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Industry Trends
June 14, 2022
min read
Noam Yadin

The power of plug-ins within a podcast hosting platform

We sat down with Craig Hewitt who took a deep dive into what it really means to be a podcast hosting  and analytics platform, how to succeed with private podcasting, the best way to monetize podcasts and the value of community within the podcast sphere. 

Craig is the founder of Castos, a podcast hosting and analytics platform, that focuses on helping brands create impactful podcasts. When he isn’t running his company, Craig is also the co-host of Seeking Scale, a podcast all about growing a SAAS business to meaningful scale. 

You can listen to the episode here: 

Highlights from the episode: 

Craig shares his thoughts on the following topics…

The value and future of private podcasting: [15:06]

“I think that almost all companies suffer from a degree of employee apathy and lack of engagement. This is a really good way to cure that. Companies that are coming to us and saying, Hey, we understand that we have this problem of low employee engagement and people kind of checking out the transition to remote with COVID has kind of emphasized and accelerated this for a lot of companies” 

How Castos stands out in the podcast industry: [24:57]

“Where we try to stand apart from the rest of the industry is that we’re not just some standalone tool that you publish your podcast on and then copy-paste it into a site...we’re building a tool as the center of your audio world and so we have a bunch of integrations and...automations and workflows to where things can kind of plug into Castos and things can kind of the result of something that happens in Castos...we all use a thousand tools every day and for them not to talk to each other is garbage”

Closer look at exclusive podcasts [43:43]

“We’ll continue seeing [exclusive podcasts], you see it with Spotify buying the Joe Rogan podcast and making it exclusive. I think it's tough because there are a lot of people that get very upset by the podcasting space, podcasting by definition is an open medium, all the podcasts an RSS feed that should be accessible for everyone. And siloing a podcast, is not the best way to do it...I think the better solution is make the public podcast available for everyone you want as big of an audience as big of a listenership as you can and then carve out a chunk to make behind a paywall”

What’s a trend in the podcasting space?  [45:21]

“Private podcasting is a huge thing and I don’t think many people don’t agree with that. But, the next step - I think the ad model to monetize podcast is going away very quickly because creators see that they can have much more control over how they monetize their content.”

What’s the best way for podcasters to be able to get in touch with the community [55:24]

“Add a consistent call to action in the podcast - Hey, if you liked this, come over to the community and continue the discussion here or, ‘Hey, I’m going to be live in the slack channel to be talking about this after the episode comes out”

Full Transcript: 

David Tintner: Hello everybody. I am joined here today with Craig Hewitt, the founder and CEO of Castos, Craig, 

Craig Hewitt: how's it going? Doing well, David, thanks for having me. 

David Tintner: Thanks a lot for joining us. And I'm super interested in talking with you today because, we are diving deep into the world of podcast hosts, at thought leaders.

David Tintner: So I have a ton of facts for you about podcast hosts and your journey there before we get into, Castos and what you're doing today, I'd love for you to just give us kind of the quick background that took you to Castos and founding the company. 

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, for sure. So, so Casto itself is, is a few years old.

Craig Hewitt: We're about four years old. Um, [00:01:00] and previously I was kind of founder and CEO of a product I service in the podcasting space called podcast motor. Um, it was my first kind of, uh, online business baby. I like to say. and it, it kind of, , segwayed really nicely and still, still that service kind of lives inside Castos and we call it Castos productions.

Craig Hewitt: Um, but, but the opportunity came up to acquire a WordPress plugin called seriously simple podcasting. And that was really how Castos has got it started as we acquired this WordPress plugin with a bunch of free users. So it kind of, acquired, a user base or a marketing channel, I guess, or customer acquisition channel, that was not being monetized.

Craig Hewitt: And then, built the, the Castos hosting platform that integrated, uh, with the WordPress plugin and for about eight or nine months, that was the only way that you could use Castos. Um, and then we built, uh, to where you can use it by itself to where now about half our customers use Castos by itself.

Craig Hewitt: Uh, they don't have a dedicated website for their podcast, or they use it along with our WordPress integration, uh, through Sirius as in what podcasting. 

David Tintner: Very cool. I didn't know that, but that's how it all started from [00:02:00] this acquisition. I mean, that sounds like a pretty big decision to decide

David Tintner: to acquire 

David Tintner: another company or another product and then kickoff the business like that was that really big decision for you

Craig Hewitt: yeah. I mean, since it wasn't monetized, it, it wasn't a huge amount of money. Um, but it was a pretty big investment of like direction, you know, like we're, we're acquiring this and we're going to build this product, you know, it is to, to build products like it's just six months or four months or whatever of, of cost and effort and everything.

Craig Hewitt: And so, yeah, I mean, in hindsight, it's a pretty big bet that, you know, Hey, we're gonna, you know, put the capital upfront to acquire this thing, and then we're gonna go pay a developer for a few months to build the first version of the product. you have to feel pretty, pretty convinced that this will work.

Craig Hewitt: but we had. You know, another company in the space with almost the exact same model, right? There's another podcasting plugin and there's a hosting platform that's connected to it. And so we kind of just said, we think we can do it better than them. Um, and I think that's not a, I think that's not a terrible way to look [00:03:00] at it.

Craig Hewitt: You know, it's like, Hey, go into a space with existing competitors that people don't like, and that you think you can do better than, um, because it takes some of the risk away of like, Hey, is this new fangled thing going to work or not? can we have a way for people to find us and, and have a customer acquisition channel?

Craig Hewitt: If you can answer some of those questions upfront, then, then it makes it slightly less risky. 

David Tintner: So for you up front, the validation was basically that that WordPress was the customer acquisition channel. Is that correct? Yep. And, and what does that mean? Exactly if ever this is so basically people are going into the WordPress marketplace and that was your kind of like, they were just naturally with WordPress SEO juice, finding your WordPress plugin, because that's where 


Craig Hewitt: were searching.

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, exactly. And so it's kind of a freemium model, right? The WordPress plugin, it plugins in the repository have to be free and open source. And ours definitely is a, and then from there, some percentage of those people install the plugin, see our hosting option and upgrade to the paid service on top of that.

David Tintner: But it's [00:04:00] really interesting when you think about it like that, that basically your, original, um, user flow was all based on like the discovery that the marketplace itself would bring you, what were you doing to, to, I mean, were you doing SEO within the marketplace or what are kind of the, the ways that you're able to make sure.

David Tintner: I imagine if I go in today and I just pop a WordPress plugin on the marketplace and nobody sees it right. There's like millions of them. So what were you doing and how was that your discovery mechanism? 

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, I mean, that was part of it. Is that the plugin already ranked well for the term podcast even audio.

Craig Hewitt: And so we knew that, you know, people searching will see us alongside maybe a couple of other people that are suitable to kind of candidates for what they're looking to do. And so that was, that was part of the calculus like, Hey, this is a good base on which we can build and kind of de-risks as opposed to just starting, you know, a Calendly clone from scratch.

Craig Hewitt: Like that's, that's literally starting from zero and we, and we weren't. Um, so it was, it was nice. 

David Tintner: [00:05:00] Very cool. Okay. So you, so you start, um, building out the beginnings of, of what turns into Castos and you do it in a pretty different way. For most businesses, you decided to bootstrap it. You take us through that.

Craig Hewitt: Yeah. So, so we're fortunate to, to have like revenues from podcasts, motor the product I service business to support me and my family and pay, pay rent and things like that. Um, and, and support. The developer who, who kind of wrote the first version of the product. Um, and, and it was all I ever knew, you know, like I'd never raised money, uh, and subsequently like we have, but, but like never raised money, didn't understand what it was all about.

Craig Hewitt: And, and a lot of the, the kind of bootstrapper world there is this really bad stigma around raising money that you're like selling out and that you're not standing there for the customers or anything like that. And I think that could be the case, you know, true VC, you know, billion dollar valuation or die kind of world.

Craig Hewitt: But, um, [00:06:00] yeah, I mean, it was all I knew and we could do it. And so I think that that's like not a bad reason to choose to bootstrap. Something is like, if you can, from. Uh, capacity in a time perspective, you know, like a money capacity and a time perspective that bootstrapping just gives you options. You know, it's like being a profitable company, you have options.

Craig Hewitt: You can go faster and spend more money on this thing, pull back, just wait and kind of go slow. Um, and whereas when you take money, then a lot of those choices are taken away from you. Um, and I think that the degree to which you take money, I guess, uh, takes, takes more and more options away from you, uh, to where ultimately, if you, if you take VC money, you're on a track, you know, you're gonna raise a series a and a series B, and then you're going to go public or, or sell to a PE firm.

Craig Hewitt: Um, whereas, you know, the rest of us still have quite a few options, 

David Tintner: but when you decided to go that route at the beginning, I mean, you mentioned that it was the only thing you knew or that it was possible, but was there something in your head that was like, [00:07:00] I, I really value. The freedom to choose my track or, or was it just kind of autopilot?

David Tintner: It said, I want to build this business. I just do it. And we started growing. 

Craig Hewitt: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think that for me, like our situation's a little unique, maybe that the industry that we're in, doesn't lend itself to kind of slow and steady. Uh, certainly now, and even four years ago, it was not quite like this, but you know, you see Spotify coming in and buying anchor and megaphone and Omni studio selling to Amazon and all of this activity going on, uh, you know, both funding and like acquisition activity going on in the podcasting space.

Craig Hewitt: Um, more recently made me, made me say like, Hey, bootstrapping, this is, is not the right approach to the business now. Um, at the time, like, I didn't know any of that. And I wasn't really aware of like all of these dynamics. I just kind of said. I have enough money to buy this plugin and we can afford [00:08:00] five grand a month for a developer.

Craig Hewitt: Let's do this and see what happens. And, and we're fortunate that like, since we had the customer acquisition channel kind of built in that the company grew pretty quickly to where we could continue to grow, grow the company and spend money on things like more developers and marketing and things like that without needing to raise money.

Craig Hewitt: Um, until we got to a point where we said, Ooh, there's really something here. Uh, we've proven quite a bit of history and growth and everything, uh, to where like taking money is a as another kind of calculated move. Um, and we can get into that maybe. But yeah, that was, that was kind of the origins of bootstrapping for us.

David Tintner: So as I mentioned before, we, we opt into the interview, we're doing the same thing . We've always been a bootstrap company and these are questions I'm asking myself all the time. So what was that moment for you that you said okay. We're, something's different. Something changed like now is the time now is the time it's not a year from now.

David Tintner: Now [00:09:00] is the time to start, um, trying to raise money 

Craig Hewitt: yeah, I mean, it really was like a market dynamics kind of, uh, situation where, uh, like the, the advent of private podcasting kind of came about early last year, maybe early 2020. And we got into the space pretty early and saw some early success. And not just with, um, I'll say like conventional customers, but with some enterprise customers.

Craig Hewitt: And like, if you've ever sold enterprise, you know, like they moved the needle really quick. Uh, and they're, they're like big and complicated projects, uh, and sales cycles and everything, but if you can figure it out, like it really transforms the, the growth trajectory of the business. And, and so we, we, we just, dumb luck kind of happened into a couple of those opportunities and then said, We just want to do more of this, you know, we want to do more of it.

Craig Hewitt: We know that private podcasting is in its infancy, we're in the space. Uh, and if we don't do as much as we can into this [00:10:00] space right now, I'll regret it in five years when you know, some other company comes and becomes the market leader in this. It was, you know, Hey right now there's all this interest in activity and funding and podcasting.

Craig Hewitt: We are an established participant, maybe a leader, in some respects. And, and we have a, uh, a really good opportunity to take a big shot at this, as opposed to, like, if you keep bootstrapping, you can take a bunch of little shots. but if we raised some money, we go hire like five people right now, you know, and like five more people to accompany.

Craig Hewitt: Uh, you know, our sizes is a really big deal and you can start doing so many more things. Then, if we were to continue to be bootstrapping, it's just a function of time. Like, we'd get there eventually. But then like with the momentum of the market have left by then and like, would another player have taken our spot as, as like a leader in the space?

David Tintner: So a couple of questions, first of all, what take us through for everyone listening? What exactly is private podcasting and how did that come on 

Craig Hewitt: the scene about a year ago? Yeah. So, so [00:11:00] private podcast and think of it like a membership site in audio format. So you, you might have this podcast as like a conventional public podcast.

Craig Hewitt: It's in apple podcasts and Spotify and all that. And use it like as a marketing thing, you also might have an exclusive members only episode that comes out once a month, maybe where you interview. Uh, the Collison brothers, right. Or someone like that. Right. And that's like premium member, only content that is only available.

Craig Hewitt: People who pay like a monthly subscription or a part of your community or something like that. Um, and so for us, private podcasting has kind of two personas that are attached to it. One is that right? So someone who has a course or a membership site or a community where they want to kind of bolt on private podcasting as a way to share premium kind of content with our members, uh, on the other one, which is the, the enterprise one is companies using it as an internal communications tool.

Craig Hewitt: So we have a private podcastat Castos. We, we help, you know, a bunch of companies with [00:12:00] their podcasts internally for them to share information in a secure and confidential way with their employees, um, that they don't want to hop on another zoom call. They don't want to write as an email. They don't want to post as a memo on their SharePoint site.

Craig Hewitt: Um, and they want to give their employees a way to connect with this content that otherwise is siloed in some garbage, you know, intranet somewhere that they're never going to access, uh, in a way that's like mobile and on demand and, and people can consume it when and how they want. 

David Tintner: So, which one of those use cases led to the enterprise customers?

David Tintner: Um, 

Craig Hewitt: joining a little of both. 

David Tintner: Okay. Yeah. That's very cool. Can you walk us through what that kind of business model, what is it like a real, like a large account and enterprise for either a business that decides to accompany company decides to be something internal or someone who, um, decides to do this description model?

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, so, so I mean, a lot of our pricing is, so is that right on our website? So Um, one of [00:13:00] I'll take a, like a half, a step back a little bit. Anyone who kind of runs a SAS business that has the potential for expansion revenue knows that it is like the magic lever, right in the business.

Craig Hewitt: You don't need more customers. You just need your customers to kind of be more successful with your tool, to where they add seats to a CRM, or they get more email subscribers in an ESP, uh, to where you have a hundred customers. And this month they're paying you $15 more each and you magically have this magic growth podcast hosting typically has not had that kind of pricing model, um, kind of accepted in the industry.

Craig Hewitt: Um, you know, we have plans starting at $19 a month and for someone to grow from 19 to 49 to 99, used to be in kind of usually is like a feature gated thing. And then. Today our pricing is, um, private podcasting gives us the opportunity to price our service on the number of private subscribers that [00:14:00] someone has to their podcast.

Craig Hewitt: So think about, you have a course with 10,000 people enrolled in it and you want to enroll all of those people in a private podcast. We would price that based on the number of people that you want to enroll, as opposed to like the conventional podcasting world, where like, if you host this podcast on cast dos and you have a thousand or 10,000 listeners per episode, we, we price it the same.

Craig Hewitt: Um, and so just from a, like a unit economics perspective, um, it's a, it's a really big lever we can pull to say, like the value really is there. Right? So it's like an appropriate value metric in terms of pricing. I think that like the person with a 10,000 member, a course or student course. Is going to get a heck of a lot more out of working with us than the person with a hundred people in a course and offering a private podcast to both of them.

Craig Hewitt: So, um, so, so it makes sense for, for both sides. It makes it's a great opportunity for us to, to experience expansion revenue, um, and have higher price customers. And [00:15:00] it's a, it's a really good thing for our customers because they, they understand that like the more people they can reach in this modality, the, you know, the better, their communication internally, if they're a company and the better their connection with their audience or their students or their community is.

David Tintner: So, I mean, it sounds, that's exactly what I was looking for, what you're talking about, the expansion revenue there, or how that business model works in the private side so that you can get a single account paying a lot of money. Yeah. It sounds like private podcasting. You mentioned it came onto the scene, um, really heavily about a year ago.

David Tintner: Um, it sounds like that's something that a lot of companies are going to start going after. Is that the case or are you really, you know, firmly in the position of. Uh, it's like the leader in this 

Craig Hewitt: both. Maybe like we are very early in this as a, as a thing. Um, you know, we, we talked to, you know, very frankly we talked to a lot of, of perspective leads and customers and they say, oh, that sounds cool, but I don't have that problem right now.[00:16:00] 

Craig Hewitt: And, um, of course I would argue that's not the case. You know, I think that almost all companies suffer from a degree of, of like employee apathy and lack of engagement. Um, and this is a really good way to, to cure that. Um, But I also know that this is a new thing and the companies that are coming to us and saying, Hey, we understand that we have this problem of low employee engagement and people kind of checking out the transition to remote with COVID has kind of, uh, emphasized and accelerated this for a lot of companies, to where they're like, we're a re like a natively remote company, right?

Craig Hewitt: So like we've always been remote and we'll always be remote, but if you're 3m, right. And you've been in New Jersey or wherever they're from for 150 years, and then you just have to be remote, like, it's, it's a huge DNA shift for a lot of these companies. And so, like, I think a lot of them are grasping at, at a lot of different ways that they can connect with their employees because [00:17:00] their, their whole work life has been turned on its head, uh, recently.

Craig Hewitt: And unfortunately, I don't think that's changing anytime soon with, with what we're seeing of COVID 

David Tintner: yeah, it definitely was said. I mean, we're we're, as you say, we're, we're in the beginnings of this trend, which is only going to increase with people for the two use cases and maybe even more, um, finding private podcasts to be really valuable.

David Tintner: So the company use case makes a lot of sense to me. And that's, that sounds like a really smart way to do it, um, on the subscriber side, right? If we're, if it's sort of the other use case we're talking about is basically a creator comes and says, instead of going about monetizing my podcast, by trying to, in short, get the most listeners I can, and then sell ads to brands.

David Tintner: They're saying I'm going to monetize directly from those listeners, right. I'm going to charge them some amount of money. Um, and, and that's my monetization. Can you talk about some of the decisions that a subscriber [00:18:00] funded podcast creator would need to be thinking. Such as how much to charge or what type of content fits for a subscription model, instead of ad any other major decisions it might be making.

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, I mean, I think first of all, like the, the, the types of customers that we work with predominantly have, have something going on other than the podcast, that is that is a big value that they offer to, to people that pay them money every month. So it's a course, or it's a community, it's a membership site and they use podcasting as a way to communicate with those students, or members.

Craig Hewitt: I say that because the reality is for you or I to start a podcast. And the only way we make money is from our podcast is really freaking hard. And they like this dream of I'm just going to podcast and people are going to pay me $10 a month. Um, it is definitely possible and we have people doing it, [00:19:00] but it is the vast exception.

Craig Hewitt: Um, and so I think that for us, like as a business, it's, it's also more of a sure thing for someone to come with an existing business and they have these thousands of students in their course or on their membership site like that that's already there, like the value of, being able to connect with all of those people via podcasting as a medium, it makes just a ton of sense.

Craig Hewitt: Whereas. David deciding to start a podcast and charging $10 a month. Like you, you have a huge mountain to climb to, to, to market to those people, to convince them to, to buy, to have free content anyhow, for them to like to see as freemium. And so like, that would just be like the caution I would say is it's absolutely possible to, to create a really awesome podcast and charge money for it.

Craig Hewitt: Um, if you look at newspapers, right, as like the precursors to this, like the New York times, the wall street journal has struggled with this for a long time before they [00:20:00] figured out how to do it, I think. Um, and so I would just say, like, if you're thinking about that as the way, just be really sure of, of kind of how you're, how you're planning on doing it, which is exactly the question you asked.

Craig Hewitt: Um, and I think the, the way to do it, that we see the most successful is something like I talked about before, where you have some amount of content that's free and it's a, it's a podcast that's available on iTunes and Spotify and all that. And then you have some member only podcast content. And so that's one episode or two episodes a month.

Craig Hewitt: That is your best stuff usually. So it's the, it's the episode you record with the big name guest or the behind the scenes episode or something like that. Um, and generally people are looking at charging like five or $10 a month,, per person that wants to access this per customer. 

Craig Hewitt: Um, I think that one thing that we see as a commonality with all of the private podcasters in the creator space, like you mentioned, that that have in common [00:21:00] is they're all really good digital marketers. They're all really, really savvy with their marketing automation or email service provider really savvy with what's on the website and the calls to actions and kind of creating funnels

Craig Hewitt: and, and it's not surprising. I mean, like selling memberships, selling content is, um, is, is a really well kind of understood thing. And people, a lot of people are very, very good at it. I think a lot of us in SAS should take a lot of lessons from, from how they, how they kind of capture their audience and convert them.

Craig Hewitt: But, um, I mean, that's what I would say is like the best models we see are freemium where you, you released, you know, the majority of your content free, you reserve some of it under the paywall. Um, and then the best ones though have like something else behind it. And usually that is a degree of community.

Craig Hewitt: Um, so they have. Members talking amongst each other, whether it's a Facebook channel or discord or discourse or whatever it is, um, [00:22:00] a way for people to continue the conversation. Because a lot of times like the podcast is just the tip of the iceberg, right? The podcast is like the place where the conversation starts about this thing.

Craig Hewitt: And then you want a way for people to say, oh, I can't believe what John was saying about XYZ. I want to talk more about that. Um, so that, that is like a hundred percent. The thread that's consistent between all of our really successful customers is the degree of community that they have. 

David Tintner: So, let's say like the cure podcast subscription.

David Tintner: Now I'm only doing podcasts and I charged money for it. You're not very bullish on this as the trend in it. And it comes into all these other pieces and building something, and this is part of it. Right. But, um, when something I'm curious about. So we see like sub stack and Patreon and only fans and, you know, um, Andreessen Horowitz is investing in sub stack and, you know, getting there's a lot of funding going into this kind of like tipping.

David Tintner: Um, [00:23:00] not necessarily, it's not only like monthly subscriptions and also like tipping and, giving creators money directly from the audience. But, but it sounds like you're not super bullish on this trend. You're, you're playing it a little bit. almost a little bit safer than the subscription podcast should be something that's part of like the bigger picture, is that 

Craig Hewitt: right?

Craig Hewitt: Yeah. I want to be, I want to be careful because it's not that I'm not bullish on it because as opposed to the alternative, it's a hell of a lot better. Right. And the alternative you go to is ads, which is just horrible. Right. And like, I don't know that we will ever build an ad engine into Castos just because.

Craig Hewitt: I think it's a garbage way to monetize a podcast. Um, the much better way is to sell like the premium content directly. What I would say is that only doing either one of those is much harder than having some other big kind of piece of value for your [00:24:00] subscribers or your members or your students that they latch on to.

Craig Hewitt: And podcasting is a part of that. Um, just because there's a lot more value to it, you know, there's a lot more value to community than to just listening to a piece of audio for 30 minutes. 

David Tintner:  Do you think by podcasters have to choose only one monetization method? Could they like, could you do ads and have some of your content gated 

Craig Hewitt: and charge?

Craig Hewitt: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And that's definitely a, a relatively common one is, is like the, the public free podcast has ads in it. And if you want the ad free version, pay five bucks a month. That's the way that that's the way that some people do it. 

David Tintner: So, but Castos specialty, um, is, is the private podcast, right? When you go on your homepage, that's almost the first thing you see.

David Tintner: Right. That's really how your you're positioning Castos. for the future is that's our killer feature and that's our specialty. 

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Because, um, well one because like [00:25:00] conventional podcasting is, is pretty well understood. You know, there's not, it's not that complicated.

Craig Hewitt: Um, you, you, you store audio files, you deliver them to listeners, you give analytics, uh, you make it a really beautiful, cool tool. And, and, and that's it, but, but where, where we think differently, uh, and where we try to stand apart from the rest of the industry is like, We're not just some standalone tool that you publish your podcast on and then copy some crappy I-frame into, into a site.

Craig Hewitt: But like what we're building is our tool as the center of like your audio world. Right? And so we have a bunch of integrations and we're building out another, like half dozen this year to connect Castos to other things you do. So think about like, from a private podcasting perspective, if you run a Shopify site and you want to send like, kind of an onboarding podcast to someone that buys your premium thing, right?

Craig Hewitt: You can, you can do that today, right? With Castos uh, [00:26:00] think about like we're building an integration right now with convert kit. Uh, think about like, if you're using convert kit commerce and someone buys product X, you can go into Castos and say, Hey, when someone buys product X, subscribe them to private podcast.

Craig Hewitt: Uh, and all of these things and then on the, on the kind of output side so I think about like when I publish a new podcast and Casto send a MailChimp newsletter to my list. Um, so, so just building a bunch of, a bunch of automations and workflows to where things can kind of plug into Castos and things can kind of be the result of something that happens in Castos

Craig Hewitt:  Because as you know, like we all use a thousand tools every day and for them not to talk to each other is, is garbage. And, and we think of podcasting for like a really savvy podcast, or who's getting into private podcasting and doing other things with digital marketing tools. Like they want their podcast and the things that happen around their podcast to talk to the other tools that they're using.

Craig Hewitt: [00:27:00] And no one else is doing this. 

David Tintner: It sounds like you're really your target podcast. Or if someone who's running a business who has things to sell, who has merchandise, who has courses, who has the community that they're directly speaking to and engaging with?

David Tintner: Um, and it's less about, um, correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe like the super premium produced content where like, that's the only thing we do is this is our main show and we spend a ton of money on it and, and it's just like this show, you know, listen listening each week or each day. 

Craig Hewitt: Yeah. I mean, w we, I, we certainly have a lot of those podcasts, I think, uh, that, that people that are real purists in terms of like the audio and the, the, the style of podcasting from.

Craig Hewitt: Product and business model perspective, I guess, like there's just less we can do with that. Um, as opposed to, you know, the value that someone gets from integrations and private podcasting and things like [00:28:00] that, or were really, really high, um, for us, a customer that, that just tops and tails and runs their podcasts through a phonic, um, versus someone that spends 10 hours editing it, um, like to us, I think the value they get from our tool is similar.

Craig Hewitt: Um, and so we're kind of saying like, Hey, we see this place over here where people get a lot of value out of us, you know, creating a platform that's really extensible. Um, and so we're, we're catering to that side of things a lot. 

David Tintner: So what does Castos look like in three years 

Craig Hewitt: or four years from now? Well, yeah, that's, that's a really good question.

Craig Hewitt: So the second time today, someone's asked me that question. Um, so we're, so we're 16 people right now. Um, In, you know, three or four years, I would expect us to be like 50 people and serving, you know, tens of thousands of customers and, and hopefully very much a leader in the private podcasting space, both for the creator, you know, people that, that are using [00:29:00] it with their courses and communities and membership sites, as well as for companies as an internal communications tool.

Craig Hewitt: I mean, it is, like you said, it's front and center on our website and, and private podcasting for those two use cases is, is our big focus right now. 

David Tintner: So if I'm just doing the quick kind of back of the neck and not there is that if you're, if, if you're going from 16 to 50, let's say in three, four years, it doesn't sound like in your you're running like headfirst into another investment round, the bigger round soon or, or going, uh, hardcore, you know, VC route.

David Tintner: Is that correct? 

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, that's definitely the plan right now. And we took, we took a pretty big amount of money about $750,000, uh, earlier this year. And, um, and don't have any plans to raise. Um, and I, I qualify that with, um, like fundraising and venture funding or funding of any kind is just like a tool, you know? Um, and so if the best thing for our investors and our company and our [00:30:00] employees and our customers and me is for us to raise more money than we will.

Craig Hewitt: Um, but if, if it's not the best thing, then, then we don't want to go raise money just because we can. Um, because I think that's kind of silly. 

David Tintner: It's a pretty unique, I think, place that you're in, that you wanted the bootstrapping route at the beginning, and then you did raise some money, but now you're not necessarily raising more, right.

David Tintner: You're not like on the funding path. Do you have a, an exit strategy in mind for the company.

Craig Hewitt: there's a couple of options that we have. I think, um, if you look at like what we're doing, that they're a handful or a dozen, uh, people that you would call it, strategic opportunities, strategic acquire opportunities. Um, I, someone on our team mentioned this the other day that like, as we get into the private podcasting space, that things like Salesforce could be an opportunity to, to acquire us.

Craig Hewitt: I mean, they just acquired, finished the acquisition of slack. Um, and, and in a way, like what we're becoming is not so different than slack. [00:31:00] Um, and so, like, I think if you look at some of those kinds of tools, that that might be an option. I think about tools like teachable, um, potentially, you know, they are, they're also not so different than us.

Craig Hewitt: Um, and then I think. I think that, you know, the, the way we raised money also, you know, just lets us grow for another, like you said, three or four years. And then, um, you know, we do have investors and they do want to see a return. Um, and so at some point we will need to sell the business. Um, but, but I think we, we have the options to, to do that on our terms and, and you know, when and how we want.

David Tintner: Okay. But there's definitely, a clear, like we will sell the business at some point and, , it, it's not going to be that we build this business and live off of like killer profits forever. We're going to sell this business 

Craig Hewitt: I mean, when you take money that becomes. Yeah. Be like running a lifestyle business and making $300,000 a year in profits and stuff like that is just not, it's not a [00:32:00] responsible thing to do for our investors. Um, and so, yeah, I mean, we, we are building the business as, as smartly and as quickly as we can to make it as valuable as possible.

David Tintner: Um, something I'm really interested in asking you about I've heard you discussed this before, is that you believe pretty heavily in, in offering, um, service offerings for SAS companies. And that's also something that with thought leaders, we, um, we did from basically from day one that allowed us to get revenue from day one and build out our SAAS offering

David Tintner: and it's really something that triggered in my head because it's pretty unique. I don't hear that a lot, sometimes a stigma against service offerings and SAS, um, or that it's like not sexy revenue or, you know, that, you know, everything needs to be automation and infinitely scalable from the beginning.

David Tintner: Do you think that, um, there's still a place for service offers and SAAS? Do you still believe so strongly for it, with the investment or has that changed? [00:33:00] 

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, our, our Castos production service was a pretty big part of, of the investment. I think the only.

Craig Hewitt: Participant in the market that does public and private podcasting and has a professional services arm. So if you walk into again, I'll say like 3m and they say, Hey, cool. We want a podcast provider to do a public podcast for like marketing and branding. We want an internal podcast for corporate communications and we don't have a person on our team that can do all this stuff.

Craig Hewitt: We want to hire Castos productions at $200 an episode to do all of the work and we can go cool. We can do all of that. And so I think that understandably like, yeah, our services kind of hard sometimes. Yeah. Like you have, uh, especially the, the more kind of squishy the, the end result that you're providing is, um, the, the, the more complicated it gets, I think, um, you know, think about like, if you're a, a lead gen.

Craig Hewitt: Service and you [00:34:00] just provide a hundred leads to a customer every week. Like that's, that's pretty cut and dry. Um, for us, you know, as a podcast editing service, um, there there's a fair amount of artistic interpretation, I guess that goes into to what we deliver. But we've been doing it for like six and a half years.

Craig Hewitt: So like, I think we're pretty decent at it at this point. To answer your question, I would just say yes, I think it is something that everyone should consider. Um, does it have to be a huge part of your revenue? No, but, but if you don't do it and you don't have someone who can go and kind of own it, um, I think you're just leaving a lot on the table because what ultimately, what you're providing is like a partial solution, 

Craig Hewitt: And my 

David Tintner: favorite thing about the service offering is that it forces us to dog food, our own product. And, that we basically can drive the product roadmap from our own, you know, firsthand knowledge of like, this is actually the thing we need.

Craig Hewitt: yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, we, we test internal. Uh, like a lot of our new features with our Castos production service. Um, and yeah, [00:35:00] absolutely. It's, it's a great way to dog food stuff. Yeah. 

David Tintner: Do you have a co-founders in the business with you? 

Craig Hewitt: Nope, it's just me 

David Tintner: so that's also pretty unique. I, I was up in basically metaphoric for years and, and kind of only even for that, um, you're being the, the only 

Craig Hewitt: founder, mostly good.

Craig Hewitt: Like it, it fits my personality. Uh, well, like I, um, I would feel really guilty that I wasn't doing enough. Uh, if I had a co-founder, especially if we were similar I think if I had a technical co-founder, that would be really easy. Cause I'm not a developer. So like you go around the product, I'll do sales and marketing.

Craig Hewitt: But it's, it's such an intense relationship that like, I, I just, haven't been in the opportunity to start something with, with someone else. And damn it, at this point, it's, it's too late to consider a co-founder. But, but I will say, anyone that's a, uh, a single founder knows that it, it can be lonely, um, because you just, you know, Josh [00:36:00] Pigford called it decision fatigue, right.

Craig Hewitt: You're just making hundreds of decisions every day, all by yourself. And really there's no one to talk to because you can't go talk to, you know, your, your team members about certain things. And so I rely on, you know, advisors and coaches and peers and things like that. 

David Tintner: So then how is the company structured?

David Tintner: Do you have an executive team, or who's reporting to you? What are the people, the roles that you have in 

Craig Hewitt: the company

Craig Hewitt: the company? Yeah, yeah. So, so we have, yeah, we call it a leadership team and, and they kind of span the functional areas of the company. So support success. I kind of run sales. We have a head of marketing and then we have a developer manager

Craig Hewitt: And the last one is we have a designer who kind of owns product, but, but that's, that's a squishy kind of place for us. And I think that's somewhere, somewhere that we'll hire soon as like a product owner. At the point we are, five full stack developers and our front end developer plus a designer.

Craig Hewitt: Um, like someone needs to be owning product. Uh, we brought on an engineering manager a [00:37:00] few months ago and that's been really nice to really just organize all the work that the engineering and the product team is doing. 

David Tintner: It sounds, especially with the roadmap independent, you're talking about where there's a lot of integrations and a lot of, um, I guess, connected. Parts, right. It doesn't sound like your roadmap is very much about, um, adding a lot of things to kind of this core, host that you have as opposed to maybe a different type of company's roadmap would be very much like all let's we have this feature and let's make this feature better and let's add onto this feature , whereas you have a lot of connecting pieces, it sounds like it definitely needs, um, it's a difficult thing to orchestrate.

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, absolutely. 

David Tintner: I also heard recently that you, you acquired a podcast, is that 

Craig Hewitt: correct? We did. Yeah. We acquired the three clips podcast earlier this year, yeah, it's been a really great experience. J is you're talking about like a really premium level of content.

Craig Hewitt: And that's what three clips is all about [00:38:00] is how to, how to sound like NPR, uh, without having a 50 person team working on every episode. 

David Tintner: Wow. So what, what's the 

Craig Hewitt: secret, but you have to listen to the podcast to find out, but I mean, no, Jay, Jay talks a lot about like the, the craft of storytelling and how to create really good content, but then also like really good audio, really good interviewing skills.

Craig Hewitt: He's fascinating to listen to and has eyes on a bunch of really great guests and they can, uh, break down podcast episodes to really find out like the why behind a lot of what someone has said on their show. 

David Tintner: So how do you decide to acquire the podcast as opposed to, I don't know, advertising within it, or maybe a different model what goes through that decision.

Craig Hewitt: If you look at the kinds of things we want to do and the kinds of customers we want to be associated with, um, like nothing better than, than having our own like calling card, right? Saying like this is our podcast, this is who we are, and this is the kind of stuff we put out. And you were [00:39:00] fortunate that, that Jay has done all the hard work to, to build the podcast.

Craig Hewitt: And it has a really strong reputation and brand behind it. And we were able to associate ourselves with that now. Um, and so it's kind of the shortest route to say, like, Castos is premium content, um, and people who really take their podcast seriously. And that was, that was the goal of what we're trying to do with, with acquiring three clips.

Craig Hewitt: And I think so far it's been really successful. We've had a lot of really interesting conversations. I had a lot of really interesting, you know, folks come our way, uh, because they're, they're participants in the podcast and, and listeners to the podcast and kind of exposed to that world that Jay is crafting.

David Tintner: How do you get. The Castos brand out to people throughout the podcast. Is it, are you advertising within or how do you do it without like overdoing it? 

Craig Hewitt: Yeah. I mean, one of our, you know, main tenants with, with taking over the show was we're not going to screw it up.

Craig Hewitt: Like that would be the absolute worst case scenario is come in and stick a bunch of stuff in this podcast that doesn't belong. Like that's just, that would be terrible. Um, [00:40:00] and so, you know, Jay is really tasteful and now he does it, but, but he mentioned, you know, that the podcast is brought to you by Castos and has a blurb in each episode about some things that were, that were up to a new releases that we have in integrations and product features and things like that.

Craig Hewitt: So, so try to really tastefully, but, but intentionally, you know, mention what we're doing in the podcast. So folks know, Hey, three clips equals Castos equals, you know, whatever we're talking about in that episode. 

David Tintner: Okay. Very nice. Actually something that we've thought about, um, for as well. If we should try to acquire a piece of, uh, media, um, whether it's a YouTube channel or a podcast that someone that's doing, something that I'm speaking to an audience that is our potential customers.

David Tintner: Can you give me kind of a framework for, let's say valuing that or for another company that's maybe considering buying something. How do you even begin? Is it one way? I, for example, I thought I was thinking, okay, if I were to buy ads in [00:41:00] it, then you know this many ads, but how do 


Craig Hewitt: go through it?

Craig Hewitt: Yeah. I mean, that's not so far from what we did. The way it went with us just frankly, is, is, you know, we said, Hey, what about doing something together? Right. And that can mean a lot of different things. Can you, Hey, can we sponsor the podcast? Can we do kind of a, an exclusive series with you?

Craig Hewitt: Uh, can we do something else or can we do, like, can we go and get married all the way, you know? And, and, and buy the podcast and, and retain J a hundred percent as, as like the host of the podcast. Um, and, and like, if you think about you, you start putting a number value on any of those, and then you've got to extrapolate from there, like, okay, it's $200 an episode, just round numbers to sponsor an episode.

Craig Hewitt: Um, and then like an exclusive series would be a couple thousand dollars. And then the next step is a little more than that. And then, you know, taking over the whole thing, plus like, you know, some sort of retainer for, for you to stay on is, is more, um, so, so that's how we did it. Um, I think [00:42:00] you, you definitely.

Craig Hewitt: Do exactly what you're saying. Like, okay, Hey, for me to get this much brand exposure, we would need to buy X number of ads on, you know, related podcast. And we know that that means this. Um, I also think that, well, first of all, half step back, I think that's a fantastic strategy for, for anyone looking to kind of shortcut their, their way to, to being in front of like the right audience.

Craig Hewitt: And I think that, I think the other thing is like the, the, the person selling, it has to be on board for selling it, but also has to be on board for staying on because otherwise what you end up with is we've bought this podcast or this YouTube channel or this blog, and then the voice of it quite literally leaves.

Craig Hewitt: And you're there like trying to fill their shoes and probably won't do a great job. And so that was a really big part for us was Jay being on board with the whole plan and, you know, Hey, stay on at least for the first year, uh, and keep doing exactly what you're doing and we'll just be paying the bills.[00:43:00] 

David Tintner: That's really nice. I mentioned something that we thought about doing before and, um, and it was like, okay, how do you even go about valuing matter? How do you even go about deciding making that. And, um, and something that I'm really impressed by is that you made the decision to acquire something twice already twice a week that we know about on the show that we've been talking about.

David Tintner: So, you don't just talk a big game. You, you make the decisions and you need to go through it. And that's something that I can definitely admire as, um, we're, we're still sitting here and we have not done it yet. 

David Tintner: So 

David Tintner: in your case, the acquisition was, let's say a little bit less of like a, it's like a Castos exclusive, right?

David Tintner: Um, the, this, the podcast, can still be accessed from, from, let's say other, uh, players account. Like, it didn't become like a private podcast 

Craig Hewitt: right now. Right. But it's totally a public podcast. 

David Tintner: But something that, um, I think is happening a lot in the industry we're starting to see, or at least the beginnings of something big is, um, a lot of the big players not [00:44:00] necessarily hosts, but it could be host as well are, um, buying exclusives, or buying podcasts and making them exclusive.

David Tintner: Is that something that you think we're going to continue seeing more of and is that trend, um, does that affect you in any way? 

Craig Hewitt: Uh, I definitely think it's something that we'll continue to see a, you see it with Spotify, right. Um, you know, buying the Joe Rogan podcast and making it exclusive. I think it's tough because there are a lot of people that get very upset by that.

Craig Hewitt: Um, in the podcasting space, you know, podcasting by definition is an open medium, all podcasting is an RSS feed that should be accessible to everyone. And so siloing a podcast, uh, into only a certain channel. For a publicly available podcast. I'll I'll clarify. I think is not the best way to do it.

Craig Hewitt: I think the, the unbiased of course, but I think like the better solution is, Hey, make, make the public podcast available to everyone you want as big of an audience as big of [00:45:00] a listenership as you can, and then carve out a chunk to make behind a paywall.

David Tintner: What's something. Um, and you might've already actually said a couple of these on the show so far, what's something that you think is maybe a trend in the podcasting space that you're, you're pretty confident in or something you really believe in. And most people think otherwise

Craig Hewitt: try not to get myself in trouble too much with this one. But, like obviously I think private podcasting is, is a huge thing. And I don't think many people don't agree with that. But the next step of that is like, I think the ad model to monetize podcasts is, is going away very quickly.

Craig Hewitt:  Because creators see that they can have much more control over how they monetize their content. And don't have to, to sell out to Casper mattresses and all these things that just don't make sense with their brand and their message. 

Craig Hewitt: A lot more money and visibility is coming into the podcasting space. And for, for advertisers like that, that just means more money in the door. But, but I think [00:46:00] that what, what we're going to see is over time, savvy creators are going to say, like, I just don't have to do that. And so I'm not going to, 

Craig Hewitt: I think we'll see the influx of advertising dollars into the market, but I think also see more and more people kind of raise their hand and say, Hey, I'm, I'm done with this. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna do this. And a bit of an Exodus from, from people placing ads in their podcast, 

David Tintner: Something really interesting, that kind of was what you guys did with acquisition or the other models is kind of this, there's almost an exit strategy for podcasts creators for the first time.

David Tintner: There wasn't such a common thing awhile back. Um, it, wasn't such a common thing until very recently actually, but what I wonder in the ad model, and I definitely see the problems with just a pure CPM. Um, you know, it takes a lot of listeners to get, to be a podcast that can have any sort of, even cover costs for an episode.

David Tintner: Right. You want to, you want to transcribe your single episode, right? Or say it's 50 bucks, a hundred bucks for the transcription, you know, your hosting platform. And then [00:47:00] suddenly, you know, you're like, wait, I need a pretty decent amount of listeners before I even cover my costs. I don't actually make money, uh, during some of it's pretty hard work.

David Tintner: I do think that there's a place for brands to, let's say paid much more than traditional CPMs if they can get to do right. The right creator and the right audience that they're specifically looking for. And I guess what I'm wondering is, is there a way to vacuum be done? Let's at scale, right?

David Tintner: I guess you can't do every brand can acquire like every podcast at scale. Right? But is there a way that we can fix the ad model at scale where it can be really targeted? The brands are getting to who they, they need and they're willing to 

Craig Hewitt: pay much more for it.

Craig Hewitt: I definitely agree with the sentiment there that, um, like we're creating another original series. And so I guess I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth. We will sell ads on this but we will not in just the void of CPM and send this off [00:48:00] in some algorithm decides what, what ads they want to stick in our podcast, but we will go directly to brands and say, all right, we have this eight episode series it's about this.

Craig Hewitt: It's going to reach this type people. And we're going to charge $500 an episode, and, and like that is the way to sell podcast advertising, especially with shows without much history or without significant download volume it's a sales process. You have the value proposition of you and your voice and your content and your audience and how well that aligns with the brand that you're pitching.

Craig Hewitt: And, and it's not, it's not at all a CPM based thing. It's a value for, for this brand that you're pitching it to, to say, Hey, do you want to get in front of, you know, 500 of your ideal customers every week for two minutes? How else are you going to do that for $500? You know? In the right context and frame the right way, that's a really easy decision for, for companies, to buy into.

Craig Hewitt: Your question of how to do that at scale, I think is, is really [00:49:00] tough because it only works when you have really tight alignment between you and your voice and your brand and your message. And the company, the sponsor that sees the value of that. And so ultimately I think what you would need is a ton of potential sponsors for you to go into a conventional marketplace or something.

Craig Hewitt: I think that's just why you see the same advertisers over and over on so many podcasts. They're just not a ton of people advertising on podcasts these days. 

David Tintner: Yeah. With ThoughtLeaders one of the things we're able to see is the brands inside the episodes. And that's one of the things that we're tracking in the ThoughtLeaders platform. So we're definitely seeing a heavy increase in brands getting into podcasts. But as you mentioned before, you also said you think that the ad numbers will grow.

David Tintner: But something that I don't think has been solved at least across most brands is the ability to, track conversion really well, and basically build a machine out of their podcast, advertising the brands that the few brands that have done this, their better health, [00:50:00] hello, fresh, um, and you know, all the brands that we're seeing in basically every single podcast, they they're like, they're very few that have been able to build this kind of machine they're, they're paying a dollar and they're earning back a dollar 20 on the ads.

David Tintner: Right. but there's so many brands out there that are dipping their toes in the water now, because I think it's, you know, there's a lot of, um, talk about podcasts being important than advertising while they're still not able to figure out how to do that, um, really effectively and make it a profitable kind of cycle for them.

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, I absolutely agree. I absolutely agree. And I think, uh, analytics and visibility and trackability is, is a big part of that, right? As opposed to a, a Google ad words ad or a Facebook ad and the, the amount of data consistency you can get there. Um, and podcasting, it's just so segmented, you know, I listen to podcasts when I'm on a walk and then I come home and I'm on my computer.

Craig Hewitt: And then I end up buying later on the couch, on my iPad. I'm like, that's just super hard to track. I do think there's some companies that have figured it out and, um, and the more that the industry can [00:51:00] do to, to improve that trackability or attribution, um, the better for getting more advertisers into the market for sure.

Craig Hewitt: And increasing CPMs. Right. Cause then they'll finally start seeing the value of, of like their message on a podcast. 

David Tintner: How much are you thinking about, um, the analytics offering that you have the Castos. What are the features that you're, you're working on there, or the metrics that you're exposing for your podcasters?

Craig Hewitt: Yeah, I mean, analytics are a huge deal for, for all podcasters. I think, you know, we, we currently provide a lot of what I would consider, like our standard analytics. So, you know, downloads device, operating system, app, browser type, uh, geographic distribution. we have a unique metric that we call subscribers.

Craig Hewitt: Um, and it's kind of a behavioral based number that we give to you on a podcast level as a whole, um, you know, think about like how often people download an episode soon after it comes out. Um, that's like the behavior of a subscriber, if I'm a [00:52:00] subscribed to a podcast and it drops on Tuesday morning, I download the episode right away.

Craig Hewitt: And so, so we give our, some of our customers, uh, that metric. 

David Tintner: So that metric is only on certain plans. That's like, is that a more advanced metric? 

Craig Hewitt: Yep. Yeah. It's available in our pro plan. Is, is kind of like cross-platform too, so it's not just apple podcasts or anything like that.

Craig Hewitt: It's it's across all platforms. Um, and then this is different than 

David Tintner: let's say the subscriber number that's listed on the platforms themselves. It's actually, you're, you're basically, there's an algorithm for determining, um, within a certain timeframe if people are continuously downloading or is that on the right track?

David Tintner: Yep. 

Craig Hewitt: Cool. That's very cool. 

David Tintner: What can someone do with that metric or what's the, what are the action items that 

Craig Hewitt: I, yeah, so, so we, we think like, that's your core audience, right? So like in any podcast episode you have 500 downloads, right? But like the people that listen to every episode you put out are 

Craig Hewitt: kind of the ones that you really want to pay attention to. And so we think that the subscriber metric is, [00:53:00] is that that number right, is like, that's your, your core audience. They listen to every episode soon after it comes out. Uh, and we think that's kind of the gauge of who kind of your core audience is.

Craig Hewitt: Um, and then from there, you know, people kind of listen, onesy, twosy, uh, maybe on the website, if they, if they come across it, things like that. And those inflate your numbers a little bit beyond that core. 

David Tintner: Do you know what is like, I don't know, maybe there's some like averages or for the percentage of total listenership that that should be core for like, if I'm in a good situation with my podcast, you know, I have twenty-five percent of my listeners are core listeners or is there some kind of benchmark 

Craig Hewitt: like that?

Craig Hewitt: Okay. Yeah. That's a really good question. I don't have a firm answer on that. I can, I can give you a guess. I think it's about half for a lot of podcasts, but what I think, but I think it depends a lot on. You know, kinda like how rabid your listeners are, you know, if like, if you have a [00:54:00] really strong following, it's going to be a higher number.

Craig Hewitt: Obviously, if you have a lot of people that just stumble across your podcast on your website, it's obviously a bit lower number, 

David Tintner: it's a really interesting metric and, , it's really cool that you guys developed like that because I'm thinking of all the things.

David Tintner: Okay. So once I can kind of build a baseline, then I, I definitely see your point in that these are, I want more subscribers, right? There's somebody who says like, I want less subscribers. I'd rather have like less loyal following. Right, right. Cool. Now I have this metric and I want to, I want to build it. I'm trying to think of all the ways that I can take some action to say, okay, let's get more of them.

David Tintner: Right. Like, one thing that comes to mind is, um, if I have, um, really. Content each episode, and maybe that's like less of something that would bring someone back to my show over and over. But if only one episode appeals to them, I'm curious of all the different ways that I can kind of, um, do something to really improve that core following.

Craig Hewitt: Yeah. I mean, that's a really, that's a, that's a really big, tough question. But I think [00:55:00] generally like the, the framework to use there is to listen to your audience and it goes back to that, that aspect of community is like get feedback from them. Um, you know, podcasting for, for better or worse is inherently like a one-way medium.

Craig Hewitt: Like we talk, people listen, um, and building a way for them to communicate back to you what they like and what you don't, they don't like gives you data to, to then craft like more of, of what they want and less of what they don't want. So, I mean, I think that's, that's probably why we see community as like the common thread in our most successful shows

Craig Hewitt: people are really clued into that in a, in a data-driven way of like, they liked this. They didn't like that. Um, and let's, let's go make more of what they like, 

David Tintner: w what's the best way for podcasts or to be able to get that, get in touch with the community. As you mentioned, the podcast is pretty, it's 

Craig Hewitt: pretty one-directional.

Craig Hewitt: Yeah. I mean, I think it's, it's, you know, building again like discord or discourse or Facebook or slack or whatever it is. [00:56:00] And then, and then have that be a consistent call to action in the podcast. Hey, if you liked this, come over to the community and continue the discussion here, or, Hey, I'm going to be live in the slack channel, uh, you know, at noon on Tuesday to be talking about this after the episode comes out on Monday, um, and just have it be a natural extension.

Craig Hewitt: Hey, listen to the podcast, come over to the community to keep talking about it with the host or the hosts and with other community members, community members. 

David Tintner: Well, Craig, you give us a ton of advice on this episode, and it was really interesting talking to you. I'm super impressed on what you built the cost to us.

David Tintner: And as I mentioned to you a few times on the call, a lot of things that you're doing, and we bootstrapped it and deciding to take the national are things that worked in thinking about all the time and thought leaders. And, um, you've, you've been really impressive in the way you made those decisions. So I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us and sharing 

Craig Hewitt: with us today.

Craig Hewitt: Very kind. Thank you very much. It was, it was a ton of fun. Thanks for having me on the show. Appreciate it. 

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