Catch Andy Petek on the #PirateBroadcast™
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[00:00:00] Introduction: Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
[00:00:10] Russ Johns: Welcome back to the #PirateBroadcast. And today we're going to be talking with Andy. We're going to be talking about a number of subjects. Some of the things that Andy has going on in his world and also some of the things that we need to have going on in our world. Some mental health wellness, taking care of ourselves and producing results and encouraging others to do the same. Andy, good morning. How are you doing my friend?
[00:00:33] Andy Petek: I'm doing excellent. How are you?
[00:00:36] Russ Johns: Excellent. Excellent. I was actually on a podcast earlier today and talking about the same subject and as a business owner and somebody that's been in the industry for a while in content creation, podcast, broadcast, live streaming, a lot of people are creating content these days. And so it's sometimes easy to recognize the wins from other people. And I don't think a lot of people understand how much work and effort and energy it takes to put and produce things in the world. And sometimes that can get exhausting for entrepreneurs. And so I want to talk a little bit about how we do that and what we're doing, but first and foremost talk about what you're doing with daydreamer media group and what your focus and attention is today.
[00:01:28] Andy Petek: Sure. So my background is actually in marketing for food and beverage companies. I owned a brewery for a couple of years. I worked in distribution and my team does everything from a package design to compliance with the FDA liquor control boards, organic certifications, all these things. And I actually relocated from Seattle to Denver. And you would think that a beverage marketing agency would do great in Colorado because there are 450 breweries here, but as it turns out, much like Seattle, Portland, San Diego people here in Denver are like hyper-local and that's awesome because there's lots of small products and great farmer's markets, but every single brewery here had a blood relative that designed their packaging and of those450, maybe like 10 or 12 of those distributed in other states. So they want some college kid to do gnarly graffiti art that's only going to be on this can for a limited release, whatever. So I actually started a podcast for the sake of meeting people called Colorado preneurs and I just profile local business people and it took off, went really well. We had a great time. And about a year ago, one of my social media managers said, Hey, could I be the producer of the podcast? Burned out on liking and following and all the things. And I said, cool, cool. But our podcast doesn't make any money and I have to pay your salary. So why don't we take on a couple other podcasts and we can pilot helping people do this. And one became two, two became five. Now we produce over 40 podcasts and a media company has spawned from it, which is very different. And you can imagine when people are faced with the opportunity of right now versus I'm an expert in beverage marketing. I have some background in broadcast, but as it turns out, there are seven or eight companies that have recently been acquired in the tune of 200 to $400 million by Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Amazon. And so everybody wants to get into the mass podcasting game, but after those ones, there is a Herculean leap down to less than $5 billion valuations. And there's a handful of mediums, but it's very hard to get started in a podcasting network because the ability to foster a audience takes awhile when you're starting something from scratch. And we set out and started 20 shows at once, and none of them had celebrity hosts or big prior followings. We started 20 from scratch with people from all over the country. And we wanted diverse and unique storytelling. So over the past year, I gave myself a year to figure it out. And the year anniversary is actually today.
[00:04:18] Russ Johns: Happy anniversary.
[00:04:19] Andy Petek: Yeah. Have to decide whether this is a good idea or not. But anyhow, we're launching news websites, we're publishing books, we're doing a lot of podcasting. You and I were just talking offline about starting to do some video streaming or trying to diversify and empower a future of online storytelling that goes beyond people with professional broadcasting experience or significant financial resources. Because to be honest with you, last summer, I posted for some podcasts hosts and there's probably less than a hundred people in the United States that get paid a full-time salary to be a podcasting host. Among them. The Obama's, there's quite a tight pedigree of people that are able to do this full time. So when you're running and this is a whole nother element of running a network, because it's not like I own sports center and Dan Patrick leaves, and I can plug in Scott Van Pelt, like all these podcasting networks, the hosts own their programs and you have some kind of licensing contract. Or some kind of development deal where you own part of it on the backend, but the talent can bail. This recently happened with Barstool sports. They had a person who exited from a million dollar contract and went into a $60 million contract with Spotify. So anyhow, we set out to do scholarships and all sorts of development programs. We teamed with a lot of people, coaches and authors and creators in other areas. So if somebody has like an all-star YouTube, but they've never made it into a podcast, that's a sensible way to get started. But we hired a couple of new people, obviously audio engineers come into play and some more production folks. And we really set out to just let people tell their stories and hope audiences get into it. And we've had some that were colossal failures. We've had some that were surprise Cinderella's and it's pretty cool. I have a over a hundred people that get to write blogs and record podcasts and tell their stories to the masses every day, coming straight out of our studio and all of our virtual softwares. That's another thing you mentioned. We launched a business during a pandemic, learned how to harness online platforms like this, much like you have. And now we can record compression lists audio with people anywhere in the world. This sound like you're sitting right next to me in the studio. And we've really decided to harness technology in order to try to make some change out there and have different kinds of voices.
[00:06:53] Russ Johns: I love the idea of the storytelling element as well, because right now, there are a lot of changes in the world, there's a lot of evolution and ultimately we've developed the technology to the point where it's improved. And I come from, thinking of Seattle, I was in Portland, I moved to Seattle. I worked for the Ackerley group who owned the Sonics and the radio stations there in Seattle. And so that's my background, I started back a number of years ago, I'll say. Until clear channel actually purchased the Ackerley group out of Seattle. And now it's evolved into iHeart radio, which is another platform that has a network of shows that is syndicated across the country. We've seen the evolution of this come about. When I first started, there were only a couple of channels out there on the broadcast waves. And now it's thousands of shows, I think there's what two and a half, 3 million podcasts out now.
[00:07:54] Andy Petek: And there was one a year and a half ago. It's more than doubled.
[00:07:58] Russ Johns: Yeah. And the real fact though, like you mentioned is the fact that the majority of those podcasts that are out there, they get to about seven to 12 episodes and they realize, wow, growing an audience, isn't easy. You're spot on with that process. And so what has surprised you about growing audience in this environment right now? Is it that has surprised you or shocked you that you're reflecting on as you grow this network out?
[00:08:29] Andy Petek: You're the perfect example because you have professional broadcasting experience, and you have this pirate logo behind you. We are very much back in the days of am radio, right? Where people can broadcast them anywhere. They can say whatever they want. Great movie with Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Pirate Radio. Anyhow, so we really set out to do two things. We started with some very odd, we call them algorithm busters. So when we got started, we had one show that was a guy doing NBA basketball analysis, but his shows about sneakers. So he would talk about Jordan releases and the latest Kobe's and the cool shoes. 25 of the 30 minutes, you'd be talking about last week's games and this week's games and LeBron news, but because we were about basketball sneakers rather than being the 2000th basketball show, and you can't really classify a shoe category, but we tried putting our show in the fashion category for a little while, and it was pretty interesting. And that guy happened to have a background from a big broadcasting school in the east coast. And he brought on some interesting people and some players, but similarly sports betting just got legalized in 28 states. And we had a guy that was doing a golf betting pot. So he would talk about golf, same thing, but instead of being the number 500 golf podcasts, maybe we could be like the number four golf bedding podcast. And now there's so many betting podcasts, but we decided to try to integrate right with people that could make money offline. So with podcasts, if you want it to become your job and you want it to bear fruit, oftentimes what you have to do is grow a following. Maybe you sell a couple banner ads on your website. Maybe you start getting some advertising on your show and then within three or four years, you're putting out some kind of merge Patreon and then eventually maybe you have an app or a product of some kind, but the way to monetize podcasts is really education. Products are huge. Putting out a course, having some downloadable resources. But you see this thing now where you have somebody who starts out as a personal trainer at a gym in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and they're doing personal training and they say my time is limited and I can only charge so much and I only have so many hours. So I want to start coaching online where I can syndicate some of my content. So then they become an online fitness coach. And then that goes well, and they need to expand into fitness and nutrition and lifestyle choices. Okay, cool. So they're doing that. And then all of a sudden they realize that they're really good at that. And they're going to start offering courses on how to become a fitness coach. And then they're going to offer courses on how to become an online fitness coach. And then they're going to offer courses on online publishing and then they're coaching on how to be a coach. And they're not doing anything with fitness at all. So these people that evolve online every once in a while, I'm sure you've experienced,you're cruising Instagram and you're like, wow, there are people on here that are making tens of millions of dollars. And like I'm better than them at what they're doing, but they've been putting themselves out there and they've been honest. So we teamed with people that were positive vibes that in real life were coaches, authors, like I mentioned, and these are people who already have a course or already have a book. So day one, I come from a background in product development, mostly in perishable stuff with food or alcohol, but we have a gal that is patenting a bottle for protein powders. We have a person that's launching a clothing line. Got several books coming out this year. So we've decided to work with people where in the real world they can make things happen. We've got a really exciting new show that's launching with a partner of mine that is a sommelier. She's a wine educator here in Colorado and she is a influencer in the space. She's young. She's fun. And she's extremely knowledgeable. She's about to complete the w set 2 certification, which is getting pretty high. And now that there's these documentaries on Netflix about the master sommeliers, people think it's really cool that folks take these crazy tests. Anyhow, she's doing a podcast where she's interviewing winemakers from California and elsewhere that are cool and hip and trendy and changing because the space you run into with wine is either it's way too industry stuffy, or you're talking about the politics of the companies and stuff. People don't recognize the names or you're doing the one-on-one kind of stuff. What kind of things should I be buying to make spaghetti? Yeah, whatever. So she's doing like the culture of wine and why are people buying this one that has Snoop Dogg on the label? Whatever. So she's talking to all these winemakers, but then she's hosting these upscale in-person events here in Denver. And she's teamed with a local restaurant and a couple of local beverage delivery places. So people can taste, the wine maker comes out from California and then people can have the wine delivered to their house. And then later on. He releases wine clubs, stuff from the winery in California that they can have shipped directly to their house and they all become part of this. She's curating wine clubs, she's curating classes, she's streaming, but immediately all of these people here in Colorado for now become immediate tribe members and fans of that winery. And then all of a sudden they're joining the wine club. They're having those wines for parties. They met the guy in person. How often do people get to do that unless you're in the industry and this is going to allow us to put out a yearly wine guide book and instructional videos and streams like this of her interviews with the people. So you get to know what their faces look like, not just their name on the back of a label. So we've tried really hard to create this integrated platform and encourage people to be themselves. We have podcast hosts of every race, gender, religion, all these orientations, everything. And it's very exciting. And to be honest, it's been a very cathartic experience for me. I'm typically a bit of an empath and a bit of a helper, and we have a lot of folks that are yogis and we have a lot of parenting type things. When I started, I was going to tell you earlier, I guess I forgot, when we first started this, I put up listings for podcast hosts and we got 10,000 applications from around the country and most of them had a professional broadcasting experience. And it's sad because people want a job right now and they're willing to work for a commission or they're willing to contribute to their portfolio in a new medium or whatever it takes for the first time ever, you look at the news channels in your local market and the anchors are in their 20's. And before, you had to have 30 years of experience to hit the anchor desk, or you had to start in Kalispell, Montana, and then move to Abend, Oregon, and then to Sacramento and then maybe a Denver, but it takes a long time. It's like being a commercial airline pilot, you move up to the next plane and you have to become the copilot and then you get the pilot and then you have to do that. But that's why when you go on an international flight, the pilots are always in their 60's/70's because you get to that big plane with seniority. So we teamed with some people that were graduate, students that were doing a thesis kind of mass communication, and obviously a lot of mental health and family and wellbeing. But I got pitched an idea from a film instructor at NYU film school that wanted to do an eight person acting cast every week that were audibly acting out plays from up and coming playwrights off Broadway. Like they're very specific. I had a guy that wanted to do a show that was a stream about songwriting and he wanted to have a five-person band kit set up every week. He was here in Colorado and they wanted to show people what it's like to write a song and rock out on instruments. So we have all of these podcasts.
[00:16:42] Russ Johns: That is awesome. And I think it amplifies the idea that we have an opportunity to build communities around a podcast. We have an opportunity to create communities around an idea or a thought rather than the historical method of broadcasting and shooting it out to everyone and hoping the ones that need to hear it, receive it. And I think now we're in a world where technology allows us the opportunity to build communities and create conversations around a subject. Like you were talking about the wine sommelier and, we've got the drunken grape out there that is doing some great work. And also Morgan Faith is doing some stuff in New York like that. And it's just these different communities are showing up, sharing that information. And I just think it's an exciting time and it doesn't take everyone to be part of the community. You just need the right people in your community to build it up and grow it. And like you were saying, ancillary packaging and products and services, you can actually get products and services online now. So you don't have to have a million, 2 million, 10 million, 5 million people. You just have to have a healthy community that produces results that you can actually foster and love on and communicate with. I want to give a shout out to some of the people here in the community right now.
Marcia Reece, happy Monday all the pirates and our kind Admiral. We're doing Amazon lives with Marcia. And she does a product called Staywell copper and it's a germ killing product that is out there. It's doing some great work. And Elise from South Africa, very good morning, Russ and Andy and all the pirates. Fantastic. And you're talking about Wisconsin, Angie, happy Monday. I love that you're here. Martin is here, hey pirates and all of a sudden, Wendy she's here. I agree Marcia Reece, our Admiral is kind and his #smilesarefree. I promote the idea that #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree, Andy. Welcome to the pirate week of success and abundance. And Russ Hedge from back from Oregon, talking about Portland. Good morning. Martin says happy anniversary. Andy is talking about your anniversary of a year being on this journey. And Marcia says happy anniversary, what a fascinating story. Jenny Gold. Hi Russ and Andy. Wendy says, welcome, Andy. We need another assertive pirate on the ship.
[00:19:24] Andy Petek: Love it.
[00:19:25] Russ Johns: Fantastic. Martin asked, how do you determine your content theme?
[00:19:30] Andy Petek: We typically see what is out there. Now, we're at a point where we're stepping up a little higher and we're getting some athletes and reality TV people that are interested in creating products. It's difficult because do you want to follow the trend? This is a for-profit business and people look at companies like Airbnb or Uber, this isn't a taxi company, it's a technology company. And we are a broadcasting outfit, but because we're using all of these multimedia channels, we are delivering a technology. And so the biggest genre in podcasting is horror and true crime. So after Serial's popularity, there's a company out of California called Parcast that really launched with this. And it was a guy that graduated from Stanford. He and his dad started this together and they have, I don't know, 40 shows now. And they sold to Spotify for something like 190 million. And there's is a very interesting one because most of the other ones, one of my favorites is called the Ringer and Bill Simmons left ESPN, took a couple of producers, they have a lot of sports and entertainment shows, but they're co-branded so there's like a movie podcast and there's a TV show podcast. And then there's like a nostalgic movie podcast and the host bounce back and forth. So they go together. There's a really great one. I'll try to say this, right? This is a really great podcast network called Betches, b E T C H E S and they have Betches White House, Betches Bachelor, Betches whatever, but all of the branding matches and there's again, similar hosts to bounce around very similar people. And so when we set out, we were like, crap, what do we do? Like we're not going to be able to compete. And the two first examples I used were sports, but right now we're not about censorship or anything, we're storytellers, but we don't do sports politics or religion. So we're not trying to be on a polarizing end of something. We are very much positive vibes. So a lot of our shows are interview style. A lot of them are single or duo hosts bringing on experts to talk about topics, but when it comes to content, I was approached by a lady who had a gigantic podcast about a children's yoga. And we have a show that is, we have a show called Rossifari. There's this guy, John Rossi. He lives in Philadelphia and he's a traveling drummer. And he does drumming with a bunch of different bands and organizations around the country. And he just loves animals and he started going to zoos and he ended up getting to know zookeepers and now he's got this huge podcast. I It's doing extremely well. And he goes around the country talking to zookeepers and they geek out about like really meta animal stuff. But you wouldn't have thought something like that would take off. Our biggest podcast is called spy craft 101. It's a host of ours that let's just say lives in Langley, Virginia and has a pseudonym, but he...
[00:22:39] Russ Johns: Associated with a three letter acronym of some sort.
[00:22:42] Andy Petek: Correct. But he has a background in military intelligence and he has a website about the cold war and about spy clandestine, it's called your clandestine classroom. We actually just published his book last week of his first 101 stories, but there's gadgets and the KGB and all these weird things. And he's got an enormous audience. I think he's got 12,000 people on his subreddit and his show immediately kicked off. People are into it. And it's an entirely different crowd than our Rocky mountain yogis or our Seattle street artists or whatever, and it's an entirely different demographic. It's entirely different. I'm sure political and social views, but it's very interesting because our listenership spans from I don't think we have any teens, but really they're up, I would say 25 to a hundred. We have content for kind of everyone. And so today this anniversary was my day to decide was this endeavor worth it, I'm involved in a lot of different businesses and like you said about things, not needing to be gigantic or taking a while. I had a business that spawned from this doing media booking. I have a couple of partners that have backgrounds in TV production, and I actually, it's very odd. I have a business partner who runs a matchmaking business here in Denver, where our headquarters is. And she helps people find love. And she had this matchmaking company and I had this media company and we decided to start doing media matchmaking. So we have all sorts of entrepreneurs that pay us to get on regional TV programs and on streams and in magazines, all the things we are a PR agency. But we work mostly in talent booking. And when people come to us, there's a couple of different types of folks. There's people that say, I want to know how big the following of this podcast is in order for me to go on it, because I want the most exposure, I'm trying to build my audience and the opposite end are the people... If I went on a podcast, I don't care if it has 10 million listeners or if it has 10 listeners, because if it's really professional, great content, I don't care if this person has a ton of experience or if they're shows gigantic, because I have a pretty big idea. But I host several podcasts and you never hear me talk for an hour about my story. So if this guy is going to create, or gal is going to create really great content, I can turn around and push that to my audience. And they're the people who I hope see it anyway, so then there's a middle ground of people that want to maybe promote a book that they wrote or sell something or engage in some way with an audience. Very unique. And to come back to the question of how do we choose the themes of content? We really choose the people. We have had some folks that came on and totally shifted gears and did something very different. We have some people like me that, by and large, I sell booze for a living. I took some broadcasting in college and I actually did an internship at Fisher radio in Seattle. I met some of your cronies, but competitively, it's a bloodbath in those days, but anyhow I find really #interestingpeople that know really #interestingthings. And man, it's fun to be in the editing room because I would have known nothing about drones that look like birds.
[00:26:07] Russ Johns: Or children's yoga.
[00:26:09] Andy Petek: All of those things.
[00:26:10] Russ Johns: That's one of the themes of the #PirateBroadcast™, interviewing #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings and you fit the mold perfectly. So I want to give a shout out to Tracie. She's the producer of this show. She does the back office, the notifications and making sure that I stay straight.
[00:26:26] Andy Petek: Tracie is very organized. We haven't met, but I've got about six emails from her running up to this for the last few weeks, making sure I did not screw up. I was here on the second.
[00:26:36] Russ Johns: It's fun. It's fun. And I just wanted to give a shout out to Martin. Russ, great content. So your audience would love him. Russ has great content that your audience would love him. I think we talked about this and really it's really important for our own mental health and our wellness and well-being that we do things that we love. We appreciate what we're doing and adding value to the world. And I just want to thank you so much for being here, Andy, and sharing these stories. And I know we could probably go on for another couple hours with this, but I know that our time is valuable and I want to respect your time as well. I just want to stay connected and as a pirate, you're always welcome back. So anytime you're able to, let's connect and do a show.
[00:27:23] Andy Petek: I'm so excited to be a pirate. I feel like I need a badge or a tattoo or something, part of the clan. Thank you.
[00:27:30] Russ Johns: There you go. There you go. And as always, we have this theme in the #PirateBroadcast™ that #kindnessiscool and smiles are free. Thank you so much for being here, everyone. Thank you so much for attending and asking your questions. Love that you're here and showing up every day and we're coming up on 500 episodes a week from today. We're going to graduate into 500 episodes and shift out and change it up a little bit, but encourage your attendance and your attention and your being here every single day, Andy. Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you and the things you're doing, I'd love to talk to you offline about some of the shows and nerding out on broadcast and media and marketing and all the things that we've got going on. It sounds like we have some things that we could talk about for a little while. So thank you so much for being here.
[00:28:24] Andy Petek: Absolutely. Thanks, everyone.
[00:28:26] Russ Johns: And as always everyone, thank you so much because #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday.
[00:28:35] Exit: Thank you for joining the #PirateBroadcast™. If you found this content valuable, please like, comment and share it across your social media channels. I would love the opportunity to help others grow in their business. The #PirateSyndicate™ is a platform where you show up, we produce the show. It's that easy. If you want to be seen, be heard and be talked about, join the #PirateSyndicate™ today.
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