Sounds Like A Cult - The Cult of Podcasting

Episode Date: November 14, 2023

iF yOuRe rEaDiNg thiS yOuRe iN tHe CuLt o.0 This week we are covering the most meta cult yet and one that we are all most definitely a part of: The Cult of Podcasting. From the para-social and us vs them mentality to the larger cult of the podcasting inDusTry – Isa and very special guest, Co-Host of That’s Messed Up, An SVU Podcast from Exactly Right, Kara Klenk, discuss all things Cult of Podcasting. But what do you think? Is it a Live Your Life, a Watch Your Back, or a Get The Fuck Out Level Cult?  Head to Host Isa Medina's IG or website to tell her where to perform stand up, keep up with her work and learn more about her new podcast coming in 2024! Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod  Thank you to our sponsors:  Dipsea is offering an extended 30 day free trial when you go to SKIMS Holiday Gift Shop is now open at Get free shipping on orders over seventy five dollars. For Green Chef’s best deal of the year, get $250 off with code cult250 at Hatch is offering our listeners $20 off your purchase of a Hatch Restore 2 and free shipping at  But right now, they are matching their Black Friday - Cyber Monday onsite sale so you can get $40 off and free shipping using my link -

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Starting point is 00:01:23 Green Chef, the number one meal kit for eating well. The views expressed on this episode are solely my opinions and quoted allegations. The content here should not be taken as indisputable facts. This podcast is for a Colt. A show about the modern day cults we all follow. I'm Esa Medina and I'm a Canadian. Every week on the show, we discuss a different group that puts the cult in culture, from Disney adults to Instagram therapists to try and answer the big question.
Starting point is 00:02:07 This group sounds like a cult, but isn't really? Okay, ladies and ladies and gentlemen and vezen-themes. We are here today to talk about the cult that you are actually actively being a part of. Right now, you are a part of it. I am a part of it. Anyone listening to a podcast is a part of it. I'm so excited to talk about the most medical we have covered to this day, the cult of podcasting. And baby, we're going to talk about it because I love episodes where we chit chat about the cult that I've been a part of. You know, it's like I can speak on personal experience. And I'm glad I joined
Starting point is 00:03:04 the cult of podcasting. and I feel like you are too Or else you wouldn't be listening to this episode, but it is important to Look at it and see how Coltie is it really I actually wasn't really a part of the Cult of Podcasting before Amanda and I started this podcast because I I don't know I could never really like get into Podcasting that much and it maybe it was because I don't know, I could never really get into podcasting that much and maybe it was because I had a short attention span but nothing changed that like the pandemic and being alone with my thoughts. I did not want to be alone and that's really when we got into the cult of podcasting. So after having the podcast for about two years, Amanda and I started to do live shows.
Starting point is 00:03:47 We only did two, so we did a live show in Los Angeles and we did a live show in London and we thought what better cult to cover live than the cult of podcasting. I mean, we have to be self-aware. If we're going to call everything a cult, we have to look at ourselves. But before we talk to our guests today, I want wanna talk a little bit about the history of podcasting. What is podcasting? Because if you're listening to this, you should know what it is.
Starting point is 00:04:14 Podcasting is, I'm just kidding. I'm not gonna do that right now because if you're listening to this, you know what podcasting is. And I'm gonna tell you a bit more about it throughout this interview with today's very special guest. Not only is she a member of the Cult of Podcasting but she's also a member of the Cult of Stand Up Comedy and the Cult of Motherhood aka Shizamada. Okay so first and
Starting point is 00:04:43 foremost can you please introduce yourself and your work and how you're involved in the cult of podcasting? Hello, my name is Kara Klingk. I am a stand-up comedian, a writer, and a podcast host. Yes, I have my own podcast. It's called That's Messed Up, an SVU podcast. It is co-hosted by the very funny Lisa Trigger. And we talk about Law and Order SVU. We talk about the true crimes that the episodes are based on. And then we interview an actor from the show. And we've been on a break from actors because of the strike. And now we'll be back to getting our actors back.
Starting point is 00:05:17 So that's exciting. That's exciting. I'm so excited to talk about the Cult of Podcasting because it's very meta. Yeah. And we are both in it. We are in a inception right now. We are in a inception or so.
Starting point is 00:05:28 We are inseptice. But then there's also the two sides of the cult, which is the listeners. Actually, I think there's three sides. There's the listeners, there's the hosts, and then there's industry. Yeah. And I think the industry aspect of it
Starting point is 00:05:41 has grown a lot more in the last couple of years. But I do want to say the reason I wanted to do this episode was because it's the subject that Amanda and I covered when we did our live shows. Okay. Because we're like, we wanna be self-aware. We know this is kind of a cult, but we also know that like some cults are fun and exciting.
Starting point is 00:05:59 Yeah. And like you mentioned you were like googling like the cult of podcast. Oh yeah, I was like, I'm like in preparation for this. I was like, I'm just gonna Google if like anyone has like written a think piece about like the Cult of Podcasting, but when you Google it, it's like just you guys.
Starting point is 00:06:11 Or it's like podcasts about cults. Or you guys are the third searcher. Yeah, it's literally like if you put the word podcast and cult next to each other, it's just a sap. Yeah, like it's amidea. Yeah, immediately us, which is amazing for the algorithm. Yeah. Why don't I have more Instagram posts?
Starting point is 00:06:29 I don't know, just kidding. But I wanted to ask you, okay, like right up top, just to get started, what do you think is the coltiest thing about podcasting? Well, I mean, for me, it's like, and I do not, this is like not to be taken in a disparaging way to any of our listeners, because I love each and every one of them.
Starting point is 00:06:50 They're all, we have the most amazing listeners. We have the same, we have like, fucking lawyers, social workers, FBI people. Like, we just like, every time we're like, we don't know about this. Can you guys let us know? Like, we just get floods of together. Like, very cool professional people.
Starting point is 00:07:03 We have a lot of women in game and, and we have some straight men too, but like, we just have floods of together. Like very cool professional people. We have a lot of women in game and we have some straight men too, but like we just have a great audience. So like I would never say anything bad about them. But I do think and a lot of them will even say to us at the live shows, there is like a parasocial thing that is the main part of it. Where I just sit there for, I have sat there on a mic
Starting point is 00:07:22 for hours and hours and hours, talking about myself, talking about my co-host, talking about her life, talking about our friendship, talking about my kids, personal stuff about myself, and then they come and they see me live and they're like, I do feel like I'm meeting my best friend right now, but you don't know me. And I'm like, yeah, and that is weird, and I guess I don't know because I haven't really had a podcast
Starting point is 00:07:44 that's like that for me. Like, I have podcasts that I love, but I never feel like I never really have felt like, oh, I'm friends with this person. I don't know. I feel like I want them to feel like they're friends with me. I want that. I've had that same experience and I think it's like so lovely. Like when a listener of the podcast will come up to me and be like, oh my gosh, I feel like I know you. I feel like we're already friends. And it's amazing because, and I don't say this does like up to the listeners. But I love the listeners.
Starting point is 00:08:15 But honestly, when I have a fan of the podcast come up to me, I'm like, I already knew. I kind of knew the vibe. Do your listeners have a similar vibe? That's what's crazy. They're so various. Like it's crazy. Like I will be in LA, I don't really ever get recognized except at my target.
Starting point is 00:08:35 At my target, I have had multiple times people come to me and say, oh my god, I listened to your podcast or I just heard your voice in the aisle. So, but I- Because they're probably like listening to it while I'm't target. Yeah, they're like shopping for Chlorox wipes and getting me in their ear. And then I'm there like telling my daughter to not like drop beer bottles on the ground.
Starting point is 00:08:53 I think the reason I can spot them is because like if a fan of the podcast comes to a comedy show, they're not like, I feel like they're not like normally a stand up comedy fan. And because they're very smiley, like happy people who are just like excited to be there. And so I'm just like, that's a fan of the podcast. Yeah. Because like people who like love standup comedy are like sitting in the back of a dark room like.
Starting point is 00:09:19 Well, their arms cross being like, go ahead. Yeah, they like make me laugh. And like a fan of the podcast will be there front row because they don't know that like you get paid. Don't do ahead. Yeah, being like make me laugh. And like a fan of the podcast will be there. Front row because they don't know that like you get paid on. Yeah. Front row full smile on their face. I agree with that. Like if people do come to my standup show that's here in LA,
Starting point is 00:09:36 if I talk to them for a second, I'm like, oh, they listen to the podcast. Because they have like a joy they get from the podcast that hasn't been like killed out of them from like going to hours and hours of stand-up comedy shows. Yeah, exactly. So you have been doing the podcast, you said for almost three and a half, three years. Yeah. Coming up on three years. Do you think there were any barriers to entry,
Starting point is 00:09:59 kind of, a regular cult vibe to go up the ranks of the podcasting space? Well, what's interesting, I don't know how you feel, but it feels like right now, podcasting is at such a peak saturation. I meet so many people all the time that are like, can I pick your brain about podcasting? And I'm always like, I don't wanna be mean, but don't start one.
Starting point is 00:10:20 I'm like, unless you wanna just do it for fun, and you really just, it's for fun, it's for, like, proof of concept for something you're doing for work or whatever. But if it's like, you're trying to, like, gain a following and, like, achieve something from, like, something financial or whatever from it, it's like, it's so difficult right now. I agree. And so, like, I mean, for me, you started, what you guys started with, like, on no network, right? With nothing, no network. And it's actually funny that you mentioned like the word proof of concept, because it was like, we were both like, let's just do our best.
Starting point is 00:10:51 You know, we were like, let's just make like 10 to 12 amazing episodes and see if it goes somewhere. And if it doesn't go somewhere, like I'm a comedian and a producer and like you're an author and like it will be, like it will be something that we like have worked on together. Right. That we can show we're
Starting point is 00:11:05 good at making things. And so around the 10th or 12th episode, we kind of hit something, but our numbers did start to go up. I think this girl, it's Spotify, put us on the homepage. I don't know where you are. Thank you. She really helped us out. And it kind of like shot up and then in that moment
Starting point is 00:11:26 Amanda and I were like oh we need to release more episodes to like catapult off of this like followership and so we released like the cult of Luloro and then the documentary came out at the same time and so it was like another force that it just kind of started growing. I dressed as that my husband and I dressed as those people for Halloween party. Oh, that's so smart. It was great. It was great.
Starting point is 00:11:49 Because it's also so comfortable. Yeah, well, my husband and I both were leggings, but he was the man. Yeah. He was the man and I was the woman of the couple. Oh! The big couple. You didn't, like, no, we weren't just like
Starting point is 00:11:57 Lulero sales people, we were like, the CEO that are in the documentary. That's so cool. So my husband were like the beard and like, the whatever and like, I think maybe we, I think I can't give a wig because his hair is already kind of soft peppery. And then he wore a suit jacket and like tie,
Starting point is 00:12:13 but then with leggings underneath. And I got like the ugliest leggings I could find on Amazon. And I wore like a rose colored blazer that like she wore in the documentary and like, that's so funny. A long wig. Yeah, it was, I like to be for Halloween things
Starting point is 00:12:24 that are top of mind. But that's amazing. What I was going to say is, like, you guys, that's like so admirable that you came out of nowhere because like we started on a network. And like, I had no idea sort of the cult of podcasting until I'm friends with Karen and Georgia from my favorite murder.
Starting point is 00:12:43 Yeah. And I remember one of them like added me to their Facebook group. And I was like, oh, cute, yeah, I'll follow her podcast, whatever, I don't know what this is, but they're my friends. And then I remember one day I looked at it and the number of people in it was like 500,000 people or something, or like 100,000 people. I was like, what the hell?
Starting point is 00:13:00 So you knew them before it blew up. I had no idea that it had blown up. Like I just didn't know because at that time, I think at that time I still was living in New York. So it's like I would see them when I would come to LA. Then I moved to LA, saw how big it was for them, and was like, wow, like this is wild. Like and so I think we get a little bit of splash back
Starting point is 00:13:21 from their fandom is so intense. So a lot of people are like, they come to our podcast live shows and they're like, we love Karen and Georgia, we love you guys too. Like they see us sort of as like an extension of them. Yeah. And so that's always like a little bit crazy. Yeah. I think we have a,
Starting point is 00:13:36 we, I know we have a lot of listeners from Karen and Georgia, because actually, they're, so it was like we had had that bump from that person put us on the homepage of Spotify. And then like the Lula Roe bump. And then I remember the first time any friend of mine ever texted me about the podcast after I'd been posting
Starting point is 00:13:54 about it for months on my social media was multiple texts in one day being like, oh my God, Karen and Georgia mentioned you on the podcast. And that was our next bump. And I had moments like that as well, where they would just talk about seeing me at a party. This was way before I was ever on their network, because I actually, it's very important to me
Starting point is 00:14:13 to clarify that we went through fully official channels to get on the network. I never was like, hey, friends, can I be on your network? We fully pitched through their people, everything through representatives, and did a pilot for them. You're not a nap, I'm not a nap, I'm not a nap, I'm getting in here.
Starting point is 00:14:28 But like, I remember I was like, oh wow, I've been a doing stand-up comedy for a decade. I've been like on TV a few times. I've done all these, I've done a little talking heads things. And like the most, the most random high school people coming out of the woodwork ever is like, Karen and Georgia, did they just talk about you on their broadcast?
Starting point is 00:14:45 And I was like, yeah, I had no idea what like a humongous following. Yeah. So that was when I first realized like, oh damn, like podcasting is like really wild. And then I'm also friends with like a lot of people from last podcasts on the left. Like that's a good way of friends as well. And they have like a crazy loyal following. Yeah. The same kind of deal. When I was in New York, there was this podcast called
Starting point is 00:15:09 Keith and the Girl that everybody wanted to get on. Have you ever heard of it? It's one of the first podcasts. I think it's still on. And everybody wanted to get on it. It was like you went on and they would kind of like ask you about like comedy gossip and they'd ask you about like, you know, like I went on after me and my now husband
Starting point is 00:15:23 had broken up. And like got back together. You went on after me and my now husband had broken up. And like, got back together. You have two kids now. Yeah, we got back together, spoiler. We have two kids, but like, they had him on to like talk about our breakup. Remember what year it was? Oh, they started that podcast way early.
Starting point is 00:15:36 So it was on in like the early 2000s. Yeah, I mean, it wasn't until a little fun fact. It wasn't until 2004 that the word podcast was coined by the Guardian columnist Ben Hammersley. And it's apparently a Port Montau, which is a combination of two words of iPod and broadcast. Oh my God, I did not know that. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:15:57 I never understood why it was called that. And I was always like, to me, that was a barrier to entry of people getting into it. Because I was like, you should kind of just call it an internet radio show or something. Yeah. It's just kind of like your own radio. Yeah, it's essentially like a radio show. And I think that's why people think it's an entirely different industry because of that
Starting point is 00:16:15 word. And in 2006, Steve Jobs demonstrated how to record a podcast using GarageBand during like one of his keynote speeches, which is I think really what led to the fact that it's such a grassroots movement. You know, anyone can make a, I mean, we're literally recording this in my living room with a recorder and two mics, and it's like anyone can make a podcast,
Starting point is 00:16:38 but it is. But they shouldn't. And it's funny because it's like, I knew that I should have a podcast as a comedian, but I didn't want to make a podcast until I was like bored enough during the pandemic that I was like, yeah, I'll make a podcast with a friend. Sometimes I think podcasting in and of itself is kind of a multi-level marketing scheme because there are podcasts that like teach you how to make a podcast, and there are podcasts that tell you you should make a podcast, it'll make you rich.
Starting point is 00:17:05 And it's like, it's a lot of work. Like we put hours and hours of work into this podcast to edit it, to release it, to cut clips to post on social media. It's not something that just blows up overnight. Like Apple Podcast is like a graveyard of podcasts that people released five episodes and then gave up. You know, like, if you go search for a name for a podcast,
Starting point is 00:17:29 you'll find like a cute piffy, like punny name for a podcast has six results, but you're like, oh, but last episode was posted in 2018. Yeah. So like I found a stat that was like according to amplify and pod news, 44% of podcasts have less than three episodes. 44% and you know, 1% of podcasts make a dollar. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:17:53 I read that statistic a long time ago that like 1% of podcasts make any money. Yeah. Yeah, it's wild. And so I do think that that's kind of a culty aspect of podcasting that like everyone's like, you should make a podcast. Yeah. I do think that it's great that a culty aspect of podcasting that like everyone's like you should make a podcast. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:18:05 I do think that it's great that everyone can make a podcast. I think that's a green flag of the cult of podcasting, but I also think that the idea that you have to keep going longer and longer and you just have to put the time in. Yes. I think that's an idea perpetuated by cults like the Joe Rogan podcast where they're like, oh, he just did it for so long that then he blew up. It's like, no, he just was one of the first podcasts. Exactly.
Starting point is 00:18:34 That's the thing. It's like, if someone wants to start now, I would still not say, oh yeah, if you do it for five years, you'll get some success. Because that's old. I don't know, there's this podcast called Watch What Crappens. I don't listen to it, but it's every day. It's five days a week and it's about all the Bravo shows. These two guys, they talk about every single thing that comes
Starting point is 00:18:54 out on Bravo. And they just, I would say blew up like three years ago, maybe, like, but they've been doing it for 10 years. What? Like they've been doing it for 10 years, I think. And they, and please, and please don't come for me if I'm wrong about the statistics, I'm literally trying to give these guys a couple of maps. They did it forever before I think they really blew up,
Starting point is 00:19:10 and I went and saw them with a friend at like a theater in LA that I was like, my podcast wouldn't sell this out, you know? But that's so unprobable. Like that's so much less like me to happen now, especially, and that's why I'll say anyone who wants to, like, sure start a podcast, but I think analyze the cost-benefit analysis
Starting point is 00:19:29 of what your free time is worth. Here's the other thing, is like now, as of the past three years, from pandemic on, we're competing with celebrities. Like that was never a thing. It was always podcasting was just like, oh, I listen to this podcast that I love called who weekly? Yeah, and it divides. It's about the celebrity world of the people that you've never heard of. Yeah, so the who's yeah, like
Starting point is 00:19:53 Them's are like the Julia Roberts is whatever the who's are like the random tick tocker. You don't know but they make millions of dollars I talk about that all the time. I'm like there are so many famous people I'll find someone with five million followers and you're like, do you know what I'm like? Who are so many famous people, I'll find someone with five million followers on Instagram. And I'm like, who is this person? I've never heard that person. So to me, there are podcasting thems or whatever. Like, I mean, not Karen and Georgia at this point, I feel like a lot of people know who they are outside of that,
Starting point is 00:20:16 but like, that was like, it was its own little sphere, and now it's like, smart-less. And every celeb has their own podcast. And so, it's even harder toless. And every celeb has their own podcast. And so it's even harder. So like, come out of the- Like what's that girl like, Raja Kowski or Emrauta? Oh, Emrauta.
Starting point is 00:20:31 Like, she started a podcast and promoted it on late night. You know, it's like, that's what we're competing with. Yeah, that makes me think of something that I wanted to talk about, which is like the idea of like us versus them mentality. So I feel like, you know, regular like the idea of like us versus them mentality. So I feel like, you know, regular cults, we know have us versus them mentality. But something that I've experienced from having a podcast is that it's not really zero sum. Like people who listen to our podcast, it sounds like a cult, also have three to four other
Starting point is 00:21:00 favorite podcasts. Sure. And they have a rotation. Yeah. And so I don't think that just because you like one podcast means that you're like anti other podcasts. Like what do you think, do you think that exists? No, absolutely, absolutely.
Starting point is 00:21:13 I mean, like people are like, we have so many followers that are like my favorite murder and you guys, we love you guys like or whatever, but they also listen to tons of others. There's some crossover of podcasts that I like as well. So absolutely. So I have a question for you. I was told early on in the podcasting game that the way to see whether people are listening
Starting point is 00:21:35 to a podcast is how many reviews they have on a podcast. I heard that too. So I was wondering, so that's what I think also contributes to the cult is that for me, people come to see our podcast and they think we're like Karen and Georgia, like we've been on like for years and years, we have, we tour in Australia, like sell out the Sydney Opera House and stuff like that.
Starting point is 00:21:53 I'm like, well, we're not quite there, you know, like we're not there yet at all. And so to me, there's something about the cult in the cult of podcasting, the cloudiness of who is actually winning in that field. Yes, who is? Cause you the end of the field. Yes. Yes. Who is?
Starting point is 00:22:07 Because you brought up, I'm not having a podcast. I remember I just brought up Kelly Ripa having this podcast. Jesse Tyler Ferguson has a podcast where he interviews people over dinner or something. It's called like, dinner's on me or something like that. And I looked up, like I'm psycho. I look up how many reviews people have. Yeah. And they don't have that many reviews.
Starting point is 00:22:23 And I'm like, my podcast has more reviews than this very famous person who has other very famous person on their podcast as their guests. Yeah. And so to me, there's something very interesting about like, what if we lived in a world of television where no one had any idea really about the Nielsen ratings? Yeah.
Starting point is 00:22:40 Like we had no idea who is doing well. That's what I think is so nice about TV that the reason I still want to work in TV is because it's still in art form where there's no comment section. There's no, sure, there's rotten tomatoes or whatever, but it doesn't live under the product. Yeah. But I think that's actually a thing that is Coltie about the podcasting space.
Starting point is 00:23:04 The reviews, because even though we think the reviews Yeah, but I think that's actually a thing that is Coltie about the podcasting space, the reviews, because even though we think the reviews are linked to the number of streams, nobody talks about how many downloads they actually have. Yeah. Like, it's so gate-keeping in the podcasting space to ask somebody else how many downloads do you have. You know, it's almost like asking them
Starting point is 00:23:22 how much money do you make a year? Well, and like, I remember I was watching the Real Housewives, I'm a Bravo girl, as you can probably tell, but I was watching Potomac, and two of the women on Bravo Real Housewives of Potomac have a podcast, and they had a big thing of like celebrating one million downloads,
Starting point is 00:23:38 and I was like, that's not that many downloads. Like all time, that's not that many downloads. For monetary success, that's not that many downloads. So it's just funny because nobody knows what the metrics are. It's like, you know, it's like in any cult, like who's running things? How much money are we taking? Yeah. What's going on?
Starting point is 00:23:59 And we always talk about that on the podcast of like, I think the cultiest groups are the groups where like, you don't know who the leader is leader is. You don't know who's running the system. Because it's like a shadow organization of like different sleeper cells. And I think as like the podcasting industry has grown, there's so many platforms like I mean, even just like hosting platforms like Libson or Omni or like which is you had taken care of for you because like you started with a network. But when we started the podcast, we literally like manually created our own feed and uploaded things ourselves.
Starting point is 00:24:33 And so those podcasting platforms don't share statistics with each other. And so everyone is kind of in the dark on how much everyone is making. Other than ad agencies. I feel like in a way, maybe like ad agencies are the ones who like run the universe. Yeah, I don't know, but like I'll see a podcast
Starting point is 00:24:54 that's like very popular. Or like Lisa was just looking up a podcast that is super popular on Instagram and TikTok. And I had like 14 reviews on Apple. Money aside, I think there's a lot of podcasts that are just social media clip podcasts. Like how much, how many followers a podcast has on Instagram is not equate to the number of listener downloads
Starting point is 00:25:15 that they have. Totally. We're getting in the weeds. We talked about how podcast fans can be Coltie with like the pair of social relationship and like lighthearted and tense ways. What do you think is the cultiest thing you've ever seen or heard,
Starting point is 00:25:27 like a podcast fan do, with you specifically? Ooh. Or whether it be you or another podcast. With us specifically, like, we have this one girl that has come to like, four live shows at different cities across the country. And she's coming to like, two more in like,
Starting point is 00:25:44 next year. Your her hairy styles. Yeah, and, but she's cool to like two more in like like your her hairy styles. Yeah and but she's cool like when we see her we're like what's up girl we like know about her like yeah she's not like a crazed fan she just like likes us and I think she uses our podcast to ring as an excuse to travel. That's amazing. I think she's like oh cool the girls I like are gonna be in this city I've never been there I I'm gonna go there. Yeah. And then it's kind of like you have friends to me. Yeah, we don't see her.
Starting point is 00:26:07 We're not like, uh-oh, we're like, oh, fun, this fun girl, you know? Yeah. So it is like, that's probably like the most extreme so far for us, but like people like they bring us things. They make us things. They bring me presents for my kids. Like, you know, and part of me is like,
Starting point is 00:26:24 oh, should I be giving like random, stranger presents for my kids. Like, you know, and part of me is like, oh, should I be giving random stranger presents to my kids, but I kind of take everything with a grain of salt. Yeah, one thing in a time. I'm grain of salt. I'll be honest a lot of times I go, look what I got you. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:26:40 Like a redish. That's amazing. Like, look at the stuffy I got you. And it's just like a really, really thoughtful like, like stuffy that a listener was like, I know your daughter likes this. And so I got her this. And I'm like,
Starting point is 00:26:51 What am I gonna say? Like this person that you don't know, like they don't understand, like concept of like strangers. So sometimes I'll just be like, look, these are gifts that, you know, sometimes I'll say a friend gave it to me or whatever. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:27:04 Well, if you like, that's a sign of like the green flag that is your podcast, the fact that like your listeners aren't too wild because I feel like there are other podcasts out there like Joe Rogan don't come for me. But I mean, for me when I think like what's the cultiest thing that some of his listeners have done, it's like not get vaccinated because he told you to. Yeah, that's like literally what is because he told you to. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:27:25 That's like literally what is happening. And that's what I like about our listeners is like, they'll write us and they'll be like, I love you guys, but like what you're saying about X, I fully disagree with and I'm like, okay, that's like, like to have your own mind is like so important in the pulse of podcasting because it is fucking crazy. Some of these podcasts where they're like,
Starting point is 00:27:45 oh well, they told me to do this, so I'm doing it. Yeah. So I wanna talk a little bit about like the power that big podcasters wield. I think there is like these big podcasters that wield so much power. So on the podcast, we always wanted to cover the cult of Rogan, but we've actually been told
Starting point is 00:28:00 by people in the industry not to do an episode on the cult of Rogan because their listeners will come for us and in a way that's... Tanks are ratings. Yeah. And so we have avoided it, but I wanna talk about his background a little bit. He was a wrestler turned comedian.
Starting point is 00:28:16 He has the most popular podcast in the world according to a report by Time Magazine. He has an estimated 11 million listeners per episode and over 70% of them are men, which is great in what we need in the world. Ha, ha, ha, ha. But. But who are these women? But who are these women?
Starting point is 00:28:38 30% are women that are just like, yeah, we love them. It's giving big, big, big. Yeah. I actually, this is so unrelated, but I got in an Uber the other day and I was like chatting with the Uber driver just like making small talk. And he was kind of cute.
Starting point is 00:28:51 He kind of looked like bad bunny and I was like, oh, I don't know, maybe he's cute. But then he was like, yeah, when I listened to Rogan, I was like, I have to get out of the car. It is like, it's so funny how it's become like a deal breaker with women like on like dating sites and stuff, too. Yeah. And so I think one of like the worst case scenarios was when Rogan invited Dr. Robert Malone
Starting point is 00:29:12 onto his podcast in 2021. And Malone, who has been banned from Twitter for spreading COVID misinformation, claimed that mandates of an experimental vaccine are explicitly illegal. And he said that the U.S. government was out of control. And both Rogan and Dr Malone were criticized for promoting several baseless conspiracy theories, including the false claim that hospitals are financially incentivized, falsely diagnosed deaths as have been caused by COVID-19. And that world leaders had hypnotized the public into supporting the vaccine. So I just wanted to touch on that a little bit because I feel like that is kind of a
Starting point is 00:29:50 worst case scenario of like the power that podcasters hold when their listeners will do anything that they say. And I wonder statistically, like how many people did he tell not to get the vaccine? You know, how many people did he have out of 11 million people, how many people did he tell not to get the vaccine? You know how many people did he have? Out of 11 million people, how many people per episode, how many of those 11 million were like, I'm not gonna do it, because Joe Rogan told me not to. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:30:14 I don't know. I mean, it's really, it's wild. And I also feel like there's some, there's some, my co-hostlies, and I have talked about this too, we're like, there's some huge issues that Rogan's never touched on. Yeah. And you're like, but you can talk about anything. You're this free, like, educated, free-thinking guy.
Starting point is 00:30:34 Where are you on abortion? Like, where are you on some of these things? Like, and, you know, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure you will, but like, because I don't listen to Rogan, but from what I've heard, he does not touch on that. He doesn't talk about that. It almost bothers me because it feels like he doesn't touch on things he is himself liberal on
Starting point is 00:30:53 so that he can continue to be perceived as a conservative figure, which is frustrating because silence is violence. Yeah, I'm happy with you, baby. Yeah, in a way, it's like, yeah, I'm such a free thinker, but it's like you're paying for it in a little bit. Yeah, exactly, baby. Yeah, in a way, it's like, yeah, I'm such a free thinker, but it's like you're pandering a little bit. Yeah, you know.
Starting point is 00:31:09 Yeah, I mean, yeah, of course, he's pandering. I love green chef. I cooked their chicken with garlic, charred rice, and I would not only not stop talking about it, but I literally sent the recipe to my parents because it was so good that I'm going to make it again. And this was a recipe from green chef, which is the number one meal kit right now for eating clean. Eating clean shouldn't be boring, especially during the holiday season. Feel your best and satisfy your cravings with adventurous eats made nutritious.
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Starting point is 00:33:59 is bundling up with the whole family or with friends and getting cozy around the fire or a picture of the fire on your TV. I've actually been looking forward to talking about what I recently got from skims because I have been sleeping in it every single night. And that's the cozy unisex robe. and that's the cozy unisex robe. It is so comfortable. I put it on just to lounge around the house and get cozy because it's getting cold and it's kind of like a portable blanket
Starting point is 00:34:36 and I got into bed and I've literally fallen asleep with it on the last five nights. I am not exaggerating. It is so comfortable. I told my mom about it I told my sister about it I think everyone should get this robe and lucky for you skims makes holiday shopping so easy With styles for everyone in the family skims holiday gift shop is the destination for all your gifting needs believe the hype Skims has over 100,000 five star reviews for a reason. Skims
Starting point is 00:35:06 holiday gift shop is now open at plus get free shipping on orders over $75. After you place your order, be sure to let them know we sent you. Select podcast in the survey and be sure to select our show in the drop down menu that follows. Prioritizing quality sleep is one of the best ways to take care of yourself, and instead of lingering on your phone before bed, make sleep your simplest self-care routine with the Hatch Restor 2. Think of the Hatch Restor 2 as your bedside sleep guide, your ally, and rest. The innovative, all-in-one dream machine is a sophisticated sound machine, light and alarm
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Starting point is 00:36:19 for bed and so what I usually do is I go over to my Hatch Restore 2 alarm clock and I press my like Night time button So it plays the sound that I've selected which is the crackling sound of a fireplace I put my phone down. I don't look at it anymore and it has helped me get the best night sleep that I've gotten in A really long time right now hatches offering our listeners $20 off your purchase of a Hatch Restore 2 and free shipping at slash cult. Sleep deeply and wake gently with the So we've talked a little bit about the parasocial relationships, the worst-case scenario with like Joe Rogan, and it's important to talk about those hosts, you know, the influence that podcast
Starting point is 00:37:26 hosts have over you as a listener. But I do want to say, you know, at least on like sounds like a cult, we try our whole thing is to be like question everything. Yeah. Like question, like the groups that you're a part of, question the news that you read, always get like multiple sources. Like we say that all the time on the show is like do your research on things because I feel like you can listen to someone, but you don't know if they're telling the truth. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And ultimately it's this is an entertainment podcast.
Starting point is 00:37:55 But at the same time, I listen to podcasts with people that I love and they'll say something that I'm like, I completely disagree with that. It has never occurred to me to message them and tell them that. It has never occurred to me to leave a review saying, I'm leaving. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:38:12 Because you said this thing, I don't like. Like, I don't know. That's just like, that's not who I am. Me neither. And we get comments like that. And I have this rule where if I just lost a day one listener. Yeah. I have a rule where it's like, if I hate comment is cruel and mean.
Starting point is 00:38:28 I'm like blocked goodbye. Yeah, but if I hate comment is funny, I'm like like yeah, like and subscribe. You got me there. Yeah, I'm like, hey, that was funny. I'm like, oh, if you want to be mean to me, you just have to make me laugh. Yeah, we'll take it. But I'm not gonna.
Starting point is 00:38:44 That's a great, that's a great, me laugh. Yeah. We'll take it. But I'm not gonna. That's a great, that's a great, like policy. Yeah, it's the, it's always like you're fat and ugly and what you said about it's like, no, come on. Yeah. Yeah, because also I agree to your point of like, it's like, I have visceral reactions, but I DM them to my friend, like a normal person.
Starting point is 00:39:02 Yeah. Like it's like if I watch a standup clip that I hate, I will DM it to a friend and be like, this is the stupidest shit I've ever heard. I would never, in a million years, right? You have fat ankles. Yeah. You know what I mean?
Starting point is 00:39:14 Like go to like, well first of all, go to like any YouTube club of a female comic doing standup, like on late night or anything. And it's like, I don't know, her arms look weird. Like it's always just like a horrible physical comments or whatever, but it is interesting because I would say in my mind, in a cult, the members don't really have a lot of agency
Starting point is 00:39:34 to speak up against the leadership, but in podcasting, there's almost too much. Like, there's so much feedback. And I also think it's really difficult because the level of feedback that you get is not equal to the amount of listeners that you have. And the hate is so loud. And it's so important to not focus on that.
Starting point is 00:39:55 And like, sure, because you don't wanna be occult as a podcast, you don't want to have authoritarian control. So you're gonna listen to the comments and you're gonna read, generally get the vibe of like what the feedback is. But if you focus too much on that, I think you carry the risk of like turning into a podcast that you originally weren't supposed to be.
Starting point is 00:40:17 You have to like listen to your own gut and be like, this is the vibe, but this is the vibe. You can't be like driven by feedback. Okay, so we talked a little bit about how the podcasting industry has grown so much in the last couple of years, and like you started out on network,
Starting point is 00:40:32 we started out independently, but it's like you still ultimately get to the same place once you hit a certain level of success. And I found it fascinating that like as early as 2013, Apple announced their first billion podcast subscribers. And then in 2021, podcast ad revenue was around 1.4 billion. And now in 2023, it's expected to be over 200 billion. Whoa.
Starting point is 00:41:00 So that just shows you how much podcasting has grown in the last couple of years. One, the pandemic, I think, popped that, because like smartness, I think, is like a product of the pandemic, right? Right. So a lot of these celebrity driven podcasts when everybody was at home and was like,
Starting point is 00:41:17 I guess I have a microphone, you know? Yeah, and I also think it's the dual cult. So it's like, from the cult of the hosts, they popped off because a lot of famous people didn't have anything So it's like from the cult of the hosts, they popped off because a lot of famous people didn't have anything to do. But from the cult of the listeners, that's when I started listening to podcasts during the pandemic, because I was so lonely
Starting point is 00:41:33 and had crippling anxiety. And I didn't wanna go grocery shopping like with a mask or like 10 masks on without like listening to a soothing voice. Right. In my ear. Yeah. And it is like, I will say like, it's so nice when people,
Starting point is 00:41:47 I meet them at the live shows and they're like, you help me get through the pandemic. Like, I love that because like, what a fucking time. We all went through like, I don't feel like anyone is even really like emotionally been able to like take the, take stock of how traumatic that was for a lot of people. And I really am like so happy that I could do any small tiny, like small thing to help anybody get through that.
Starting point is 00:42:11 Yeah, and that's kind of like why you get into, I feel like entertainment and comedy. I originally studied politics and human rights, and I was so miserable on making such little money that I was like, I need to be happy so that I can just have like net positive influence. You know what I mean? I feel like if you're not doing like what you love to do then you're just a cranky person which is worse for the world. Yeah. Then like putting out good vibes.
Starting point is 00:42:42 Yeah man, good vibes are only that stand up comedy when I think about it. Okay, so I want to touch on one last part of the cult of podcasting and then we're going to play a little game. So the last thing I want to touch on before the game and the verdict is the cult of streaming platforms. So you remember when Taylor Swift like boycotted Spotify. Yeah, took all her music off. So that she could get artists paid.
Starting point is 00:43:06 I think about this all the time, and I don't know if people know this or not, but we don't get paid by streaming platforms for our downloads, but musicians do. Yeah. And musicians get paid like sense on the dollar, not a lot of money, per Listen of their song, but their songs are only like three minutes long and We have people on the platform listening for hours and hours and we get no money
Starting point is 00:43:38 Who's gonna boycott? It's not gonna be me. I'm not gonna be the Bethany Frankel for this yet cause. I'm not Taylor Swift. Yeah. I'm not Taylor Swift levels either, but it makes me wonder. But that is interesting. Right? Like this is ultimately not free labor if you like have ads on, but then we also have to do the labor of finding those ads and booking those ads.
Starting point is 00:44:04 And I don't take on ads that I don't actually like the product of. So like then that also falls on you, the burden of the creator to only take sponsorships that you genuinely support. Oh yeah. So it's like when are the streaming platforms gonna pay us? Well, I feel that's also like why there's been
Starting point is 00:44:23 like a huge move to Patreon as well. That's why like there's a lot of people having a ton of success on Patreon. Yeah. Because it's like, oh yeah, let's cut out these streaming platforms. Let's go straight to Patreon. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:44:34 Because a lot of people think of Patreon as additional content, but it can be also like where podcasts just fully live. Yeah. The only issue with Patreon is that the interface isn't like easy to just like when you go on Spotify or when you go on Apple Podcasts. Yeah, it doesn't just like download into like a feed on your, but it can, but it's hard to do. Oh really?
Starting point is 00:44:54 You can get a Patreon to just like go into your Apple Podcasts. Oh really? But it's like an extra step. Yeah, and it's already hard enough to get people, my mom doesn't know what a podcast is. Yeah. She's like, what, how do I watch it? I go, we thought something you watch is what you listen to. She's like, what?
Starting point is 00:45:10 Like, she has no idea what it is. Yeah. I've been doing it for three years. That's so funny. So, are you ready to play a Coltie game? Yes. Okay, so before we get to the verdict, I want to play a little game,
Starting point is 00:45:23 and it's a classic sounds like a Col game and it's called culty quotes. Ooh, so I'm gonna read a quote, a series of quotes and you're going to decide if you think it's a cult followed podcast, host that said it or a notorious cult leader from history. Okay. Okay, so the first quote is podcast or cult leader. Yeah. You know, a long time ago being crazy meant
Starting point is 00:45:49 something. Nowadays everybody's crazy. I want to say that that's a podcast. No, that was Charles Manson. Oh my god! I should fucking know that. I've listened. I've like, I have absorbed so much Manson family information in my life. Yeah, like I've read about it. I've listened to podcasts about it. I've, oh my God. Well, now you know, nowadays everybody's crazy
Starting point is 00:46:13 and I don't, he wasn't wrong. Yeah. Okay, next quote. We can be the victim of the world we see or we can choose to perceive difficult past experiences as a catalyst for change. That sounds like some Brunei Brown shit or whatever, is that a podcast host?
Starting point is 00:46:31 Yeah. Gabrielle Bernstein host of Dear Gabby Self Health podcast. Okay. Okay, next one. That was a far off. No, yeah. Next quote, truly happy people see the value in negativity. Wait, I sort of love that quote. Is that a collater? And I'm like about to do a call? Next quote truly happy people see the value in negativity wait
Starting point is 00:46:45 I sort of love that quote is that a cult leader and I'm like about to Who's the cult leader teal swan? Yes, I've never I haven't watched all that stuff But I love yeah, yeah, yeah, and he's a good quote truly happy people see the value because I think I'm a happy person But I sometimes you're just like I'm walking here! Yeah, I love a little negativity. I love to talk shit a little bit. Yeah, who doesn't? You all watch reality TV for a reason. Well, I think of like cult people.
Starting point is 00:47:11 Like a lot of cult people being like, no negativity. Yeah. Everything's good. And that's why they snap. Yeah. One day. Okay, next quote. I'm simply saying that there is a way to be saying.
Starting point is 00:47:22 I'm saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past and you, just by being a simple witness of your thought process. That sounds like the guy from the vow. Um, I don't know. Is that a cold leader? Yeah. I feel like I messed it up in this.
Starting point is 00:47:39 Keith Ranier is what I was gonna say. It does sound like Keith Ranier, who is, informously a cold leader, but it was O-Show, the leader of the Raj Nishis Slap. A wild country. Wild wild country. Yeah. I fell asleep every night and I tried to watch that.
Starting point is 00:47:52 Yeah. I could not stay awake for wild wild country. I feel like it was just like a lot of like slow scenes. Yeah, I was into it, but I just kept falling asleep. Yeah. It should be a really long time to get through it. The final quote is, it's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything
Starting point is 00:48:08 A podcaster. Yeah Joshua Fields Millburn who is one of the hosts of the minimalist podcast. Okay. Yeah cool It's kind of they're kind of culty, but we had them on our show. Oh really? They don't wear shoes, which is Coltie is hot. Yeah. Fuck. And they're really wet. No footwear is so Coltie.
Starting point is 00:48:28 Yeah. And like I, I'll be Coltie in my own home, you know? Yeah. She was off household, but outside. I don't know where she was right now. Yeah. In your household, that is wild. Wow, I did okay.
Starting point is 00:48:42 What did I get like a four out of five? Yeah. I think. Okay, so before we wrap up, what get like a 4 out of 5? Yeah, I think. Okay, so before we wrap up, what do you think the cult of podcasting is? Do you think it's a live your life? A watch your back? Or a get the fuck out level cult?
Starting point is 00:48:56 Oh, you're... Oh, I think it's a live your life. Yeah. I think it's a live your life. I think that we've just touched on a bunch of it. Like there's feedback, there's like agency. You can leave whenever you want. Like, you know, there's like, yeah. I just, I worry about the people
Starting point is 00:49:17 who are probably susceptible to this in other ways that are just like, yeah, I'm gonna let a podcast host tell me like what to do with my health or what to do with my like. But those are probably the people who are susceptible to that in other aspects of the life too. Like if they didn't have Joe Rogan, would they be like, oh, my junior manager at work, Steve,
Starting point is 00:49:34 he's really freaking smart. And he told me not to get the vaccine, so I'm not getting it. Yeah. You know, like, would that be them if they didn't have that? Yeah, like they would have gone it somewhere else. But I think, yeah, I think it's a live your life
Starting point is 00:49:45 because there are so many aspects to it that you're listening to it from home, like the safety of your own home. You have, it's free. Yeah. Like all podcasts. No financial buy-in. No financial buy-in, which is huge.
Starting point is 00:50:01 I think the Coltiest aspect of podcasting is when you get involved in it. Because like I said, it is kind of like an MLM vibe. Like it's kind of like becoming an influencer in a way where like you're told that like it's the next big thing and like you can pop off from in. There's so much money in podcasting, but it's like, it's a full-ass time job.
Starting point is 00:50:20 Yeah. It's so much work. It's like, yeah, you can make money in anything if you fucking succeed. Yeah, yeah, you know So it's like just keeping an eye out for like not falling down that rabbit hole of like creating a podcast for 20 years That like nobody listens to God or also when you listen to hosts. It's like Remember like we're people too We're just regular ladies. We're just regular ladies. Do I want to be regular? No.
Starting point is 00:50:46 I want to be more famous. No, I'm kidding. But I am regular. I'm so regular. Yeah, even if I get famous, I still kind of want to be regular. I want to be. Me too. I don't want anybody to tremble when they're meeting me.
Starting point is 00:50:58 Ever. I hate that. Me too. I just want to say hi to you. Literally. You know, let's just talk like people. Exactly. No one's better than anyone.
Starting point is 00:51:06 No buddy. I actually had that written on my fridge for a while. It's like really? Really? It's better than me and I am better than nobody. Yeah. That's what you have to remind yourself. Yeah, because it's like that you hear about celebrity's acting
Starting point is 00:51:18 like assholes and it's like, yeah, because somebody let them think that they're better. Yeah. I like it not better than anybody. No. Yeah. You have to treat service people kindly, you have to treat others kindly, you have to help people, like you just have to.
Starting point is 00:51:30 Yeah, I agree, it's just so easy to be kind and treat others kindly. But thanks for coming on the show. Thank you so much, I feel like this is an intervention, you're gonna help me escape the Cult of Podcasting now. I think like, I'm never gonna escape the Cult of Podcasting at least for now. I'm starting a new podcast with my friend. Oh my gosh.
Starting point is 00:51:49 You're getting deeper. I'm getting deeper in the cult. Deeper deeper in. But I think it's because I like, you know, I like, I enjoy the cult. Like we talk about it all the time. Like it's like a cult. You're like one of the girls on the vow that Keith chose to like open up the new center in Toronto.
Starting point is 00:52:02 They're sending you out to like do a new one. Yeah, and I'm doing it with a friend. Her name's Lydia Keating. to open up the new center in Toronto. They're sending you out to do a new one. I love that. I'm doing it with a friend, her name's Lydia Keating. She was actually a guest on our cult of marathon running episode. Ooh, the cult of running is wild. I actually used to do a standup joke about that. Because runners will be like, yeah, I'm
Starting point is 00:52:18 I pissed myself and my nipples are bleeding, but wow, the runner's high. It's like, girl, get yourself some help. Literally, and that's her, but in a good way, she like, is it running influencer? She did our episode so self-aware and we're starting a podcast, and I'm so excited about it.
Starting point is 00:52:35 So if you want to learn more about it, go to my Instagram, or which is linked in the episode description, and we'll continue on with the cult of podcasting. I can't wait to follow your new, your new. Thanks. And if our listeners want to follow you, or listen to your podcast, what can they do that?
Starting point is 00:52:52 My podcast is called That's Best Up And SvU Podcast, new episodes every Tuesday on exactly right media. You can get it wherever you get your those pods. And I'm just Kara Klank on Instagram and Twitter. I mean, I'm getting off of that shit. But on Instagram, follow me on at Caraclanke. And it's all case if you think there's a C, you're incorrect. Okay.
Starting point is 00:53:10 Awesome. Well, thanks for coming on the show. Thanks for having me, ESA. Well, that's our show. Thanks so much for listening. Amanda will be back with a new episode next week, but in the meantime, stay cool, T. I do love you. Sounds like a cult was created hosted and produced by Issa Medina and Amanda Montel. This episode was edited, hosted, and produced by Issa Medina. Our
Starting point is 00:53:34 theme music is by Casey Colbe. I'm on Instagram at Issa Medina, I-S-A-A-M-E-D-I-N-A, or you can go on my website,, where you can go on my website,,, where you can tell me where to perform, stand up, or get information on my new podcast that I'm launching in 2024. And if you like the show, feel free to give us a rating on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Thank you.

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