Podcast Week: Howie & Kelly, Cath & Sarah, Bruce & Barack, Chas & Dave

Plus Spotify’s Stream On – promising to take advertising to the next level

Podcast Week compiled by James Manning

Games on: Howie and Kelly finally catch up

One of the most popular prolific podcasters Mark Howard finally snared a key interview he has been hanging out for. When Mediaweek first spoke to Howard about his LiSTNR series The Howie Games in Podcast Week, he said his ultimate guest was world surfing great Kelly Slater. This week Howie has finally caught that wave, releasing his interview with Slater.

“From day one of The Howie Games, over four years ago, one of the aims of the show was to have Kelly Slater on as a guest,” Howard reminded Mediaweek. “He is an iconic athlete and an 11-time world champion who has been at the top of his sport for 20 years.”

So just how was the surf champ lured to The Howie Games?

“A previous guest of the show and great friend of Kelly’s, Trevor Hendy, put us in touch three years ago,” explained Howard. “Since then, there have been multiple text messages and potential recording times that haven’t quite panned out, typically due to the fact that Kelly has gone surfing!

Finally, we were able to sort out a specific time when Kelly had some down time in Hawaii. I was pumped to say the least when he popped up on Zoom. He couldn’t have been more generous with his time and the episode is everything I could have hoped for. It’s a phenomenal insight into what it takes to be the best of all time.”

In the episode Slater explained his reluctance to guest on a podcast: “I don’t love doing a lot of these things. I don’t have to by my contracts. If I’m going to do them, I like to give my attention to them. Thanks for being patient and letting the moment happen as it would.”

Listen to The Howie Games here.

Cath and Sarah’s Not Another Parenting Podcast

Cathrine Mahoney and Sarah McGilvray formed a strong bond while working together at Nova 969 on the Fitzy and Wippa breakfast show. Mahoney behind the scenes on PR and McGilvray as producer/PD and talent. They have launched a new podcast, Not Another Parenting Podcast, but it wasn’t their first idea for a series together.

“We used to always have a coffee catchup after the show and when Cath left Nova we hatched a few podcast ideas,” McGilvray told Podcast Week.

Sarah McGilvray and Cathrine Mahoney

“Three years ago we first started planning, before the podcast curve almost,” added Mahoney.

McGilvray: “I just had my first child and we thought it might be good to record a podcast in a car.”

Mahoney: “It was called Two Birds in a Motor.”

McGilvray: “We had a guest in the back of my car shoved in beside my baby seat. We realised we wouldn’t be able to be moving in the car because of the noise of the motor and the challenge of holding the equipment.”

Mahoney: “It was a bit of a mess.” [Laughs]

McGilvray then had another baby which delayed the start of their podcast partnership.

Separately both can also be heard on other podcasts. McGilvray co-hosts another parenting podcast, Kidspot’s The Juggling Act, and Mahoney has her own podcast So, I Quit My Day Job.

As to the name of their new podcast. Could Not Another Parenting Podcast be construed as being too negative? “You say negative, I say realistic,” laughed McGilvray. “I am yet to meet a parent who wouldn’t agree with us that you wouldn’t love to give your kids away some days.”

Mahoney: “This is truly not another parenting podcast. You will be learning nothing, there will be no parenting tips.

Listeners can expect to hear lots about the lives of the two hosts and their adventures with their children. And other stuff too. “Like watching Bridgerton with your partner,” ventured Mahoney. “We want to give someone a 20-30 minute respite from life and to have a giggle out loud.”

There are guests planned for some episodes, Nine’s Leila McKinnon will join them shortly for one episode. “She is very funny and very onboard with our approach to parenting. Talking about things that are real and not always pretty.”

Listen to Not Another Parenting Podcast here.

The AFR’s true crime podcast about Aussie trading scam

The true story of Australia’s biggest insider trading heist, which turned $10,000 of seed money into $7.8 million in just nine months, is told in a new true crime podcast, The Sure Thing from The Australian Financial Review.

The six-episode series about temptation, betrayal and a dream of becoming Australia’s Wolf of Wall Street launched this week.

Two-time Walkley Award winner and Financial Review investigative reporter Angus Grigg narrates the series, sponsored by McGrath Nicol, which pieces together a devastatingly simple scam that could be straight out of a movie.

When university friends Christopher Hill and Lukas Kamay caught up during a “two day piss-up” in 2013, they hatched a near perfect plan to commit under-the-radar insider trading, agreeing to work towards the relatively modest profit of $200,000.

Hill, who worked at the Australian Bureau of Statistics at the time, agreed to give unpublished data to NAB foreign exchange broker Lukas Kamay, who used the inside information to trade the Australian dollar.

The Sure Thing tells how the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission struggled for months to catch this “pair of amateurs”.

Featuring heavily throughout the podcast is Hill, white collar crime expert Clinton Free, two AFP officers and one ASIC investigator, who all worked the case.

The weekly podcast spans Chris and Lukas’ cooking up their plan, to the police chase, the pair’s eventual arrest and the brutality and violence of life in jail. It contemplates the culture of risk taking by young men, the worshipping of money on trading floors and if a second chance is possible for white collar criminals.

For Angus Grigg, who has spent two decades investigating fraud and corporate wrongdoing, including stints as a foreign correspondent in China and Indonesia, the story is a rare insight into the inner workings of a criminal enterprise.

“Thanks to the honesty of Chris Hill, along with the AFP and ASIC officers the audience is taken inside a criminal conspiracy, police chase and life on the inside,” said Grigg.

Listen to The Sure Thing here.

Planet America’s PEP podcast

It’s been 12 months since Chas Licciardello launched his PEP Podcast (Planet Extra Podcast) as a companion piece to the ABC TV show Planet America. (Now screening Friday nights on ABC TV Plus).

Chas told Mediaweek’s Tess Connery for Podcast Week: “We always did extras recording the TV show, because even before Trump we found that there was just too much news from America and we just couldn’t cover it all. We were conscious of the fact that people who watch our show, watch our show because they’re obsessed. If they just want superficial coverage of American news, they don’t need us, they can just go to the internet and there’s plenty of other news outlets that cover – even in Australia – American news. If they’re watching a specialist American political show, it’s because they really want detail.

“I read 14 hours of news a day just to be up to date, and so it seems a waste to do all that research and then not put it to air. So from the beginning, we’ve been running extras just to scratch that itch so to speak.

“Then after a while we just asked ‘Rather than doing extras, why don’t we just do a podcast?’ so people can have a place to regularly tune in for the stuff that’s too nerdy even for a specialty news show on a news channel. And if you ever listen to our podcasts, you will agree it is considerably more nerdy than our TV show. For those who are really as obsessed as I am, that’s the place to be – and I pity you!”

Chas is joined on the weekly podcast by Dr David Smith (Associate Professor in American Politics and Foreign Policy, United States Studies Centre and the University of Sydney).

Listen to PEP here.

Barack and Bruce: Spotify’s new Renegades: Born in the USA

President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen first met back in 2008 and later became firm friends. This week Spotify revealed how listeners can eavesdrop on their personal, intimate conversations in a new podcast: Renegades: Born in the USA.

The eight-episode series was announced during Spotify’s Stream On event (see below for more) and is the second podcast to launch through Spotify’s partnership with President Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground. Over the course of the season, President Obama and Springsteen will explore topics of race, fatherhood, marriage, and the future of America.

Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama

McDonald’s will serve as the first season’s presenting sponsor in Australia. Spotify has secured Dollar Shave Club and Comcast as the first season’s presenting sponsors in the United States.

Listen to Renegades here.

Spotify: Taking podcast advertising to the next level

As one of the many announcements at the Spotify Stream On event this week, the streaming company announced what it called “an exciting leap forward in audio advertising”.

Setting the scene, Spotify noted in 2019, Americans, for the first time ever, spent more time on their mobile devices than they did watching television. In 2020, audio was the #1 activity on mobile, outpacing stalwarts like social, video, and gaming. Podcasts have been at the centre of audio’s renaissance and today reach over 100 million Americans for over 40 minutes per day.

Spotify continued: Over the past year, we doubled down on our commitment to become the world’s leading audio platform. We introduced Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI), an industry-changing podcast ad technology that unlocks digital planning, reporting, and measurement for advertisers. We acquired Megaphone, a leading podcast advertising and publishing platform. We made strides to reimagine the audio experience with innovations like Video Podcasts and Music + Talk. And we continued to invest in content with the acquisition of The Ringer and exclusive partnerships with some of the world’s most influential voices including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and Joe Rogan.

Spotify is now home to over 2.2 million podcasts.

Introducing the Spotify Audience Network, the company called it a first-of-its-kind audio advertising marketplace in which advertisers of all sizes will be able to connect with listeners consuming a broad range of content across Spotify Originals & Exclusives, podcasts from enterprise publishers via Megaphone, podcasts from emerging creators via Anchor, and ad-supported music.

Spotify is promising to leverage its medium-defining technology to give advertisers the ability to reach its audience of hundreds of millions of listeners — at scale — both on and off Spotify.

All media available via the Spotify Audience Network will be addressable based on demographics (age, gender, and location) and audience segment (ex: fitness enthusiasts, gamers, luxury shoppers) with contextual targeting (ex: business & tech, lifestyle, gaming) coming later this year.

But the Network is not ready yet: We are in the early stages of developing this offering and look forward to sharing more in the coming months, said the company.

Read other Podcast Week columns here.

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