guests who have met the same way both successfully and unsuccesfully.

Ruthven said: “We met in usual circumstances but we’re just like any normal couple, I’m excited to let people inside how lives and our relationship”.

Rawson added: “I’m looking forward to showing our relationship for what it actually is and giving an insight into Bryce and myself”.

What Happens After… the first episode is available from Tuesday 4th of May on Apple Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen free to podcasts.

You can hear the trailer here

SEN’s Craig Hutchy everywhere

On the weekly media podcast The Sounding Board, co-host Damian Barrett noted this week that his colleague and Sports Entertainment Network co-founder and CEO Craig Hutchison is getting close to being as much in the spotlight as Eddie McGuire used to be years ago.

Hutchison co-hosts The Sounding Board, co-hosts Off the Bench on SEN 1116 on Saturdays and hosts the Monday episode of Nine’s Footy Classified. He’s recently also featured in a cover-story in Nine’s The Good Weekend.

Corrie Perkin (right) with her guests Clare Wright and Hutchy

If too much Hutchy is not enough, then tune into SEN’s Don’t Shoot the Messenger podcast where Craig and his partner Clare Wright are the guests of co-host Corrie Perkin. They filled the seat normally occupied by Caroline Wilson who has somehow slipped out of Australia to be with her daughter as she gave birth in Amsterdam.

Hutchison is something of a podcast pioneer and SEN has two of the top four radio podcast programs – SEN Melbourne Breakfast with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson and the daily Melbourne morning show Whateley.

Last week the broadcaster reported sports fans across the country are heading to Sports Entertainment Network’s (SEN) app and website to get the latest in sports news and opinion.

Across the week, 98,500 sports fans downloaded 523,800 SEN podcasts.

Listen to Don’t Shoot the Messenger here.

Podcast Week


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