My Interview With Leo Laporte
Folks, I am so excited to share this interview with with you. There is no doubt that this will forever be one of my all time favorite episodes of Podcast Answer Man. I’d encourage you to watch the interview via the video that I have embedded below.
At the same time, I’d also like to encourage you to then listen to this audio podcast episode to hear some of my commentary on many of the topics that Leo and I discussed in this interview. I have also included several notes below the the video.
Notes From This Audio Podcast:
In this audio podcast episode, gave some additional commentary on some of the topics that Leo and I discussed. Below are the notes and links that I mentioned that I would share.
- Occupy TWiT Video Post – Click Here
- Meeting Leo Video Post – Click Here
- Post with video of Leo saying podcasting is dead. – Click Here
- Post with Leo saying that nobody cares about video. – Click Here
- Post with Leo saying audio is what people really want. – Click Here
- New York Times Article That I Mentioned. – Click Here
Leo Talks About The Beginning of TWiT:
In this interview Leo shares a brief history of how he first got started in podcasting when a young listener, Matt Bishoff, called in to say that he noticed that Leo was already putting the .mp3 recordings of his radio show on the website and asked why he wasn’t turning them into a podcast.
In April 2005, Leo began to record conversations about technology news with friends from his TechTV days. He mentioned how much of a pain it was to get all of the equipment set up and working each week and how much of a pain it was, spending hours every week, doing post production to salvage whatever he could of the horrible sounding audio. He shared how he got better at doing it over time and how technology and the equipment available improved as well.
Leo Talks About TWiT Revenue:
Over the years that I have been following Leo, I have been able to capture bits and pieces of information that he had shared, in between live show recordings, about the amount of income that his TWiT network was generating. Until now, I’d only been able to report from what I had heard Leo say. However, in this interview, Leo was kind enough to give us some really great ballpark figures for the record.
2005: TWiT brought in between $60,000 to $70,000 in donations.
2007: TWiT brought in approximately $300,000 in ad revenue.
2008: TWiT brought in approximately $600,000 in ad revenue.
2009: TWiT brought in approximately $1.2 Million in ad revenue.
2010: TWiT brought in approximately $4 Million in ad revenue.
2011: TWiT will bring in approximately $5 Million to $6 Million in ad revenue.
Leo’s Stats Show That The Power Is In The Audio Podcast:
Leo was also kind enough to give us a great idea of about how much revenue is generated from each audio, video, and live streaming. The main example he gave was the show This Week in Tech which is what he describes as a “Talking Heads” show. This show has an audience of 175,000 to 200,000 people who consume each and every episode.
When it comes to the downloads of this show, 80% of the downloads are from the audio podcast and 20% of the downloads are from the video podcast.
When it comes to understanding where the money generated from a show like This Week in Tech, Leo estimates that 75% of the revenue comes from the audio podcast, 20% of the revenue comes from the video podcast, and only 5% of the revenue comes from the live streaming content.
Leo Is On The Record – He Says Podcasting IS NOT DEAD!:
For me, one of my favorite parts of our discussion was when I asked Leo if he felt that the technology, known as podcasting, which is delivering episodic media, either audio or video, via an rss feed, was dead. His response was, “Oh Gosh, it’s far from dead.”
Now Leo has a dream of creating an online live streaming network that would be something like a Geek version of CNN on the internet. However, from our conversation, it is clear that while he believes that is his future that he is hoping for, he does not think that podcasting is dead.
He believes, as do I, that podcasters should consider multiple distribution channels for getting their content out there. However, for me, I still suggest that getting started with an audio podcast is the best way to go. It’s obvious that is where a majority of his audience is coming from. As linked above, I have a clip of audio where Leo has said that he understands, fully, that “audio is what people really want.” Also, it is possible to create professional sounding audio with a small investment in equipment compared to what it would cost to create professional quality content for video podcasts or live streaming.
Leo’s thoughts on how to succeed with podcasting:
Leo shared some thoughts on what he thinks it would take for someone to find true success in making a living from creating content, to put yourself in the list of the hundreds of people who are able to pull it off.
These are the exact same things that I had shared in my BlogWorld LA talk just the day before I did this interview and what I have been telling my consulting/coaching clients for years. I could not agree more with what Leo said, which I will quote below.
In the interview, Leo said…
Whether you do audio, video, or live, you should aim at a narrow niche of enthusiasts. If you can hit that niche well, those people will support you, and you can make a living doing this. The trick is to aim it at an audience that you know, that you are a part of, that you love, that you understand, that you can SO SUPER SERVE, and by super serving that audience, by building community, I think you can have success.
I could not agree more. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed this interview even half as much as I enjoyed doing it and providing it here for you. I’d love it if you’d be willing to leave a comment below and let me know if this interview has inspired you in any way.