April 28, 2022

Convincing Investors and Thriving in a Changing Media Industry

We have not reached peak podcasting.


Nora and Scott sit down with Kit Gray, president and co-founder of PodcastOne, the nation’s largest advertiser-supported podcast network and home to more than 200 celebrities, athletes, and podcast stars. He talks about building a successful media company, how to adapt in a rapidly changing industry, and why he thinks we’re still in the early innings of the podcast game. 

 

Hosts: Nora Ali & Scott Rogowsky

Producer: Bella Hutchins 

Production, Mixing & Sound Design: Daniel Markus

Music: Daniel Markus & Breakmaster Cylinder

Senior Producer: Katherine Milsop

VP, Head of Multimedia: Sarah Singer

 

Full transcripts for this episode available below. 

Transcript

Nora Ali: From Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, the podcast that reveals the unexpected business story behind everything. I'm Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky. Nora and I are here for your ears, bringing you conversations with creators, thinkers, and innovators who can tell us what it all means and why we should care. Now let's get down to business.

Scott Rogowsky: So we got a good one today, Nora.

Nora Ali: Yeah, we do.

Scott Rogowsky: We got a good one today. It's-

Nora Ali: Because it's about us.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah, it's about us basically. It's an Inception episode. It's an episode of our podcast about podcasts with another podcast person. This is like when the Oscars wins an Emmy, right? This is a conversation with Kit Gray, PodcastOne founder. And so we're recognizing his achievements in the podcasting industry, on our podcast. Fluffing up the whole-

Nora Ali: Pretty cool.

Scott Rogowsky: The whole industry, right? Yeah.

Nora Ali: We are. How do you discover your podcasts, Scott? I assume you listen to them.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah.

Nora Ali: Besides our own, of course.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. It's interesting. I was early on in podcasts because as Kit mentioned, early days of podcasting was pretty much dominated by comedians. So, being a comedian and knowing those people back in 2009, I heard about Marc Maron very early on. Pete Holmes had a podcast very early on and a lot of people were doing it and frankly, I thought it was over. I thought podcasting was over and done with, in fact, I have... Have I shared this story before?

Nora Ali: I don't know.

Scott Rogowsky: I have an email from my mom in 2014 saying subject line, "What's a podcast?" And she's wrote, "Scott, I assume you read the New York Times article yesterday in the arts section about the comedy festival. I noticed that it talked about Pete Holmes and Sara Schaefer, both of whom went from their podcast to talk shows. Is that a route that makes sense?" And it's like-

Nora Ali: Oh my gosh, mom.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah, 2014. She was a little late to it. But by 2012, I thought podcasts were over and done with, I missed the boat. It's too late for me. Yeah. So clearly I was wrong.

Nora Ali: Your mom's a smart lady.

Scott Rogowsky: She's a smart lady.

Nora Ali: She knew.

Scott Rogowsky: Kit was right, though. He recognized it. But yeah, in terms of new podcasts now, it really does come down to maybe I'll hear about advertising on a network for other podcasts, because that's a smart thing these networks do. They'll give ads, right? When you're listening to something that you're already listening to, or maybe a guest will come on and they'll say, "Well, they have their own podcast and go listen to their podcast." So you have to do the promotional thing and jump onto the people's podcasts, you know?

Nora Ali: For me, it's mostly what my friends are listening to, what my family recommends. I trust my networks and I think it is kind of hard to discover new podcasts on the platforms themselves. But I consume all Theranos content that exists, so there's three different podcasts on it and I've listened to all of them. I do like to listen to fluff podcasts sometimes because so much of our lives is you got to think really hard. You got to concentrate. You have to be an educated person. So I'll listen to dating podcasts and reality show-driven podcasts as much as we make fun of it. So yeah, it's across the board. I like to learn from my podcasts and I also like to turn off my brain if I can. Okay, shall we get into it?

Scott Rogowsky: Sure.

Nora Ali: Today we are talking to Kit Gray, the president and co-founder of PodcastOne, which is the nation's largest advertiser-supported podcast network that represents over 200 celebrities, athletes, And podcast stars. And he joins us today to discuss how he leveraged the business model of major broadcast networks to grow his business as well as to discuss why he thinks the podcasting industry is not necessarily plateauing and how new shows can try to find an audience. We'll get to our conversation with Kit after this quick break.

Scott Rogowsky: So Kit, this is a podcast. I'm not sure if you're familiar with how those work. But no, this is cool to talk to you. Nora and I are obviously podcasters ourselves.

Nora Ali: We also consume them.

Scott Rogowsky: Yes, we host them. We listen to them and we're just, first of all, before we get into the podcasting industry, which is what we're going to talk about, what's your personal history in this industry and maybe I guess, pre-podcast leading into podcasts, how did you get started in all this?

Kit Gray: I went to work for a company called Katz Media Group, which is part of the iHeart world, really enjoyed that experience and really learning how brands spend their money going through media agencies and planning departments and then budget control and then posting. And it was a great way to kind of learn how that whole world worked. I knew that, eventually, radio was going to be a tough sell for me because I didn't really believe in it as much as I did when I was initially, I was a audio fan just growing up in Boston, listening to sports radio and Red Sox and Celtics talk and Patriots talk. And I love the medium and thought that was just super powerful and obviously a Howard Stern fan and could see what endorsement radio would do for people. But I knew that radio, as a business, was changing and I needed to kind of evolve with it. And basically what happened there was, I just couldn't listen to the radio. I was living in Los Angeles and there was Laker talk, which I couldn't do when I was from Boston and you can't be a Laker fan. And then everything was Red Hot Chili Peppers and no new music. And so I kind of was like, well, this isn't for me anymore. And podcasting came about and a guy named Adam Carolla was starting... He was on nationally syndicated. He actually took over for Howard Stern on the West Coast. And Adam lost his job for CBS Radio and started a podcast. And some of my friends started talking about that and I liked Adam's morning drive show. And so I reached out to Adam through just an email to his support button and his team got back to me within 24 hours. And then I was out there pitching him on how I could monetize podcasts for him. And that's really how my career started. And I brought the stamps.coms-

Nora Ali: Stamps.com?

Kit Gray: ... go-to my PCs.

Kit Gray: That was me.

Nora Ali: Amazing.

Kit Gray: That was me.

Nora Ali: That's awesome. Good to hear.

Kit Gray: Yeah.

Nora Ali: So you had a lot of relevant experience then, in terms of understanding how brands spend their money and then you also had this foresight to realize that it was time to adapt beyond radio. So you launched PodcastOne in 2012 and this was before the podcast boom, before everyone had a podcast.

Kit Gray: Yeah.

Nora Ali: Before we get into how you sort of recognize podcasting's potential early on, just explain to us what is a podcast network? Why would someone go to PodcastOne if they wanted to start a podcast?

Kit Gray: Sure. No, that's a great question. What we did really was to tailor everything around our advertisers and knowing and understanding what they want and how they could put money into the medium, which would really make it go from kind of a fun thing that people talk about here and there to actually a moneymaking business. So that's how I started. We went to brands and said, "Well, what do you need to know in terms of audience consumption, what's a download, what type of programming do you want? How can we make it rather than pitching one particular program, pitch 20, 30 shows that actually bring scale that could make a difference in a media plan?" Right? So that's how we developed what we call PodcastOne. And it's a network of 200, 300 shows, depends on how you want to look at it. And it's basically built up of programs to go out and facilitate ad buys the right way. So if Macy's needs women 25-54, I know that I can put a cluster of eight-to-15 to 25 shows that would be attractive to them when they're looking at their overall medium buy. So that's how we started on that.

Scott Rogowsky: I guess again, going back to the early days here, because we are fascinated about these early days of podcasting, you saw the potential here, you thought Adam Carolla's a good person to hitch your wagon to, because he had this brand name already. I knew Adam from The Man Show and of course, the Dr. Drew show, Loveline, and all that. So he had an established fan base and that was a good way to start, right? Starting with someone who already had a built-in fan base?

Kit Gray: Well, for me, it basically started with those DR ads, right? There's a bunch of different ways now to make money in podcasting, right? There's the brand recognition, where it's Coca-Cola and they just want to hit as many eyeballs or earballs or ears as [crosstalk] say. Right?

Scott Rogowsky: Gross. There's something really gross about that phrase. Earballs.

Kit Gray: Yeah. Earballs or eardrums or now they're in video,l too. So I guess it could be everything, right. So basically, initially, at the start, I started working with the ad results of the world and the stamps.coms and a couple of those agencies where I knew that if Adam did a read or another show did a read, based on the fact that back in the day, you had to actually plug your iPod into the computer, download them, drag them over, if you wanted to do that, you were a big-time fan, right. In radio, they call them P1s but these are like super P1s, so we knew that if Adam could do a read for stamps.com and get people to buy these stamp machines, and there's an ROI metric where, they spent a certain amount of money, they need to get a certain amount of results to verify spending more money into it. And when we did that with Adam, the first one actually was a company called ProFlowers. And they didn't want to spend the rate that we were trying to charge for Adam, which was still cheap, now looking back at it. But they said, okay, we'll do what we call a CPA, right? Where for every code that they use, Adam will get paid $15 or $12. I can't remember exactly what it was, but they had to wind up writing Adam a $35- $40,000 check in like Valentine's Day. And they're like, "Ah, I got it." And I'm like, "All right, well, I got it now, too. So your rates are going up, I'm going to bring more to you." And then the business just kind of evolved from there. Then, now you have different things like brands want to know, what type of demographics are in there? Is it a brand safety? Can you take commercials in and out of shows? There's now attribution companies. If you look at the Chartables of the world that were just bought by Spotify, there are things that have really advanced the medium to be just a great player in the overall ad world, where there's billions of dollars going to be spent in podcast advertising now.

Nora Ali: And there are still many unknowns of what creates the most efficacy for advertisements and other endeavors by brands on podcasts. But you, at the time, when you started PodcastOne were trying to innovate on the efficacy of ads and you were trying to promote this platform that not everyone was super into at the time. So for others who are starting companies, where there is some convincing of, "Hey, this thing is about to explode. This thing is about to get big. I have some foresight into this." What advice do you have for those entrepreneurs who are convincing business partners or convincing investors that this is something that you should get involved in? How did you sort of navigate that early on?

Kit Gray: Yeah. I didn't really have an option. I had to make it work because I believed in it and I knew that I could do it. And I think when you start anything that you want to do on your own, you have to really believe in it. And for me, as a salesperson, I knew you that if I walk in and I'm asking somebody for money, that I better believe in it. And when you look in somebody in the eye, you just have to trust it, you have to know that you're going to do a good job and if you know that, and you really truthfully believe that, you can build a business in that. I believe that, and I know that's what I did. I went out and I made it work for these clients that took a risk on me. And we just kept on making it better and better and better. And I think when you talk to people that know PodcastOne or know me or my team, they know that we are all working really hard to make everybody really successful. And I think if you're an entrepreneur, you just have to live that way and work really hard. And your dreams will kind of come true. That's how I look at it.

Scott Rogowsky: What was your team early on? I know eventually you caught the attention of Norm Pattiz, Radio Hall of Famer and founder of Westwood One. So he brought some muscle to PodcastOne. How did you apply maybe some of those broadcast network business models to growing your company?

Kit Gray: Yeah, so I knew Norm probably in the second or third year I had started just doing this on my own. And he brought a lot of experience, a lot of credibility, a lot of, I would say he really fast forwarded the medium, you know, years, right? I think he brought news to it. He brought press to it. That was something I didn't know at the time how to do. And now I do know, but there's a whole game on the PR world. And I was just focused on making a buck and making sure I could pay my accountants, my attorneys, and things like that. But Norm, when he came into it, he, he really took it to the next level, gave me the money that I would need to sign Adam Carolla for a bunch of years and so you don't lose this business that was growing to other people as they kind of started to figure out how this worked.

Nora Ali: We have a good sense of the early days of PodcastOne. We're going to take a quick break. More with Kit when we come back. Kit, we have spoken to other guests on this podcast about the shift in the podcast advertising industry, where some of the smaller players, the direct response advertisers like Mailchimp, Casper, you mentioned stamps.com, for example, they're getting priced out or pushed out in some ways by the large brands, like the Amazons or the Capital Ones of the world. Is this something that you're seeing as well? And what does this actually mean for podcasters and brands, who are trying to adapt?

Kit Gray: Good question. And I think there's a mix on this. We play in both worlds, the brands and then the DRs, and typically in the DR world, that used to be late night radio, late night TV, really low CPMs, bottom of the drawer rates, right? So we are now in this world where some of our best podcasts are getting 35, 40, in some cases, $75 CPMs. They wouldn't necessarily get that with a brand buy, but they will, if they're converting on those Caspers or those ones that we're talking about. And I think they have to just kind of give and take on what they want. There's things that the DR businesses are okay with. They're okay with a little leniency on maybe language or a little leniency on topics, right. And so forth. And I think brands are... They may have more money to spend and more top line dollars on scale, but they're going to want a lot of safety precautions and programming precautions that might limit the spends and where you can get money as a show.

Scott Rogowsky: How did PodcastOne really revolutionize advertising in the medium and change the way people consume podcasts? Because from what my understanding is that your company particular led this shift in that mode.

Kit Gray: What we did with a network that was an advantage to what other networks could potentially do is one, we only really care about podcasting, right? A lot of these other companies care about radio or TV, or even just subscription models, right, if you're a Spotify. So our business has always been to have really close relationships with the talent and work with them, not only to do great ads, but to grow their audience. So we have a marketing team, we have unsold inventory where any of inventory will go to promotion and marketing of other podcasts as we launch new shows or there's special episodes that come along. We're a perpetual network where we're going to be there with you hand-in-hand to grow revenue, grow audience size, be able to do live shows, be able to do merch, be able now do live-streaming of podcasts, all of these things that we bring into a business that not everybody can do, whether that's based on scale or just that's their company's priorities, but we've changed the way people listen to things because, I'll bring it back to being a Boston guy in Los Angeles, there are only a certain couple things that you can listen to. But now if you're interested in gardening or relationship advice, you would never be able to get that on the six-to-10 towers that are in Los Angeles Metro, or I'm sure I'm not getting that right in terms of the numbers, but you get the idea. It's like old-school cable or old-school TV, where you only have four or five channels. Well, now you have unlimited amounts of channels where you can kind of consume what you want to consume. And there's a business for that. Even if you have a small audience, but very niche and you have a really strong community that continues to grow, that's what we're looking for as a network. And we try to piece it all together and help each other.

Nora Ali: What is the best way to cut through the noise at this point? Because there are so many options, what are the trends and the types of content people are interested in? Do they want to learn? Do they want to be riveted? Do they just want ambient noise in the background while they're doing other things? What do people want these days?

Kit Gray: I wish I had an answer to this. There's so many things that surprise me. We just launched really now a network of shows, like a subnetwork, with Kailyn Lowry and the Baby Mama franchise. Right. And I'm going to be honest, I never saw that coming. I never saw a lot of people wanting to listen to that type of content. And not only just once, but every week and growing and more of them, right? And now she's doing a crime show and look, she is extremely talented and very bright and has a great way about herself. So I now see it, but I never would've seen that when this first came to me. So really anything can work. You have to think about it. I know I couldn't host a podcast, right? That's not my thing. I could do it for one episode or two episodes, but 13, episode 28, am I going to say? And can you keep an audience and can you grow? But when we look at the trends, our network, and again, it goes back to right at the start, when I started talking to advertisers, I'm like, "What do you want?" And they wanted moms, right? They wanted women. And at the time, podcasting was for comedians. They wanted to sell tickets as they traveled around the country. This was a great way for them to sell tickets. And then it was sports. So you could have guys like me listening to Boston content while I live in Los Angeles. So that's where it started. And then it got into great female personalities coming over. We've got a great slate of women that do podcasts for us that hit into fitness and wellness and relationships and gossip talk and housewives, so that evolved over the years. And that still is really a main focus of ours, as our network is to really hammer home on that. Now, what I've learned along the way is crime podcasts are tremendous. People love these, especially women, by the way. I don't know what that tells you about [inaudible] but it's got to be careful.

Scott Rogowsky: Disturbing. It's disturbing. Yeah.

Kit Gray: It is. But that is a huge growth for us. And that's a fun part of the business, too, because you have episodic ones, you have seasons. Now you're getting into intellectual property rights. And that brings on a whole new business because really podcasting, to do a scripted series is cheap relatively to putting out a pilot of a TV show or a movie or something like that. So that brings a whole new thing into it.

Scott Rogowsky: There's been this massive explosion and growth in podcasting, I guess 2018 to 2020 is the peak of acquisitions that the industry experienced. And again, you saw this very early on. What do you think about numbers? The hundreds of millions of dollars that are the price tags now for these podcast companies being sold to the larger players, like Sirius XM's acquisition of Stitcher for 325 million, these numbers, by the way, are underwhelming, according to industry watchers. They're saying that's actually undervalued and that they should have been valued higher. What's your take on all this? It seems like a lot of money to me.

Kit Gray: Yeah. Look, it sounds like a lot of money to me too. I wonder how they're going to make money on these eventually. Right. It's an interesting world. I think when you look at 2018 to 2021, really it was all about top-line revenue growth for many of these companies. I think even if you look at Spotify and iHeart, they're losing hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars every year, right. It doesn't matter how much money you lose. It's just, how are we going to grow and grow subscriptions and so forth? I think that'll change, right? Eventually, you know you got to make money, you've got to have sound investments and stuff like that. So yes. I think those guys are pretty happy with the path that it went down for them. We'll see. We'll see how it'll work out in terms of them actually making money on it. Look, I love Joe Rogan. I think his show and what he's done to the world of podcasting is tremendous. And I've been able to meet Joe and talk to him. And I think what he's done for the industry is tremendous. Now, I know he's had a tough couple months and I think Spotify's had a tough couple months with that too. And what Norm taught me is that really, the name of the game and what he was really great at, really, really good at is talent management and being able to make them think it's their decision when sometimes it's not necessarily and playing that game and how that works. I think that's what's going to be the trick to these companies to see if they're going to be really successful long term, because it's not just spots and dots in this business it's getting them to do more, getting them to do reads, getting them to do live shows. That's where it gets a little tricky and we'll see where that goes.

Nora Ali: All right. Another quick break, more with Kit when we return. So Scott had pointed to 2018, 2019 as the era for a big explosion in podcasting, but it feels like there's a bit of a plateau, maybe, that's been reached in 2021, maybe this year. Do you think the market is getting a little oversaturated or do you not believe that it's plateauing?

Kit Gray: I think we're only really in the second or third inning of this game. I think you're going to see more consumption of younger people. I think you're going to see 18-to-24-year-olds really take charge in this. I think you're going to see corporations use the podcasting medium to their advantage. we've worked with Microsoft to create a couple seasons of their tech podcast slates that we wanted. I think you'll see much more of that as companies use this to not only communicate with the internal resources and their internal teams, no matter the size, but also their clients, right. And it's a great way to have people come on. You'll start to see local plays. You're starting to see that now. We work with Hubbard Broadcasting, which was an initial investor in PodcastOne years ago. And they're just a great, great, great radio company. And we've been able to develop really a monetization and marketing structures, so they're being able to localize and get local advertisers. So it's not just these national guys, you can get the Seattle Ford dealerships involved and really take advantage of that. You're just starting to see the beginning of this. I really think with technology and attribution and now video, COVID, there weren't many positives to COVID, but I think one of the positives is that we've learned that we don't need to be in an office building. We can all be all around the world, like we are right now doing this podcast. And people are used to watching video this way. This is how that's going to evolve. So I think we've got a long road ahead of us. I think you're going to see big names pop in and then pop out, realizing it's really not easy to do, as you guys know well. It's not easy. This is a hard thing to do, but if you have the right support around you and you have a good company around you and you really like it, that's the key. When we pick podcasts to represent or to build, we always say that if we are the group that likes the podcast project more than you do, then we're going to fail. Right. So, it's got to be that.

Scott Rogowsky: Well, it's interesting you say that you think we're still in the early innings here because the data would maybe suggest otherwise, in terms of growth for new podcasts. I guess according to Bloomberg, there's now been studies on the podcasting scene, and those shows that entered five-to-10 years ago, are continuing to gain new listeners, but new shows are struggling to find the audience. In fact, I guess the average podcast in the top 10 is more than seven years old. And it makes sense, right? Because you have these legacy shows that got in early, like your Joe Rogan or your Call Her Daddy, or This American Life, or Stuff You Should Know. Right. And they're always giving the top 10 and then when people, "Oh, what's a podcast? Let me check out the top 10," they find those. So how can these new podcasts that will come next, or that are trying to launch today, for example, how are they going to find their audience when there are now 3 million podcasts out there growing more every day? That oversaturation seems to be an issue.

Kit Gray: Yeah. I think you could say that with YouTube and all the different platforms that have kind of evolved over the years where there's millions and millions of limitless channels, right? How are you going to get those new ones to be discovered and listened to and have them grow? I don't think the medium's going to go away. I think it'll continue to grow because we're a different world now. We don't listen or watch things live anymore, really. We just don't, people don't... Besides sports, which I would debate having three little kids that I DVR most of my sporting things that I want to watch. So I think that on-demand experience is not going to go anywhere. And I think it's only going to kind of grow as different and more people could get into it, but you're right. There's probably too many podcasts and there's too many people that aren't good at doing a podcast that probably think they are good at it, right. And that's hard. So I think what you're going to see is if you're lucky enough to grab into a network where you've got a good idea, you have a social community that will go with you to Twitter or Instagram, Facebook, any of these things. And then get into a network where you can work with people like our marketing team that actually knows how to give you the best chance of success as possible. Right? And that's where there's going to be positives, being part of a network rather than kind of going on your own.

Scott Rogowsky: You said it. You have to love it. When it comes down to it, you have to love it first and be passionate about it. And I guess that's the most actionable advice from this conversation, if you're listening and you want to try a podcast, try it. And maybe you do love it. Maybe you won't, but you won't know until you try it. Right. This is a very Inception-type episode here. This is a podcast about podcasts about podcast.

Nora Ali: Tell us about us.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. This is a little strange, but you know what's not strange, Kit?

Kit Gray: What's that?

Scott Rogowsky: Quizness Casual, the Business Casual Quiz. And now it's time to play. Time to play, are you ready to get down to nitty gritty with Nora by your side? She's going to be there to help you out because these could get difficult.

Kit Gray: All right, Nora, let's do it.

Scott Rogowsky: You're a podcasting veteran, industry veteran, but you may not even know the answers to these questions. So...

Kit Gray: Good chance.

Scott Rogowsky: There's a good chance.

Nora Ali: Likewise.

Scott Rogowsky: I think you're game for it. So let's do it to it. Qumero numero uno. What country leads in podcast consumption? Okay. Per capita podcast consumption: USA, Germany, Sweden, or England?

Kit Gray: Per capita.

Nora Ali: Per capita.

Kit Gray: I think it's got to be England then, maybe. Per capita? What do you think, Nora?

Nora Ali: Well, for some reason, Sweden sticks out because of the Spotify connection.

Kit Gray: Ah.

Nora Ali: But that could just be in there so that it tricked me, us, into thinking about that as an option. You said England was your choice?

Kit Gray: I only said that because I'm still a huge Ricky Gervais fan and Ricky had this great podcast back in 2010. And that's how I started into listening to podcasts. So I'm only saying that, but I don't know.

Nora Ali: You know what? I like it. It's a fun anecdote. We're going with it. England.

Kit Gray: All right.

Scott Rogowsky: According to surveys of a thousand to 5,700 respondents per country, in a study by German marketing consumer data firm, Stastista, Sweden topped the list of 54 countries surveyed.

Kit Gray: Nora, I should have gone with you.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. A total of 47% of Swedish respondents indicated they listened to a podcast in the last 12 months.

Kit Gray: Wow.

Scott Rogowsky: There you go.

Kit Gray: They're really smart over there, I guess.

Scott Rogowsky: They are. It's Daniel Ek's home country there, Spotify, Sweden. That could have been a... But I told you this is tough. I told you these were tough. Okay. All right. Next question. Which of the following celebrities does not have their own podcast? And we should say yet, because maybe it's going to come out tomorrow or by the time this airs. I don't know, but is it: Justin Long, Ashley Graham, Anna Faris, or Paul Rudd?

Kit Gray: So I know Anna Faris does. I know... Did you say Chris Long?

Scott Rogowsky: Justin Long.

Nora Ali: Justin Long.

Scott Rogowsky: Of those...

Nora Ali: Of rom-com fame.

Scott Rogowsky: PC Mac commercial fame, as well as yes. Alvin and the Chipmunks films, the voice of Alvin. Jeepers Creepers, Dodgeball, Accepted, Live Free or Die Hard. Just some of his stellar credits.

Nora Ali: Some of his best work. Yeah.

Kit Gray: Well, Paul Rudd, I feel like has been on every big podcast. Right? I don't think he has a podcast, but...

Nora Ali: Wouldn't we know about it, if he did, because Paul Rudd is... He's an icon. He's a legend. He's an angel. Yeah. I think Paul Rudd, I feel like we'd know if he had one. All right, we're going. We're going for it. You agree, Kit?

Scott Rogowsky: Paul Rudd?

Kit Gray: I'm with you.

Nora Ali: Okay. Great. Paul Rudd.

Scott Rogowsky: I love you man, because Paul Rudd does not yet have his own show. Congratulations. You got it.

Kit Gray: Nice. All right. Cool.

Scott Rogowsky: We're rocking and Rudding here.

Kit Gray: All right.

Scott Rogowsky: Next, final question. Here we go. What podcast genre had the most shows in 2021? Okay. The most crowded podcast category. Is it religion and spirituality, education, news, or society and culture?

Kit Gray: Nora, I'm going to go with society and culture, but what do you think?

Nora Ali: That could contain a lot of different things. So, that makes sense to me. My gut was telling me news.

Kit Gray: Yeah.

Nora Ali: Because there's just a lot of news publications who are trying to start podcasts. Let's go with your choice. Let's go with your choice. Society and culture is so encapsulating. It could be anything.

Kit Gray: It's broad.

Nora Ali: It's broad.

Scott Rogowsky: This is so tough. Well, look, there are at least Apple Podcasts supports more than 100 distinct categories. Okay. True crime.

Nora Ali: Okay.

Scott Rogowsky: Being one. Swimming, alternative-

Nora Ali: Swimming?

Scott Rogowsky: Swimming podcast. Look, there's a podcast for everything. It's the nichification. right. Kit knows, you got to go niche. Baby Mama podcast. But in 2020, religion, spirituality was the most crowded top-level category. But in 2021, society and culture was just shy of education in the top spot. Education, just barely edged out society and culture. And education is self-improvement, it's courses.

Nora Ali: Yeah. That could anything too.

Scott Rogowsky: Language learning, how to...

Kit Gray: It's a wide range. Yeah.

Scott Rogowsky: It's wide. It's wide.

Kit Gray: Clearly I need to listen to more podcasts to learn some more stuff. So there we go.

Scott Rogowsky: That's it. Yeah. Education podcast. How to launch... You can do one Kit. How to launch a podcast network. That would be an educational podcast.

Kit Gray: There it is.

Scott Rogowsky: Hosted by Kit Gray.

Kit Gray: Yeah. Episode two would be tough, but yes.

Scott Rogowsky: I guess we covered it mostly here. So maybe you don't need to...

Kit Gray: This is episode one.

Scott Rogowsky: This is it.

Kit Gray: We're in.

Scott Rogowsky: This is it.

Kit Gray: Yeah. This is it.

Scott Rogowsky: Well, Kit, thanks for joining us today. And we appreciate your insights on the industry that we are now a part of.

Kit Gray: Well, thanks guys. It was a pleasure meeting you, Scott and Nora. Thanks, it was fun.

Scott Rogowsky: We love hearing from you. Yes we do. Yes we do. We love hearing from our Business Casual listeners. Come on, hit us up. Let us know you're listening. Send us an email at businesscasual@morningbrew.com or DM us on Twitter @bizcasualpod, that's B-I-Z casual pod, with your thoughts.

Nora Ali: You can also leave us a voice memo on our website, businesscasual.fm, or give us a ring and leave us an old-fashioned voicemail. Our number is 862-295-1135. As Business Casual grows, we are excited to get to know our listeners old and new. Drop us a line and don't forget to leave your name and where you're calling or writing from, so we can hear from you in a future episode.

Scott Rogowsky: Business Casual is a podcast and it's produced by Katherine Milsop and Bella Hutchins, additional production sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus. Sarah Singer's our VP multimedia. Holly Van Leuven is our fact checker. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. If you like what you heard, please follow Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get nasty for your podcasty. We really got nasty on this episode, and we'd love it if you give us a great rating and a review.

Nora Ali: Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky.

Nora Ali: Keep it business.

Scott Rogowsky: And keep it casty.