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Podcast Marketing 2023: A Conversation with RedCircle Founder Mike Kadin - Part 1
Episode 1721st March 2023 • Audio Branding • Jodi Krangle
00:00:00 00:32:10

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“A lot of folks start businesses and they just kind of look at what's hot right now, like, ‘we're going to start like a bitcoin’ or ‘we're going to start a mobile gaming company’ when that was popular, or whatever, and I think I can tell you from starting a business and growing it to twenty-six people, if you're not in love with the thing that you're doing it's going to be super-duper hard to get through it. Because there’s, you know, there’s certainly highs but there’s also tremendous lows, so if you’re not passionate about the thing, you’re going to struggle.” -- Mike Kadin


This episode’s guest is the founder and CEO of RedCircle, a platform that equips podcasters with strong tools to support their efforts to advance, make money, and gain attention. Through his experience building RedCircle's technology and growing its customer base, he’s had the unique experience of working with thousands of podcasters and advertisers, from the smallest marketers to the largest publishers in the space.  He brings his technical background and expertise in the podcasting industry together to help move the audio advertising space forward for independent creators.

His name is Mike Kadin, and while this might sound a little meta (we’ve covered this subject before), I think it’ll be really useful and encouraging for you if you have a podcast of your own.  And if you don’t yet have a podcast, maybe you should consider it.  Come on in – the water’s nice!

As always, if you have questions for my guests, you’re welcome to reach out through the links in the show notes.  And if you have questions for me, visit where you’ll find a lot of ways to get in touch. Plus, subscribing to the newsletter will let you know when the new podcasts are available. And if you’re getting some value from listening, feel free to spread that around and share it with a friend, along with leaving an honest review. Both those things really help – and I’d love to feature your review on future podcasts. You can leave one either in written or in voice format from the podcast’s main page. I would so appreciate that.


You’ve Got to Build

We start things off with a look back at Mike's most enduring memory of sound, the music and sound effects from the video games he played as a child. "I don't remember what color my shoes were when I was seven," he recalls, "I don't remember the stories that we read in class, but this music is burned-in in a very special way." He tells us how a coding project in his spare time led to his career in podcasting and the rewards and challenges of working in such a fast-growing industry. "If you want to earn money, or whatever your goals on it, to achieve that you've got to build, and that takes time."


Where the Listening Happens

Mike tells us about the advantages of podcast advertising, the differences between host-read ads and announcer ads, and how each one has its own role to play in podcasting. "There's lots of reasons why you might not want to do [a] host read," he explains. "Host read's great, but all podcast advertising is great" Mike shares some surprising statistics about which kinds of podcasts are attracting most of the audience, and his perspective on how indie podcasters fit into it all.  "Our view," he says, "is that these middle-class creators are deserving of being rewarded just as much as everyone else."


Growing Your Podcast

Next, we discuss the different features and services RedCircle offers to both podcasters and advertisers, and what sets his company apart from the competition. "Host read," he explains, "is really what makes us unique and different in the game" He also offers his advice for successful monetization and reminds us that there aren't any shortcuts when it comes to effectively building a podcast audience. "The first thing for growing your podcast," Mike says, "the most important, is that it needs to be good. People need to want to listen to it, and they need to want to come back and listen again."


The Value You’re Creating

“Tons of studies,” Mike notes as the first half of our interview comes to a close, “have shown that the primary vector for podcast growth is just word of mouth.” We talk about the most effective placement strategies for ads and he shares his positive experience with introducing listeners to both monetization and other alternatives for helping the show. “I think people get it,” he says. “I think they understand that you’re putting a lot of hard work and energy into the thing and you’re hoping to get some value back.” As he puts it, “it’s not out of line to ask for value back out of the value you're creating.”


Episode Summary

  • The unforgettable impression video game melodies made on Mike
  • Mike’s journey from part-time coding to full-time podcasting expert
  • How to best utilize host-read vs. announcer-read podcast ads
  • Building an audience and knowing when monetization’s worth the cost
  • Growing your podcast and working promotions into the flow


Tune in next week as Mike and I discuss whether podcasts might someday come with at-home purchases, his tips on how to help your new podcast stand out from the crowd, and what role social audio apps like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces might end up playing in it all.

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Editing/Production by Humberto Franco -