Listen App is taking podcasting community building and engagement to a whole new level, with a unique approach to listener participation when a host is actually interviewing guests.

Podcast listener engagement, community on whole new level with Listen App

by | Podcast

Paul Mikhaylenko has a vision for podcasts, podcasters, and listeners, too! The podcast industry expert is Founder and CEO of Listen App, and Director of Product at Trend Capital Holdings. Paul is also founder and CEO of Bloom, a CRM platform for freelancers.

Listen App is a place where podcasters can host podcast events and actually get questions and comments from their audience. This content can be recorded and maybe even used as part of an episode, if the podcast host wants.

Listen App is also a podcast player app. The app is available for Apple, with the Android version coming soon.

Observes Paul: “It’s very interesting what we’re experiencing with Clubhouse. It’s a  phenomena that’s spreading to all social networks, but it particularly affects podcasters, because this is our domain.”

Listener Participation with Listen App

For podcasters interviewing guests while the audience listens in, Listen App opens up real-time engagement. A show host can encourage the audience to ask questions and challenge conversation points. “People in the audience will have questions from different angles that will actually bring tons of colour and insights,” says Paul.

“Not only that,” Paul continues, “it fosters engagement, where it’s not just this monologue that people are listening to, but they feel like the stage is open for engagement and participation, where their voices can be heard.

Listen App set to revolutionize listener engagement

The difference between all the audio apps and platforms out there and Listen App is that it’s the only social audio platform that’s utilizing the connection and participation with listeners.

“Our goal is to enable podcasters to not just have a place to interact with their audience, but to own their audience where you’re not at the mercy of some algorithm of getting access to your listeners. You actually have direct access to them. For them to join your community, they have to enter their email, and you get to capture that email.

“If you wanted to take them to another platform, you can do that. These are your listeners and you’re building them around your show and your content. You shouldn’t have to depend on a platform to for your access to them.

Moving podcasting away from the radio broadcasting model

Paul is really hoping that podcasting will move away from the strictly radio broadcasting model, where there is a limitation to a listener-engaged platform. Right now, there’s not really a good way to do that.

“What we’re creating is a platform where podcaster can host events, where they can invite their listeners to join into the conversation like you would on Clubhouse. Then you’d record those conversations and edit them. And maybe somebody asked the question that you want to share with the rest of the listener group. And on the next episode, you include that interaction in there.”

The difficulty of building podcast show communities

Paul also explores the difficulty of creating communities around podcast shows. He says: “Part of the issue is a different medium from anything else that we’ve experienced on a mass scale. The only thing in audio that we’ve done before is radio. 

“Even with radio, the most you can have in terms of listener engagement is call ins, but you wouldn’t have necessarily communities built around radio stations,” Paul continues. “So the interesting thing about audio is that it’s tapping into what you might call like the last frontier of human attention available, and it’s a multitasking attention.”

Most audio liesnters are disengaged from their devices, and they’re multitasking and doing something else at the same time. And they’re receiving content strictly in this input mode, where it’s non-interactive versus if you’re on a website. 

If you’re on social media consuming content, you’re looking at a screen where there are calls to action. There are other buttons and links, and you can go down rabbit holes in terms of exploring and connecting. But with audio, you don’t have any of that. It makes any interactivity incredibly difficult. 

Do you even need a community around your show?

Paul is aware that some podcasters don’t necessarily even want to interact with their listeners. This is why he sees podcasting as the frontier of specific and tailored community engagement.

Says Paul: “I think we have to understand all of the pieces of the medium of how podcasting is using audio, but also what are the types of content that actually require and would flourish with, you know, a community built around them?”

Tech giants’ tug of war with podcasting

With the current power plays between the big tech giants slowly unfolding, along with major acquisitions, Paul believes many organizations are trying to take advantage of podcasting—partly because it’s under-monetized. A lot of tech companies are seeing opportunities for themselves, but not independent podcasters who create the content.

“With Spotify, they were strictly doing exclusive content to get people on their platform so they could sell subscriptions,” says Paul. “Now, Apple announced they will support paid subscriptions in their podcast app. Facebook announced they’re going to be creating similar experiences to Clubhouse in their Facebook groups and in their Facebook app.” 

He says he doesn’t know if Facebook’s entry into audio will be a good experience for podcast communities or not. With the Apple subscriptions arriving, Paul notes that Apple still doesn’t have an Android app. He advises creators to think twice before using Apple subscriptions unless they know 90 percent of their users are Apple, otherwise, they will be cutting off Android users from their premium offering into which podcasters are putting a lot of time.

The future of podcasting

Paul envisions a year from now the podcasting world will contain a lot more exclusive and paid content, along with new monetization models. “Podcasters who create content need to be compensated for their work, and they need a way to feed their families and fund these projects. Right now, that doesn’t exist. Our goal is to be facilitating that for podcasters that want to have communities. Our goal is to become the dominant player for that specific application.”

Episode Transcript

Sheelagh Caygill:

Hi, it’s Sheelagh with the Podmotion team. In this episode of the show, I interview Paul Mikhaylenko. Paul is a podcast industry expert and founder of Listen App. Listen App is a place for listeners to connect with their favorite podcast hosts. Listen App is currently available on Apple with the Android version coming soon. Paul and I talk about why podcasting is truly an audio revolution, how listeners and podcasters can better engage, and what he foresees as the future of podcasting.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Paul, welcome to the podcast.

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Hi, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Great. Thanks for taking time because I know that you are pretty busy person, very busy. What are you up to at the moment?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

At the moment, building tech companies, working on the platform called Bloom, which is a Marketing CRM for freelancers, and we’ve been working on that for the last six years with our cofounders, and more recently, started – really, it started as a passion project that I was just so curious to see where we could go with this. And then it ended up consuming my mind and kind of took over my conscious life, which is the Listen App, and that’s a project where we are aiming to solve some of the core issues in podcasting, particularly around listener engagement and monetization.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Yeah. It’s pretty exciting, Listen App, what you’re wanting to do with it. And we talked about this, just before we jumped on the interview, that this issue of podcast community, building a community, making it flourish, it seems really a difficult thing to do. What’s that about, and how do you think you can solve it?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah, it is incredibly difficult, and there’s been a number of startups and companies that have attempted to solve this. Part of the issue is, it’s a different medium of communication than from anything else that we’ve experienced on this, like, mass scale. The only thing in audio that we’ve done before is more like radio, right? And even with radio, the most you can – the most we had in terms of listener engagement, as I call it is, but you wouldn’t have necessarily communities built around radio stations per se. So the interesting thing about audio is that it’s tapping into, what you might call, the last frontier of human attention available, and it’s this multitasking attention. So most people who are listening to audio, they are disengaged from their devices, and they’re multitasking and doing something else at the same time. And they’re receiving content strictly in this just input mode, where it’s non interactive, versus, if you’re on a website, if you’re on social media, consuming content, you’re looking at a screen where there’s calls to action, there’s other buttons and links, and you can go down rabbit holes, etc. But with audio, you don’t have any of that, there’s no, like, you know, you’re listening to a podcast, and then the host says, say join now to join my community; and you say, join now, and then all of a sudden, the AI recognizes your voice, and then puts you into the, you know, there’s no calls to action like that. So it [inaudible 00:03:43] any interactivity incredibly difficult. So the best we have as podcasters is saying something like, well, there’s a link in the show notes, but now the listener has to find their phone, open the app, figure out where the show notes are, click on the link, and are they motivated enough, I don’t know. And that’s the thing, that’s where we come to the issue of which podcasts need communities, does every podcast need a community, I’m even finding it that many podcasters don’t necessarily even want to interact with their listeners. So there’s a specific place for podcast engagement, and I think we have to understand all of the pieces of the medium of how podcasting is using audio, but also what are the types of content that actually require and would flourish with a community built around them.

Sheelagh Caygill:

I mean, is the need for a community something that a podcaster would decide, or, do you think there are some types of shells that will kind of lean naturally towards that?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yes, I think the more niche the podcast, the more, the higher chance of having an active and vibrant community, because the value of a community has to do with curation of the kind of people that are brought into it. So if I’m listening to some NPR show, say like Serial that goes huge, and they’re inviting me into some community around the show, well, it’s like, yeah, I might talk about as we’re anticipating the next episode. But my level of depth with that community will be simply the fact that we happen to be listening to the same podcast, but that’s it, which is not very deep, versus, like, if I’m listening to a podcast that is specifically geared to 30-year-old dads who are in tech and they’re inviting me into a community, that’s a lot more interesting, because now I’m realizing that I’ll be surrounded with people like myself, who are in a similar place in life, and my interactivity with them is going to be far more valuable, my interest in joining that community will be far higher. I would think about the listener as much as you can, like, put yourself in their shoes, and think about, what exactly is the value that they’re being offered, because community has become like a buzzword, everybody wants community, all these companies are talking about building communities, but really all they mean is an audience, most of the time, they don’t actually mean community. And it’s become this word that means a lot of things, and it means so many things, that it almost doesn’t mean anything, because you have to have boundaries around definitions. And so, this is one of those words, that’s losing those boundaries, unfortunately. So I would say, if you frame the conversation around value, then it becomes a little bit easier. So if you’re inviting somebody into a community that you want to create around your podcast, is it the fact that you’re going to curate, like I was saying earlier, a group of people, or, maybe the communal aspect will be more educational focused, where maybe the group of people is broad, they’re not necessarily on the same page. Say, for example, you have a podcast about, I don’t know, the stock market or something. And so, people who are listening to your podcast, I mean, they could be just amateur investors using Robinhood, who just dabble around, and all the way through more professional investors who do it for a living, and they could be in very different places in life where a community around stock investing, like, how meaningful is that to them, I don’t know, probably not that meaningful. Because it’s just, it’s stock investing, like, I don’t know that I want to be in a community just for that sake. But if there’s an educational twist to it, then it becomes a lot more valuable. So maybe you could structure the entire community around, like, hey, we’re going to help each other and alert each other with what we’re trading, for example, and why we’re trading it. And so, like, the type of content then becomes very specific to the immediate goals that the listener has. So whatever community you build, you have to think hard about the value and how to frame what value you’re offering to them.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Well, you’ve really thought quite deeply about this, haven’t you?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

I have, yes.

Sheelagh Caygill:

And when you think about communities, and I think about the groups that I belong to on Facebook, kind of, framing my experience in what you’ve just said, I think, yeah, I’m helping other people a little bit; sometimes they don’t respond, and it’s very much on the terms of the person who set up the page or the group; whereas the best participatory experiences I’ve had have been, for lack of a better term, an ideas’ platform, where we’re all brainstorming, and we truly do want to help each other; it’s not just about what I can get from the experience. Is that kind of where you want to go with Listen App, is that where it’s focused?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah. So I believe that podcasts are one of the best foundations for communities, because what you have is this very human experience of voice first storytelling where that’s how communities live and thrive, is when you tell each other stories, and when you talk to each other. And not only that, it’s intimate, you’re not reading text, you’re hearing another human. But beyond that, it’s a very – it’s a medium that’s not as fleeting, if you will, as other social media where when people listen to an episode, it’ll take 20 minutes to an hour to listen to an episode, where a post on Instagram takes a split second of engagement. So you’re talking about a much more meaningful engagement model where people aren’t skimming content like they do in other forms of media. So now they’re spending time, they’re interacting in an intimate way; and if they’re spending that much time, and time is incredibly valuable for everyone, then it means, whatever you have to say, must be valuable to them, otherwise they wouldn’t spend the time. And if it’s valuable to them, then it probably has something to do with how they see themselves of what goals they have for themselves, and it’s very telling, it’s something that means something to them. And if it means something to them, and it’s personal, and it’s intimate, then there’s a very higher chance that this is something that you can build a community around because it’s not superficial. So I think, you know, and so the more podcasts become niche oriented, and especially addressing specific needs of very unique user groups or listeners, that becomes even more alluring to how do we then just let these listeners come together for a specific kind of interaction. And so, yeah, I think podcasts are absolutely the next frontier for kind of community engagement.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Unfortunately, I can’t use Listen App because it is not yet, it will be soon, but it’s not yet available for Android. But what does it look like on the inside, how have you applied your thinking and your hopes in terms of your definition and your kind of dream of community for the audio community?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah, so that’s a very hard thing to do, how do you then build a product around that to enable this interactivity to happen and we’ve, in all transparency and honesty, we’ve tried quite a few different models of engagement already in the Listen App. We started with like this async discussion threads around episodes on podcast levels, we did episode rooms. We’ve tried many different experiences just to see what makes sense, how do people want to interact with each other in an audio format, and doing live interaction was also on our roadmap as something that we wanted to test. And it turned out that, at the same time, Clubhouse launched their interactive experience and it proved to be something that people really enjoyed to do, is spend time in this room like environment where there’s somebody on stage, and there’s listeners who can raise their hands, they can be invited to join the stage and ask questions and participate. And so, we certainly piggybacked off of that format, because it was obvious to everyone that this is something people wanted to do. And now you see Twitter Spaces, and you see Facebook going to be doing something similar, and it’s just spreading to all the other social media platforms; and the difference between all of them, and what we’re doing is we are, from what I know, we are the only social audio platform that’s utilizing this experience, specifically for podcasters, where our goal is to enable podcasters to not just have a place to interact with their audience, but to own their audience where you’re not at the mercy of some algorithm, of getting access to your listeners, you’re not just kind of hoping for it, but you actually have – you have direct access to them. Because in order for them to join your community, they have to enter their email and you get to capture that email, and then, if you wanted to take them to another platform, you can do that, where these are your listeners and you’re building them around your show and your content, and you shouldn’t have to depend on a platform for your access to them. So the way it looks like in the app is, first and foremost, it’s a podcast player, where your listeners can listen to your content, and that’s important because that’s the interface where they spend most of their time listening to your content. And if you have to ask them to go from that app to another app to engage, that’s friction. And so, what I found just doing research is that anytime you do that, that’s a hard ask, and friction always reduces engagement. And so, even when you’re building communities, on Facebook groups or in Slack or whatnot, and your ask people to jump from the listening app somewhere else to do the engagement, you just have massive drop-offs. So if you can have them in the same app that they’re listening, also engaging, then it becomes a lot more interesting. So beyond that we have, and this is the heart of it, is we’ve built these live events in the app where they function like Clubhouse rooms, but we call them events. And the way we intend it to work is instead of these just being rooms that people create, and just kind of talk for hours and hours and hours about who knows what, what ends up happening is you end up having a lot of kind of low quality content, and people wandering around halls looking for rooms where they can learn something. Here we’re creating it for podcasters to host quality conversations that are actually stimulating and interesting, where they’ve thought it through, they’ve planned the content, they’ve planned the speakers, they know when they’re going to start, when they’re going to finish, and it’s the idea being is that every podcast event that you enter into will be thoroughly prepared, and it will be valuable content for the listener. And so, in the app, there’s a tab where you can go browse these events, and join them, and just listen in, and the podcasters who are putting on these events will share these landing pages that are created for them for each event, invite their listeners to join, and it’s another great way to get more people to listen to your show, because this is something live; it’s something that, you know, if you don’t join now, you might not hear this content, and if you can create good live events, it’s a great way to also grow the listener base for the podcast as a whole.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Okay. So just so I kind of got this, I understand, it’s all done remotely. So I, for example, could contact you and say, hey, Paul, I’m hosting this event in Listen App about building community around podcasting, can you join at this date and time, and then I do my work of promoting it, making sure listeners know about it, etc., and we’re there together, we invite questions, we might have a bit of conversation ourselves – is that kind of what it looks like?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

That’s exactly what it is, yeah. So like, today, I just scheduled an event for next week, where we will be talking about the news of Apple and Facebook, and how they will be participating in the podcasts’ ecosystem. And we’re going to talk pros and cons, and so, I created an event, created a title, invited some friends that I thought are industry experts and can be great speakers on this event. And this event now has like a website page that I’m going to send to our email list and post on my social media and get people to sign up and add it to their calendars so that when the event rolls around, we have a nice group of people there ready to engage.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Where are the web pages based?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

What do you mean, where are they based?

Sheelagh Caygill:

Within the app.

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah, so they live, so listenapp.co, they are on our domain. And every time you create an event, it creates a web page for that event.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Okay. Cool. And so, I don’t know the percentage of Android versus Apple users at the moment, but I’m sure Android users can’t wait for this to open up. When might that happen?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

We’re actively working on it. Yeah, Android is certainly on our roadmap, and we see a great opportunity there to reach millions of people around the world. So we are about 80% done building it. If everything goes well, I want to say, like, a month and a half, if we have some hiccups, we might have to delay it by another two to three weeks.

Sheelagh Caygill:

So not too long to wait though.

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Not too long. It’s just around the corner.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Now, just stepping back a little bit, Paul, you began working for a company called – or you’re with them, Trend Capital, and this became a project, like a startup within the company that you’re working for, for you. What drew you towards podcasting? And how did you just come to appreciate it? Did you start your own show? Tell us a little bit of background there and what drew you into podcasting?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah. Oh man, I discovered podcasting when I was working on my graduate degree actually. And I just fell in love with all things podcast related. I found it to be such an incredible medium of a very meaningful education and interaction, and I felt like it was opening my eyes to the world in a way that I hadn’t seen before, and I just absolutely became obsessed with podcasts, I was listening compulsively at all times. And I found so much value from the podcast that I was listening to that I just thought, why don’t I maybe think about starting a show of my own. And as I was thinking about doing that – so my undergrad is in music – I came to this idea that, hey, why don’t I create a podcast on helping people listen to music intelligently, because that’s something that I talk with my friends a lot about. And so, that was my first podcast, it was, you know, I would take genres and talk about artists. And it’s kind of like when you’re learning – when you’re just starting to taste wine, if you haven’t had expensive wine, you don’t necessarily know what to look for; and if somebody guides you through it and tells you how to appreciate wine, then it becomes much more enjoyable. Something similar is true with music, especially, when you’re getting exposed to genres you don’t normally listen to, like, if somebody tells you, hey, listen to this baseline, here’s why it’s interesting, or, listen to these rhythms, here’s why this polyrhythmic texture is very fascinating, and here’s what it’s doing, the kind of textures being used, and if somebody can point that out – anyway, that’s what I was doing with the podcast, it was great, it was a lot of work, and I enjoyed it. At the same time, I was also a product designer, and I just disliked all of the apps that I was using to listen to podcasts. And I thought there’s got to be so much more that we can do with the apps. And so, I started designing a new app just as a hobby on the weekends, because it just kind of became an obsession of mine; and I particularly wasn’t impressed with the Apple podcast app at that time, and they haven’t changed it very much still. And so, I started designing, and as I was designing, I started generating tons of new ideas, was doing a lot of research. And it gradually became an obsession of mine of how do we create kind of this ultimate podcast environment where you can not just listen to content, but go behind the scenes and meaningfully interact with other listeners and the podcast hosts.

Sheelagh Caygill:

That’s great. I mean, you mentioned when you were talking that podcasting opens your eyes to the world in a different kind of way. Tell us a little bit more about what you mean when you say that.

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Well, so I’m an immigrant. I was born in Kyrgyzstan, and kind of grew up in a subculture up in the northwest where I wasn’t exposed to a lot of the culture here in America for most of my upbringing. And I would say, podcasts were that first foray into kind of the broader cultural intellectual landscape that showed me a lot more than maybe what I grew up with, [inaudible 00:23:13] in general. But yeah, it was very insightful, just even the way people think, the questions people ask, I listened a lot to all the NPR shows, so yeah, very, very fundamental for me.

Sheelagh Caygill:

So it’s almost like a sociological experience for you, or an anthropological maybe?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah. I haven’t quite thought about it retrospectively to put a finger on what exactly it was doing to me, but certainly enlightening.

Sheelagh Caygill:

When you were a boy, had you listened to radio in your country of origin, sorry, did you say it was Kyrgyzstan?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Or when your family came to the US, had you listened to radio?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

I mean, just to – not like obsessively, I was into music, I grew up playing the violin and piano, and then switched to voice and everything was music oriented, so I only listened to radio; if I was listening to music on the radio, everything was music for me.

Sheelagh Caygill:

That’s fascinating. And so, you began working on this app, is that the origin of the Listen App?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

That is the origin of the Listen App, yes. It started with – and the first app that I designed is actually still in the App Store, if you search, it’s just called the podcast player. We changed it to a very generic name, and it’s still in the App Store. We will discontinue it pretty soon here because now we’ve launched a new one, but it was a great place for me to do a lot of research and figure out what it takes to create and design an app and launch it like the podcast app, particularly in the back end of how do you source all RSS feeds and organize them, but it was – it’s quite a project just to get a podcast player out.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Wow. Yeah, I can imagine. And going back to the part of our discussion where we talked about community, and what it’s about, and what a podcaster should be offering, we talked about participation and making almost an equal experience, how should podcasters approach that when they first come to your app, or, is that guidance for them? Is there anything they can read that helps them? Or are they just kind of like on their own figuring it out, what’s that experience like?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah, so this is early, we’re just starting to, you know, we haven’t even had our official launch, even though the core event features are live and now out, we haven’t created any tutorials around them, any walkthroughs. It’s still early days for us in that respect. It’s something we will be doing very soon here. The way I want to do it is for all of our early podcasters, that are a part of what we’re doing, who believe in this vision that we have for podcasting, I want to invite them into kind of our own community that we’ll be creating for podcasters. And I haven’t set a schedule yet, but several times a week, I’m going to have events on the app for all of our podcasters, where we’ll just get into these rooms and talk podcasting and share what works and doesn’t. And that’s where I’ll be walking them through the features and showing them how to do what and it’ll be very personal, and I will be a part of all of that. And then, once we start scaling, then we’ll create all of the educational tutorial materials.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Wow. That sounds great. And before we wrap up, Paul, tell us a little bit about your view on the future of podcasting, where do you think it’s going to go, what will podcasting look like in, say, a year from now?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Well, a year from now, the most recent events, I mean, there’s certainly like a power play in the space between the big tech giants, who are all I think a lot of – I want to be generous with my words, but everyone’s trying to take advantage of podcasting, because it’s under-monetized; and so, a lot of these tech companies are seeing opportunities for themselves. With Spotify, they were strictly doing exclusive content to get people on their platforms, so they could sell subscriptions. Now, Apple just announced that they will be supporting paid subscriptions in their podcast app. And Facebook announced that they’re going to be creating similar experiences to Clubhouse in their Facebook groups and in their Facebook app. So they’re going to be doing a lot of social audio as well, even to the point of adding your podcast feed to your Facebook group, potentially. So from what I understand, Facebook is not going to do like a player per se, you can just add episodes to your group; I don’t really know how that’s going to change the experience, if that will become like a good experience for podcast communities or not. With the Apple subscription piece, Apple still doesn’t have an Android app, and unless they create an Android app, if I was a creator, I would think twice before using that because – unless I knew that, like, 90% of my users were Apple only, because you’re cutting off all your Android users from your premium offering that you’re putting a lot of time into. So there’s still like a lot of pieces that have yet to be solved. I think a year from now, we will definitely see a lot more exclusive and paid content, and more monetization models because podcasters who create content need to be compensated for their work, and they need a way to feed their families and fund these projects. And so, right now, that doesn’t exist, and our goal is to be facilitating that for podcasters that want to have communities, our goal is to become the dominant player for that specific application.

Sheelagh Caygill:

And it’s so hard, isn’t it, for independent podcasters – what kind of words might you offer to them to kind of keep going and perhaps earn some revenue?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah, I mean, for independent podcasters, you have to really understand what you’re up against, and it’s hard to compete against giant publishers who have a lot of money to invest into creating content. And so, there’s a lot of mistakes that I think independent podcasters make, the biggest one I think is they tried to mimic the kind of content that these large publishers are creating, and they try to create it like them. So even if it’s like a Joe Rogan, even though he’s independent, either they’ll mimic Joe Rogan or they’ll mimic – try to mimic like radio style shows or NPR or whatnot, I think that’s not going to be a good strategy, because – in terms of format, right – because they will always do it better. So I think what independent creators should do is a lot more experimentation, like, more quirky stuff that appeals to a very specific demographic that big publishers won’t do, because it’s too experimental, it’s going to cost them too much, and they’re not going to be able to understand that niche anyway. So it’s through niched as much as possible and curate quirky content that’s unique, that big publishers won’t compete with, I think that’s going to be the biggest opportunity and strength.

Sheelagh Caygill:

That’s great advice, yeah. And is there anything that you wish I’d asked you, which I haven’t, Paul?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Oh boy. There’s so much we could talk about, but I think we’ve covered the most important bases of what we’re doing and what the podcast ecosystem is. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Yeah, I’d like you to tell listeners about the shell that you’re working on, that’s going to launch them, and your podcast show.

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah, we’re producing a new podcast for freelancers called the Epic Freelance Life, and we are going to be exploring how to make money as a freelancer having multiple sources of revenue, how to hack your way into six figures that’s comfortable, where you’re not spending a lot of time thinking about your day to day money making, and then also how to live an epic life so that your lifestyle is exactly the kind of freelancing lifestyle that you set out to have. It will be launching in a few weeks, so stay posted.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Great. Does the show have a name?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yes, the Epic Freelance Life.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Makes sense.

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yeah.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Where can people find you online?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Twitter, I’m Paul at @paulmikhaylenko, not super active there, but I do – [inaudible 00:32:51] more than I post. So that’s a good way to maybe engage with me. I’m going to be writing more on Medium, so if you go to listenapp.co, and on the top right you’ll see, it says, announcements, that will take you to my Medium blog publication there, and you can read maybe more thoroughly some of these thoughts that I shared here about podcasting, and where I see it going and our place and all of it. Otherwise, feel free to email me or whatever, I’m all open ears.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Great. And for listeners who don’t read show notes, would you mind quickly spelling your last name?

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Yes. M-I-K-H-A-Y-L-E-N-K-O, it’s a handful.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Yeah. I follow you on Medium as well, and I find your stuff really, really interesting. So I always find things that you’ve written up. No one’s ever come from that perspective or written anything like it before, so listeners, Paul is well worth following.

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Thank you. You’re very generous.

Sheelagh Caygill:

You’re welcome. Thanks so much for your time today. I know you’re busy with your ventures and launching your new show, getting the Android version of Listen App ready, so it’s great that you could fit in the conversation with me.

Paul Mikhaylenko:

Of course, it’s a pleasure for me. I’ve always enjoyed these conversations. These are things I think about a lot. So if I have a chance to talk about them, I’m glad to have it.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Oh good. Well, you take care of yourself.

Paul Mikhaylenko:

All right, likewise, take care.

Sheelagh Caygill:

Thanks, Paul.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Contact Us

Have questions? Drop us a line!

I'm interested in

How did you hear about us?

Subscribe to the Podmotion Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest