Lockdown listening 5: Inside the How Did You Manage That? podcast with co-hosts Sophie Paluch and Ally McRae

Lockdown listening 5: Inside the How Did You Manage That? podcast with co-hosts Sophie Paluch and Ally McRae

Need something to listen to during lockdown? No problem, let Music Week recommend some key podcasts. Here, How Did You Manage That? co-hosts/producers Sophie Paluch and Ally McRae explain how they joined forced with the MMF/AWAL for a podcast exploring the colourful lives of music managers…

Why were managers a great untapped subject for a podcast series?
Ally McRae: “For me, it was from working in the music industry over the last decade – across quite a few sides of it – and hearing stories of how different people have achieved or failed with various endeavours. That always stuck with me. I felt there was a real space for something like that to exist, and podcasting is the perfect medium to tell and listen to those stories.”

Sophie Paluch: “We wanted to give a platform to newer, younger managers as we realised that there was nothing out there that really looked at management from all sides, from those working with huge artists to those just starting on their journey.”

The podcast is associated with MMF – what has that done for the organisation?
SP: “We felt it was an important story to tell and naturally the MMF was a perfect place to take it to. Fiona [McGugan, former Music Managers Forum/FanFair Alliance exec) got the concept from the start and was incredible, she took it to AWAL and got us the sponsorship we needed to get it off the ground. I think the MMF would agree that it’s offered their members and beyond an opportunity to hear the stories of some amazing and relatable managers doing stuff in real time. We have had so much amazing feedback on it, every episode we get messages from listeners saying how much it helped them think differently and most importantly made them feel like the journey of management isn’t such a scary and sometimes lonely one, that was always our aim.”

AM: “From the outset, there was a real desire to sit down with managers ‘doing it now’ and hear what they are up against and how they are continually evolving. What we didn’t want, was to hear the war stories from the “good old days” and have to listen to any Kill Your Friends-style bullshit. We wanted to keep it very much a relevant podcast which brings up management topics that are actively being debated in the corridors of the biggest companies across the industry, and getting the managers take on how the changes across streaming, publishing and live are affecting their artists, I like to think we’ve done that in season one.”

Sophie, you also work on the artist plugging side of things with Blueprint Pods – how important have podcasts become for music acts?
SP: “Podcasts are becoming one of the main means of really getting to know who an artist is beyond just the music, and I think the marketing guys, managers and labels are really starting to understand that now. It gives them a voice away from the traditional promo they usually have to do. For example, I work with Freya Ridings and we put her on the podcast Beauty Full Lives and she got to talk about skincare and beauty for an hour, it was one of the most popular episodes of the series and because of that we can look at the themes from it and find other podcasts that work for her.”

Do you think industry podcast revenues will continue to grow or is there a glass ceiling approaching?SP: “I think there are lots of revenue streams out there for podcasts, everything from sponsorship to brand partnerships. If you build the right podcast and make it scalable on a global level then the possibilities are endless. Rights for podcasts are now being acquired for film and TV, and labels/DSPs are partnering up with podcast production companies, and most likely locking in the IP for any podcasts made through them. What is the difference between a song and a podcast episode? They are both a piece of audio – some could say a master – to own, exploit and generate a revenue from. I’m sure there’ll come a time where you’ll be paid for a podcast stream the same way you are for a song.”

You can read the first part of our Lockdown Listening series here.  

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