The Failing New York Times has done it again, folks. When I clicked on the article above, I was ready for a well-informed piece on the podcasting industry. Where is it going? Where has it been? What are the chances of success? How many people actually listen to podcasts?
Instead, I read a piece centered around a random woman who recorded a few “Life Advice” podcasts on her iPhone in 2016 to prove that podcasting has hit it’s peak.
In 2016, Morgan Mandriota and Lester Lee, two freelance writers looking to grow their personal brands, decided to start a podcast.
They called it “The Advice Podcast”
Each week, the friends, neither of whom had professional experience dispensing advice, met in a free room at the local library and recorded themselves chatting with an iPhone 5.
There are literally a billion podcasters in the world and this is who you picked? Two freelancers who recorded a podcast on their iPhone 5 in a library?
“We assumed we’d be huge, have affiliate marketing deals and advertisements,” Ms. Mandriota said.
But six episodes in, when neither Casper mattresses nor MeUndies had come knocking, the friends quit. Today, Ms. Mandriota says the same D.I.Y. spirit that made having a podcast “alluring” is precisely what doomed the project. “You can talk about the trees outside as much as you want, but if you’re not going to serve listeners and do it in a way that’s engaging, your chances of going viral are low,” she said, calling her show “the most makeshift podcast, with mediocre advice.”
I mean this reads like a The Onion article. “Two women start a podcast about life advice, quit after 6 episodes because they didn’t get 6-figure advertising deal” is a headline that would come from The Onion. Who the fuck wants life advice from two girls who record a podcast on their iPhone in a public library? Who even goes to public libraries any more? 72-year-olds on social security that want to look at porn? How about the audacity of this woman to think she should get a massive deal after 6 podcasts?
Ultimately, the article continues on to dissect the podcasting industry as one that is predicated on false hope. It all comes from the original thesis of the example of Ms. Mandriota and her failed life advice podcast. There are some good points made (not everybody is going to succeed (duh) and you need to differentiate yourself from other podcasts (duh)), but ultimately returns to Ms. Mandriota:
Meanwhile, Ms. Mandriota is giving podcasting another go. Her new attempt is an interview-style show about sex and relationships called “Hard and Deep,” and she’s committed to a longer run than “The Advice Podcast.” (If she succeeds, she’ll be in the minority; between March and May of this year, only 19.3 percent of existing podcasts introduced a new episode, according to Blubrry.)
“Hard and Deep,” oh so this girl is taking away Call Her Daddy’s audience? Best of luck.
“I’m going to have a set strategy, do the research and make sure I know what I’m doing, instead of just seeing what sticks,” Ms. Mandriota said. “It definitely won’t be taped at a library where janitors are walking around, yelling in the background of each episode.”
Brilliant idea, Ms. Mandriota. Brilliant.