Friday Five: Matthew Cole, Non-Fiction Agent at Northbank
Answering today’s #FridayFive is Mike Wooller of Acast, the largest global podcast company.
Tell us a bit about your job?
I’m a Content Development Manager for Acast in the UK. We host, distribute and monetise podcasts for the likes of the Guardian, My Dad Wrote A Porno, Adam Buxton and thousands more. It’s my job to go out and discover the next big hits in podcasting, so I get to meet some really creative people and help them to develop their podcast ideas on a daily basis, while helping more established podcasts grow their audiences and maximise commercial opportunities.
What are the key ingredients for success?
Having an eye (or ear) for a good idea is important, but that’s something anyone can develop by listening as widely as possible. It also goes without saying that enjoying podcasts is a prerequisite to a successful career in this industry – you’re going to have to listen to them on a daily basis, after all. And, above all, be nice to everyone you meet – podcasting is still a relatively small industry in the UK, so everyone knows each other (and we talk).
Describe a normal day?
It’s pretty crazy, really. One minute I could be in an internal meeting talking about new podcasts we’re launching that week. Next, I’ll be in a room with Dick and Dom giving them feedback on their new idea (this really happened). Most people would agree that this is in no way, shape, or form, a ‘real’ job.
For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?
There were very few opportunities to get into media where I grew up, so I was extremely lucky when a community radio station launched in my hometown of Portsmouth. I got stuck in wherever I could, running OBs from local fetes or covering dodgy club nights in bars with textured wallpaper and sticky floors. I eventually wrangled my way into some shadowing shifts at the BBC, where I landed my first ‘proper’ job as a Unit Assistant on Radio 1. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to work for various indies and other departments at the BBC, more recently landing firmly in the world of podcasts.
What are you reading, watching and listening to now?
Reading: Gotta Get Theroux This by Louis Theroux
Listening: Dear Joan and Jericha