Podcast Week: Hitting the right notes on LiSTNR + behind Life Uncut

• Toni & Ryan, Michael Theo, Mean-agers, Crypto Curious, The Pursuit Of The Secure Board podcast , and Teacher by Trade

Compiled by Trent Thomas and Tess Connery

Behind the music on LiSTNR with Adam Williscroft 

With LiSTNR already nine months old, there has been a lot of coverage about the platform’s torrid greenlighting of quality podcasts. But there has also been a series of exclusive music content announced by the platform that has involved an all-star lineup that includes Dannii Minogue, Ed Sheeran, and Nikki Sixx.

Podcast Week‘s Trent Thomas caught up with LiSTNR music content director Adam Williscroft to talk about the robust music offering the platform has been putting together. 

“The business is about establishing LiSTNR as the go-to digital audio destination for Australians,” said Williscroft. “The music pillar within LiSTNR offers a richness of content that not only supports the podcasts, the radio and the live pillars but can offer deeper content opportunities within music and the aggregation of the assets across the music podcasts, as well as the music playlists channels. We’ve got 25 mood and genre-based music channel offerings alongside the actual podcast products within the music pillar as well.”

Adam Williscroft

Asked about audience migration when it comes to the music content on LiSTNR, Williscroft said that things are on target, but it is early days and they are still collecting data.

Everything is in growth. We have a bullish ambition, and we are meeting our targets on the roadmap. LiSTNR is nine months old. We’re still very much in that horizon one phase. A lot has been said about the years of development, but the reality is, we’re still very much a newborn. While we’re seeing some really solid consumption, the more data we get, the more we can tweak and modify. We can do a complete 180 if we decide. Ultimately the data will drive us.”

Williscroft said that by focusing on the exclusive music properties, LiSTNR is giving record labels and artists new avenues to create new content and to promote their work.

“There’s the creativity side, there is the promotion side, but then there is also the fact we’re giving audiences more engaging content to consume on their favourite artists with their favourite songs. That exclusive offering for LiSTNR is certainly filling a bit of a void.”

Part of that exclusive offering has featured both domestic and international talent which Williscroft said has led to some exciting and interesting projects.

“We’re doing a great series with Dannii Minogue at the moment, The 90s with Dannii. We are about to publish Dannii’s Christmas Party, which will be an episode for Christmas that features not only great Christmas songs, but some family and friends, Kylie (Minogue) pops up, Rob Thomas, and Delta Goodrem will also appear in that episode.

Life Uncut

“Nikki Sixx has just written a book and we had the opportunity to collaborate on a music podcast, which he’s not done before. We were able to put together a couple of episodes on his journey to now plus also the future and involved the music from his bands.

Life Uncut

“Ed (Sheeran) agreed to host Essential Vinyl. He goes very personal. He calls this time of his life his quarter-life crisis. Got a new baby, a new wife, and of course the loss of a mentor and friend in Michael Gudinksi. He was very giving with what he gave us. Very intimate backstories about his music and his stage of life. To be able to offer that as a podcast is another great avenue for an artist to be creative.”

Life Uncut

Another project that excites Williscroft is a look at some of the classic hits of 1991, and an upcoming collaboration with James Blunt.

“We did another miniseries within the essential vinyl structure around the Class of 91. A bunch of these great albums have just turned 30 and so we were able to stop and lift the lid on Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and all these big iconic bands that released albums within such a short window of each other 30 years ago. To be able to do a little miniseries around that has really fun to do.

“We’re about to publish something with James Blunt where it’s stories from his life that will be a not faithful work episode. He’s a very interesting person that’s going to take a lot of people by surprise with.”

[Listen to LiSTNR’s music content here]

Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne on two years of Life Uncut

Talking about all things love, life, and everything in between, nothing is off-limits on Life Uncut, hosted by Bachelor alumni Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne. Life Uncut launched in July 2019 and is currently sitting in the top three in both the Top 100 podcast ranker and Top 100 All-Australian podcast ranker – rubbing shoulders with pods like Hamish and Andy and Casefile.

Hockley and Byrne spoke with Podcast Week‘s Tess Connery for a feature that will be published in full tomorrow.

Life Uncut

Below is an exclusive excerpt for Podcast Week discussing how the pair feel making the podcast now compared to when they first started. 

Hockley: For me – and I think Laura would agree – nothing feels that different. Maybe that’s because we still do everything ourselves, which we always have from the start. We still record in our own houses in our underwear. We’ve employed one person to help us this year, but we’ve kept it very organic and very much how we started. 

For me, we’re still in the beginning stages of the podcast. We still just feel like we talk to each other, we forget how many people we’re actually broadcasting to! I feel slightly more organised and slightly more comfortable in front of the microphone, but otherwise, I feel very similar to the beginning. 

Byrne: We employed Keeshia [Pettit], who’s our producer who works with us, and she’s just the best. It’s been nice adding someone to the team who’s been able to help with some of the heavy lifting. But Britt and I when we started, we really had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t know how podcasting works, we didn’t know how to do recordings, we had to get a little bit of help to be able to figure out how to set all those things up. One of the big things was that we had to teach ourselves how to edit. Now, that side of things is really second nature. 

The fact that it’s been going for two years now feels surreal because it feels like we only started it yesterday. There’s a little bit more confidence that comes with it, we’re a little bit more confident in our abilities. But we’re always trying to make it a better and more engaging podcast, so there’s always so much work to be done.

The full interview can be read tomorrow on mediaweek.com.au.

[Listen to Life Uncut here]

Toni & Ryan’s podcast passes the one million downloads mark

The pairing of Toni Lodge and Ryan Jon has proven fruitful this week after the duo’s podcast hit a major seven-figure milestone, becoming one of a handful of independent Australian podcasts to reach one million downloads in two months.

Toni & Ryan launched the podcast on August 23, and it was quickly snapped up by ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia and climbed official podcast charts in Australia and abroad. 

Life Uncut

Toni Lodge & Ryan Jon

To ensure they could keep the podcast going, and continue to fund the production, Toni & Ryan launched a community for fans on Patreon, where they “regrettably” committed to eating one nugget for every one subscriber that joined in October.

[Listen to Toni & Ryan here]

Love On The Spectrum’s Michael Theo releases debut podcast

After capturing hearts across the world on Love On The Spectrum, Michael Theo is making his way into the ears of many in his debut podcast Mr A+, out now.

Mr A+ is a safe space to celebrate individuality and to explore conversations of all sorts. From dating & relationships to pop-culture and acting, all the way to Thomas the Tank Engine (Michael’s favourite topic). Each topic on Mr A+ is discussed in an open, supportive and respectful manner.

“This podcast is about bringing love, positivity & entertainment into people’s lives. People really need that after the dark few years we’ve just had,” Michael says.

Mr A+ will be released weekly each Tuesday and is available wherever you get your podcasts.

Mr A+ is the latest addition to DM Podcasts, which will feature on the Nova Entertainment Podcast Network (NEPN) as a part of an ongoing partnership.

[Listen to Mr A+ here]

Meshel Laurie’s production company releases Mean-agers

Actor, author, activist and podcast creator Madeleine West will present Mean-agers, a new weekly podcast series about the challenges of parenting teenagers.

West joins co-host, child psychologist Angela Murray, to tackle the everyday issues that parents are facing. 

“Many of the topics we deal with are the big things parents must face day in, day out,” West said.

“We have conversations about the different challenges of raising teens, we discuss the outbursts and why they happen and provide the tools for dealing with everything from teen anxiety to eating disorders in a safe environment.

“We shed tears and have some laughs. The issues we tackle are brutally honest and really sing to the heart.”

West has partnered with Meshel Laurie’s podcast production company, Smart Fella Media, to deliver the Mean-agers series.

Meshel Laurie, said: “Mental health experts the world over tell us the two groups hardest hit by the isolation and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic have been teenagers and mothers. As if they didn’t argue enough!

“So we thought it was time we shoved fake Instagram perfection in the kitchen junk drawer and wrapped our arms around real feelings, even if they’re sometimes a bit awkward, embarrassing or even shameful because even though we love our kids, sometimes we don’t like them very much.”  

Smart Fella is a part of the Acast Creator Network.

[Listen to Mean-agers here]

Cryptocurrency app Bamboo launches Crypto Curious podcast

Cryptocurrency micro-investment app, Bamboo, is launching its first podcast Crypto Curious via Acast, partnering with finance and investing media brand, Equity Mates Media.

The podcast launched its first three episodes on Monday 8 November which looks to clear the air on all things crypto.

The show will release weekly episodes from then each Monday, with the first slew of episodes a ‘back-to-basics’ guide on the ins and outs of cryptocurrency before then delving into more topical and complex questions, as well as interviewing some Australians at the forefront of the technology in Australia.

Bamboo colleagues, Blake Cassidy (CEO), Tracey Plowman (COO), and Craig Jackson (Head of Growth) will be joining up to offer their combined knowledge of nearly 10 years in the crypto space to explain complex topics in an easy-to-understand format.  

Bamboo CEO Blake Cassidy says learning about crypto can be fairly daunting and intimidating for most people, especially for those who are new to any kind of investing.

“Whether you’re looking for crypto, holding crypto, or ‘hodling’ crypto then you may want to tune into our Crypto Curious podcast,” Cassidy said. 

[Listen to Crypto Curious here]

Authors launch In The Pursuit Of The Secure Board podcast 

The authors of The Secure Board Book have announced their new podcast series, In Pursuit of The Secure Board, will be available from Wednesday, 10 November. 

Authors Claire Pales and Anna Leibel will release a new episode each week to provide Australian company directors and executives with relevant and timely information to enhance their understanding of cyber risk and how to help protect their organisation given the constantly evolving threat landscape. 

Anna and Claire offer 50 years of combined experience as leading experts in cybersecurity, digital, IT risk management, governance and fiduciary obligations.  

The podcast series will guide listeners to grow their understanding of cyber risk management and how to lead organisations during the constantly evolving cyber risk landscape.

Each episode of In Pursuit of the Secure Board will pose a central question, use current data to respond and give three clear learning outcomes with stories to support practical application and understanding. 

[Listen to In Pursuit of the Secure Board here]

Teacher by Trade podcast shines a light on teachers turned entrepreneurs 

Teacher turned entrepreneur, Kelly Harrison, will launch her podcast Teacher by Trade on Thursday 11 November. Produced by Piccolo Podcasts, in each episode Harrison interviews a teacher who now runs their own business, either alongside their teaching careers or as full-time ventures after leaving the classroom. 

“As a teacher who owns a business I wanted to talk to other teachers in the same situation. I feel like educators bring a unique perspective to entrepreneurialism and I wanted to share those stories to encourage other teachers with business ideas,” said Kelly. 

“In terms of education in Australia, we are fed so many stories of supposedly low standards and a never ending focus on standardised test results. I’m excited to contribute something new and positive to the narrative of teaching in Australia.”

Teacher by Trade is not just about teachers leaving the classroom, it’s a celebration of multi-passionate, highly skilled and creative educators, many of whom run businesses alongside teaching.” 

[Listen to Teacher By Trade here]

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