It’s the 300th episode of the Postlight Podcast! To celebrate, Paul and Rich talk with Steph Colbourn, founder and CEO of editaudio and producer of the podcast since early days. Steph gives the inside scoop on how the podcast gets made, what makes a great one, and the latest developments in the podcast production industry. She also shares Rich and Paul’s best (worst?) bloopers from the cutting room floor.
Steph Colbourn I use a de-crackler, I think, for you because you have more spit sounds.
Paul Ford Ahhh, damn it! That’s rough.
Rich Ziade I’ve been thinking about that, yeah. [Paul makes mouth noises]
[music ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
PF Hey, Rich.
RZ Hi, Paul!
PF You ever see that movie where those really oiled up Spartan men are go and fight?
RZ In Incognito mode? Yes.
PF It’s called 300.
RZ It’s like a video game in a movie.
PF Yeah, it’s shameless.
RZ Yeah, I remember watching it. It just sort of was fighting throughout and then it just ended. It was like wait—there’s no story arc.
PF They ran out of comic book. They were just like ah, well. So this is—no kidding—the 300th episode of The Postlight Podcast.
RZ That’s actually insane.
PF Can you imagine?
RZ You know what the real miracle is?
RZ The real miracle is we haven’t flubbed or said something that brought down not only your in my professional career, but the entire company’s.
PF In 2021, or over the last five years, the risk. Let me tell you about the conversation I had—
RZ Wait how is it that we’ve gotten to do that, Paul?
PF That’s what I’m going to get to. I’m going to get you there. One more second.
Early stages, maybe the first 50 episodes we started, we worked with a very nice person. But then that person wanted to move on, they’ didn’t want to edit our podcast anymore.
RZ Start a family.
PF So we called around, I interviewed a bunch of people. They were very nice, very nice. But one person stuck out as just being understanding where we were coming from, what we were about. And this person, I said to this person, I remember very clearly, I was in this room that we’re recording in now. I said listen, you got two guys in their 40s and there’s a very specific world out there. I need you to keep an eye on us. And tell us if we’re screwing stuff up.
RZ Like we meander. We don’t script very well.
PF Button this up. Make it good. And you know, people we record 40 minutes, take it down to 20. And this person said absolutely, I got it. And the good news for the listeners, if you like this podcast, you like this person’s work, and this person has agreed to join us for our 300th podcast.
RZ Wait. Now? Today?
PF Right now, in Bungalow, the room where we record. Steph Colbourn, who is the principal and lead of editaudio.
SC Yeah, find my title.
PF Is that your title?
SC I don’t know. I oscillate between like 95 different ones, depending on the day.
PF Steph, welcome to The Postlight Podcast. [Paul laughs] You have to understand listener. Steph has been inside of The Postlight Podcast more than any human being should ever have had to do. What’s it like to be on the other side now that you’re here? You’re gonna have to edit this.
SC I’m not going to edit it. I did tell Ali from my team that she’s gonna edit it. And I said there’s a special place in hell for people that have to edit their own voice in an interview setting.
PF Alright so tell us a little bit. You have a business—tell the people—we’ve never made a secret of this. But it doesn’t come up a lot, because people just listen to the podcast. But you’ve been editing us for quite a while. Tell us about your business.
SC Yes. So I own a full suite podcast production company that is operated entirely by women, trans and non binary people. We are based out of Canada, but we mostly work in New York.
SC Now we have a New York location too, which is very new. And yeah, we edit—like we do everything for a bunch of different clients depending on what they need. For y’all, we do like editing and some writing and some transcription and some marketing stuff and some add stuff. And for other people, we go all the way from like setting up recording studios to recording to post production, music, sound design, marketing, advertising.
PF Other podcasts people might know that are editaudio products?
SC Yeah, we work with a lot of like editorial clients. We work with Harper’s Bazaar on their podcast called Dare I Say. We worked with Cosmopolitan and Tinder. We work on Google’s News Initiative with 28 local news organizations across the United States. I work with Stack Overflow, which is the other tech podcast that we work on, which Paul has been on.
PF That’s right. I was on that for a little while.
RZ We were at the bottom of that list, Steph.
SC We work on Postlight. [Steph laughs] Oh and we have Original Series now to where we started making our own content!
PF When we first started talking, this wasn’t in place. Where were you when we first started working together?
SC To be completely honest, I don’t remember what I was doing. But I think I was still like bartending on the side and freelancing.
PF That’s awesome. So Postlight—formerly Track Changes.
SC Postlight was the key to my success. [Steph laughs]
PF That’s what I like to hear.
RZ Mhmm. Been waiting for that.
PF We should put out too, Steph is a friend of the firm. Rich, how would you define friend of the firm?
RZ Friend of the firm is where I think you’ve kind of pierced through sort of the classic transactional aspects of the relationship. You sort of connect and a couple of our clients are that.
PF They very much are.
RZ A couple of the people we work with like Steph, you don’t feel like you’re leaping across a cultural—
PF Occasionally former employees kind of like come back with work or come back with new things going on.
RZ Yeah, former employees. If there’s no cultural chasm to leap across, you’re able to just talk to each other.
PF One of the big tells for me is when they ask you for legal advice. [Steph laughs]
SC There’s nothing that warms my heart.
PF At that point, it’s actually like, hey, could you do me a favor?
RZ Well, so they trust you. When you’re asking somebody for legal advice, that’s like saying, did you think this is weird with the way my elbow moves, doctor? Friend?
PF Exactly. This is one of the nice things about this relationship, right? Like you’re a friend of the firm, you’ve gotten to know us through our voices.
SC I like to make fun of y’all.
PF Yeah, you do. We deserve it. And also, but you’ve also gotten to know a lot of the people at Postlight, you have relationships that people who’ve moved on from Postlight.
SC I like to say that I’m the most tenured employee at Postlight.
PF It’s pretty close.
RZ It’s pretty close.
SC Even though I’m not an employee. Just because I’ve been sticking around for so long. I feel like I know all of the growth spurts that you’ve gone through.
RZ I want you to share your experience of taking the leap, Steph. From doing this as a side gig, still have another job. To, I’m not the brand, the brand is the brand, I’m gonna stand up a formal thing. What motivated you to do it and how did you know what to do next?
PF When was your first hire too?
SC Like, I feel like I should know that.
PF It’s been like a couple years?
SC Yeah, it’s been at least three years, I want to say? Maybe more?
PF The jump from bartender to entrepreneur in the nascent podcasting space—to Rich’s point. What was that?
SC I mean, it was kind of wild. I worked for a marketing firm. I don’t even know if y’all know this. But I worked for like an agency doing their podcast and video content when I got out of school, and I got out of school for like recording and post production and stuff.
RZ You started to learn the ropes.
SC Yeah. And then I really didn’t like my boss. So I didn’t last that long, and I left.
PF Sure. They might be listening right now. Okay.
SC I mean, I told him, so there’s that. And then I left and I was like, I’m just gonna start freelancing. And I was bartending on the side. So I freelanced and then Serial came out and podcasts like blew up.
SC And I already had a portfolio so I just kind of lucked out. Like people from like Silicon Valley were calling me—
PF It’s like knowing HTML in 1987 right?
SC Yeah, it was like oh, like there’s three people on the internet who are doing this freelance. Like I guess I should call them. And so I started growing stuff that way and eventually it just like got so big, I was hiring contractors all the time to like fill in to do like work every once in a while. And they ended up working basically full time for me. So I was just like, I should just hire real people and like, get them health insurance and stuff.
PF How big a team these days?
SC We have seven people in me okay. And some contractors.
PF Okay, so that’s fully bootstrapped. Right? Like this is just built—you’ve built it bit by bit.
SC Out of love.
PF Awww. [Steph laughs] Out of love!
RZ In a weird way. Steph knows us better than many people at Postlight.
PF First of all, I apologize, right? [Steph laughs]
RZ I just want to say I’m sorry.
PF There are a lot of conversations—a lot of times we’re in the podcast and you and I will just flub something terribly.
RZ Or you had hit record and—
SC Yeah you record or the recording is and you’re still talking. Like guys, mute the mic!
PF There’s a lot of like, “Hey, Steph…”
RZ I remember I played Cigarettes After Sex—Cigarettes After Sex is a band—to Paul. [Steph & Paul laugh] For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s like this slow, glacial, baby making music.
PF We’re just disgusting bros.
RZ And I’m like, listen to that. And then you’re like, oh yeah. Ohhh yeah.
PF Awesome guitar sounds. [Steph laughs]
RZ It’s a bad scene.
PF You and I in that moment suck so bad.
[clip of Rich & Paul listening to Cigarettes After Sex plays]
SC It’s really embarrassing.
RZ It’s really bad.
PF We’re adult men running a business at this point. [Rich laughs]
SC And this is taking place in the place of work. Like that’s what I love. Like you think you’re like behind closed doors here like talking about this song and Rich is like, oh, you gotta listen to the song, it’s so good.
RZ And I heard you listening and there was silence except for the music and then you said, oh, yeah. Oh yeah. [Steph & Rich laugh] It’s bad. It’s bad. Anyway.
PF Those go to Steph because we just kind of hit record and send it over, which let me be clear the product that you offer is a pretty special product, which is literally I go to a room with Richard and we don’t have a lot of time and we have some topics we want to get some stuff done. I talk to him for 40, 50 minutes and then it goes into a Dropbox and then that’s what people hear. And they get the theme song and the bumpers and all the stuff and it’s trimmed down nicely and it’s ready to go and then all the metadata, the images, all that stuff goes up to the syndicator and that goes out to the world. So like our business is not podcasting. But it is a major and important part of how people get to know us and they build relationships with us that way and then some of them become our clients. So it’s very important to us. And it is truly turnkey, right? Like that has been fantastic. But that means that in the 20 minutes that doesn’t make it in, you hear some shameful shit.
SC There is also one time where Rich, like your mom called I think in the middle of the recording and then you answered it.
PF That’s like a comedy, that’s beautiful.
SC It’s amazing. I want to keep it in so bad.
PF She’s yelling at you.
RZ She’s like “I’m taking Anita to the MRI.” And I have no idea who Anita is nor why she is getting an MRI.
PF It’s probably in Arabic.
RZ She still, if I don’t answer, yells into the phone as if it’s a like a voicemail that’s like on an answering machine. It’s good stuff. Your client roster is little teeny weeny companies like Postlight all the way up to big brands, big names.
PF We’re not at teeny weeny anymore.
RZ Well, next to Cosmo. No one invited me to the Met Gala, which was two days ago, Paul.
SC No one invited me either. [Steph laughs]
PF Yeah, we might have as much staff as one of those magazines.
RZ That’s possibly true. Fair enough. We’re not teeny weeny. But you hear a wide array of podcasts with a wide array of voices and whatnot. And podcasting is here. It is here to stay. What makes a good podcast?
SC I think, okay, it depends on the kind of podcast.
PF What are the kinds of podcasts?
SC Like there’s the narrative podcast, which would be something like Serial.
PF Murder town!
SC Where you’re following, yeah, like one story all the way through. And then there’s like a, what I like to call like a talk shop. Like talk show type chat show.
PF Two bros talkin’!
SC Yeah, like two people in a room or whatever, like an interview based podcast. And then there’s like a investigative one which I think is like more like the NPR like deep dive where there’s a theme across the season but each episode is sort of doing an analysis and something. And all of those I think require different things. What makes a good chat show I think is that the people that are doing it have to be interested in other people or can feign interest.
PF Oh boy. Oh we’re in trouble.
SC And you have to be like charismatic. Like the thing that works what your show is you both know each other so well, you can shoot the shit, you have different opinions on a lot of things but you like respect each other’s point of view.
PF The best ones are the ones where we fight.
RZ Friction. No one wants to hear two people agree with each other the whole time.
PF It’s horrible, yeah.
SC But no one wants to hear people like straight up fighting either. And you have like a nice balance of that where you’re like, oh, I respect where you’re coming from but you’re wrong.
PF Interesting. So the underlying love is key but the fact that we’ll fight through it is important for the listeners.
SC I honestly think it’s just like connection. Like you can feel when you talk to each other that you’re buddies. Like you have some sort of like thing between you that is interesting.
PF No that’s true. Like the kids come over on the weekends like that’s real in our relationships.
RZ Yeah, interesting. I mean that does come across. And I think—I want to put aside the Reply All’s, like the big mega breakout ones right? It’s a long tail of a lot of different podcasts. I gotta be honest Paul. Not that I think we’re special.
PF For God’s sake, once, just be honest!
RZ Have you ever picked like a long tail podcast to listen to?
PF It’s rough stuff.
RZ It’s bad!
PF There’s some good ones, there’s some great ones.
RZ It’s a lot of bad.
PF Tell you what, two guys in a room is a high risk game, the better produced ones tend to be a little on the better side.
RZ I think what Steph is not highlighting is a lot of people when we ask them to come on, they’re nervous because they think we are so buttoned up.
PF A lot of times we are people’s first experience of doing any media. A lot of our guests are people who are not media people and they may not have a lot of confidence in their feet.
SC I think also being like—I mean you talk to a lot of people—being prepared for a conversation but not reading questions, like a lot of people that go into an interview are over prepared and just like read questions.
PF Oh you go to get them off—we gotta get them off of their feet. Oh it’s brutal. We’ve had a couple.
RZ We’ve had a couple.
SC Like media trained people, where you’re like, oh, great.
RZ We’ve had a couple where the PR person came with the guest, but we wouldn’t let them in to the room.
PF We actually, I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about this. But we set a very like a straight line—like obviously this is a marketing product, but people can bring their PR people can listen in etc etc. No one can have any edit approval on The Postlight Podcast. I remember we pulled one episode because somebody was like “I didn’t get the right approval and now they want to edit it.” And we’re like no, that’s it. Like I can’t put that out in the world. I’m not gonna let your your team edit the podcast. So we’ve stuck with that pretty hardcore. We’ve never turned it into—
SC And that makes it better, because otherwise it’s just like, you know, you could read that in an article. Like why are we listening to this? It’s just like question and answer, question and answer.
PF I did an interview, I was on a different podcast and I remember talking to somebody and I realized that their secret to not letting anyone else get a word and while they were talking, is they took breaths in unusual times. Because usually what happens is you’ll be talking to the person you’re like, okay, okay, you kind of because you have to take a breath and you can anticipate that you can cut it. But what they would do is [Paul takes a quick breath] And they would keep going. And you could never get in!
SC Oh my gosh.
RZ That’s terrible.
SC What a hard thing to train your body to do, also.
PF Three minutes of just like—yeah, it was rough. It was rough. So anyway, there that is out there. But no, we like the casual chitchat.
SC I do want to also say that the thing that makes a show good is like having good quality microphones and like recordings and also editing it.
PF Which you set us up with. Here we are.
RZ And there are a lot of apps that like just live on your phone like “you can have podcasts in five minutes, download the app!” But we don’t realize, it needs to be decent quality.
PF I do want to talk about one thing. Like talk about your production environment. And are there like wacky plugins that fix everything now? Okay, so what what tools do you use?
SC The coolest tool I use is called Izotope and it’s like a—I should say Izotope. It’s like AI powered mega house. It’s absolutely wild what you can do with it.
PF Wait, how much does it cost? What does it work inside of?
SC That’s a good question. So it has its own like interface that you can work with.
PF And you edit in what? In Logic? In Pro Tools?
SC I mostly use Logic as like my DAW. I also use something called Amadeus, which is like really not popular, but it’s great. It’s sort of like an Audacity alternative—
PF Just like a simple recording tool.
SC Very simple. I like never use it for recording or editing. But I like to view like a final waveform all together in it. Make sure everything looks good.
PF We have our little things. I totally understand that.
SC Okay, Izotope is $1,200. Oh, they have a bigger one that’s $2,000 for all post production.
PF Okay, so what happens, you get audio and what does Izotope let you do?
SC It has its own interface that you can like work through and do like noise removal and stuff on and then it also has a set of plugins that you can use in your DAW, but they’re like quite heavy. So unless you’re like, really have a good computer, it’s probably easier to use it first and then bring your audio file in.
RZ It turns out Steph hasn’t been doing anything. [Steph laughs]
SC Actually, no, they’re not that smart. I will say. But they’re super cool, though. You can see like audio, like a sonogram basically—which I think is called a spectograph or a spectrogram in audio and you can see all the different like colors of all the different sounds that your voice is making. You can like highlight parts of them and try to remove them from other parts amazing.
PF Oh niiice.
RZ This is the pro stuff.
PF Like what does it let you actually do though?
SC I will say that the smartest things it does probably is it can distinguish between like vocal noise and just noise. So they have a denoiser for like vocals, and then they have a denoiser for like room sound. If you do the vocal one, they’ll know that you’re using a speech track. So like, you would use that for a podcasts or maybe like vocals on a song and then they have another denoiser. That’s just like, you know, if you’re recording outside, and there’s like, weird sounds going around, or if you’re recording a band and their sounds around, so it can distinguish between like, a sound and a voice.
PF Hold on a sec, Ali, our editor. Go ahead. I’m gonna talk for one second and just say hello. And now, when I talk this time. You should denoise me.
SC I can tell you what’s in your plugin stack. I have a Paul Ford and Rich Ziade plugin stack.
PF No kidding. I like it.
RZ I feel special now.
PF No, it’s good.
SC I can’t do it while I’m recording.
PF That’s okay.
SC But I do know what’s in it. There’s a declicker, which is also Izotope which gets rid of like—[Steph makes mouth noises]
PF Because I’m like really close to the mic?
SC I use decrackler I think for you because you have more spit sounds.
PF Ohhh, damnit! That’s rough.
RZ I’ve been thinking about.
SC You’re more of a clicker.
SC There’s a really cool tool that I just heard about that I don’t have access to because it’s like not available yet. But I think you’ll think this is interesting. Like it’s basically like deep fake technology. You send them your voice, like a script of your voice. Yeah. They send it to a robot the robot analyzes it and then they can translate that into any language. So their goal is that like podcasts because they’re becoming more international—
RZ In your voice gets—
SC In your voice gets translated. So like a mentor that I work with named Evo, he has like this daily podcast that has like so he’s like tons and tons of information and he knows the person that’s building this out and he wants to like translate his podcast into Spanish.
PF Ahhh, so it picks up intonation and does that in the translation.
SC I just can’t—and he said it’s like pretty good and it’s new. And it’s amazing.
PF Style transfer, that totally makes sense.
SC Which is genius!
PF Very smart.
SC I just don’t understand how like cuz I know like I only speak French and English and like in French you use like a different part of your mouth when you say certain sounds. So I’m like, how do you get that sound?
RZ That’s tricky.
PF Let’s see where we end up. 40 minutes of audio comes into the Dropbox, we can be a little bit late, but mostly we’re okay. You’ve got some time. You’ve got to get it out next week. Like how do you start? How do you chop up?
SC I usually—and I think Ali does the same process. I have a DAW template that’s like Postlight Podcast.
PF Digital Audio Workstation.
RZ Showing off.
PF We gotta help the audience out.
SC There’s one track for Paul, one track for Rich, one track if there’s a guest, there’s another track for like music and if I put in sound effects. And I go through, I don’t edit anything. Like I have your stacks there and I listen from beginning to end. And I used to listen from beginning to end and then go back and cut. But now I know he was so well I can just like cut as I’m listening. I listened on like, 30 speed.
RZ That’s terrible.
PF No, that’s fair. You’ve earned the right after several 100 episodes.
RZ Is that why you’ve been interrupting me so much lately as we talk to each other?
PF She has created the has created the AI model.
SC I think and I don’t know if this is true, but I think I could edit an episode of Postlight without listening to it. Just visually like, I know exactly what the waveform looks like from both of your voices. I know like you have like the thing that I cut of your voice the most is sometimes when you get mad at Paul, you say the word like four times. You’ll be like “I—I—I—I just don’t understand why.” And so I cut out the first three. [Paul laughs]
RZ This is painful! What sort of celebration of 300 episodes is this?!
PF Exactly the celebration I wanted.
RZ I feel naked!
PF Oh my god, wait, really? This is fantastic. AT least you’re not Mr. Spitty. I’m in over here.
SC You’re spitty and you use more filler words.
PF Do I really?
SC You stall more. But that’s your role.
PF What are our roles?
PF Oh this is fantastic.
SC I don’t even know if you have roles. Because now that I know you, you’re so like, intrinsically the person that you are on the podcast. [Steph laughs] Like you both are yourselves on the podcast.
RZ We are.
PF We are not characters.
SC No, but you seem like characters on the podcast I think because of that conflict, like because there is like a bit of difference between the two of you, right?
PF You know, it’s fun for us to turn it up. Even when we’re not recording. Like we have the same fights and disagreements and make fun of each other brutally. Because that is actually an entertaining way for us to be.
RZ We seek friction if it’s seeming a little too relaxed, especially if there’s a guest who has an agenda. We almost pick a fight. I mean, we had one guy on I’m not gonna say who it was, who had an agenda, PR person was nearby. As soon as we stopped recording, he’s like, “I’m so effing tired of doing this shit.” Remember?
PF Oh yeah, this was years ago.
RZ As we’re talking, I’ve been scrolling through the titles of our old podcasts.
SC That’s a good part of our job too like, we make most of those titles.
RZ You do, and you do a really good job with them. Paul, do you like even recall what the episode Fighting the Hype?
PF No, no clue.
RZ Okay. What about Shutting Down?
PF Maybe it was about shutting down Windows machines?
RZ How about Breaking Up is Hard To Do.
PF Maybe that’s about users off-boarding?
SC I think that one was about getting rid of clients.
RZ Life in Code.
SC Oh, that’s a good one.
PF What’s that one?
RZ I don’t know.
SC That was, that author?
RZ Okay, so your your remember. I will also point out that we had one at the beginning of 2020. Before the pandemic hit. Titled The Shit Show That is 2020.
PF Ahhhh. [Rich laughs]
RZ We were talking about something else. We weren’t predicting a pandemic.
PF No, I think it was just very—it was Trump and everything else was just messy.
RZ Election stuff, yes.
PF Well, my favorite is when we predicted how bad the pandemic was going to be and I was like two, three weeks maybe.
RZ Yeah, we nailed that one.
PF Just disaster.
SC My favorite episode title was Death in Feeds.
RZ Death in Feeds.
PF Ohhh yeah that’s a good one.
RZ What’s your favorite of yours, Paul? I have a favorite.
PF I don’t actually see it that way.
RZ Favorite guest?
SC I mean, I’m right here. [Steph laughs]
RZ 300 is right up there.
PF 300 is pretty good.
RZ The Allan Chochinov way a great—
PF That was actually world class.
RZ Which, Allan needs to come back on.
PF Allan, if you’re listening, please come back on.
SC Also if you ever want to just hang out, I would like that too. That interview is so good.
PF He is a fellow Canadian.
PF Allan, if you’re listening—Allan knew us really well just because he’s been an agency person. And he’s like, he just clearly hears everything, all the subtext, and he just thinks we’re hilarious. Because he’s just like, you poor idiots. You poor idiots. Oh my god. And then his stories are amazing. He’s a good person.
RZ We’d love to have him back on.
PF You know who’s good too? Like Josh Gee from the MTA, like really good.
RZ Great energy.
PF I love people who just get in there and go.
RZ We’ve had Tim Meany on I think three times.
SC Always good.
RZ Always good.
PF Tim is good.
RZ And the episode on the greatest software in history.
PF I mean, it’s always great when Gina’s one.
RZ Gina is great.
PF A lot of times she’s switching in for one of us are sort of taking it over. But she’s always really lively. Who else Steph? Who’s shiny? Vicky’s really good. Our product manager.
RZ Vicky is really good.
PF And everyone else who’s ever been a guest!
RZ Everyone is great. Number one, was a great kickoff with John Lax. Thank you again, John. If you’re ever in New York.
SC Who was Maria—your friend that does blockchain?
PF Oh, Maria Bustillos.
SC Yeah, she’s cool.
PF That is a nuclear grade human.
SC Yeah, cool human.
PF Maria is just such a beautiful force. Yeah, she’s wonderful to talk to you.
SC And I remember that episode being like, oh my god, wait, blockchain and journalism? I was like, my brain does not compute.
PF Her brain is so much further. [Steph laughs] So we’ve actually been very blessed. This has been great. So what what do you think the next 300 need to be? What do we need to do?
RZ So we’d like to announce that we’re going to three times a week. [Steph laughs]
PF We did do two times a week. So that’s true. The 300 does not represent—you’re not dividing by 52.
RZ Did we used to do it twice a week
PF We did during the pandemic.
SC Yeah, for a hot minute.
PF For like six months until we realized like, oh, yeah, this is—because one of the things too, I mean, the podcast is connective tissue for the firm, people listen to it, people outside of the firm listen to it, who are connected to the firm. So it’s sort of in our role as people who are trying to lead this thing through the early stages of pandemic, it felt good to over communicate with the world.
SC Many people at Postlight, once they’ve gotten hired have told me that the first way they heard about the job or the first way that they knew that they wanted to work here was through listening to the podcast.
RZ We’ve heard that a bunch.
SC I’m like, that’s so nice.
RZ That’s actually incredibly flattering.
PF When people tell us that we check in later like, okay, now that you’ve been here for awhile—
SC Now that you have to hear my voice every day. [Steph laughs]
PF How does this align to what you were expecting? And it’s always funny, they’re like it does! It actually still does. It just like now that I’ve actually experienced it—
SC I do remember the first time I met you, I had been working probably for like six months on the podcast before—
PF We hired you over the phone, that’s right.
SC From Canada. I remember coming here. And just like, I had never had this experience yet where I met you for the first time and I was like, Oh my God, your voices, like come out of a human. You have like a mouth and body.
PF That really happens. It’s very confusing.
SC It’s mind blowing!
PF The first 10 minutes are like, Oh my god, I’m inside the thing that was—and also your your brain visualizes things. You already, like you might have even seen our pictures. But like, it’s so different when you’re actually in this space. I’ve had that experience.
SC You like make the person into something in your head, and then you like, get into the room and you’re like, Oh, my God, what?
PF Rich and I aren’t interviewing much anymore. But so what happened, a lot of times people might not even have listened to the podcast. But when they’re researching the company, they’re like, oh, I better listen to the podcast. So they listened to one or two episodes. And you could just see like, they couldn’t get their eyes to focus for the first five minutes. And it makes for a very awkward interview. Because they’re like, they kind of know you now. But now you a little position of power. It’s a little awkward. It doesn’t flatten the playing field. It makes it hierarchical. Where are podcasts going? And where should ours go?
SC I mean, I think podcasts are going like more international. I mean, they definitely are already. So they’re going to, you know, India and like Spanish speaking parts of the world are blowing up right now. And I think will continue to expand. The platforms and like distribution platforms started expanding into those countries so that people could listen and so naturally, people are going to start creating there and like there’s a lot of independent listening apps that are popping up in India that are great. So that definitely will happen. With that, I think like translation will become huge. Especially for like things in the United States. Because so many podcasts are doing so well here and everyone kind of cares about the United States.
PF Podcast in Espanol! That’s so excited.
RZ I think we should use that technology and make it happen.
SC Yeah, I don’t think it’s like available yet but I would love to try it.
PF I have a great idea which is between your wife or Steph, we can get this translated into French. Imagine saying to your wife, “Honey, I need you to translate our podcast into French. I need you to listen to it.”
SC We should cast your wife and I as you two and just redo the podcast. [Steph laughs]
RZ Oh, that would be incredible.
PF Does your wife ever listen to this podcast?
RZ She has. She can’t do it. She goes about six minutes in and she’s like, I can’t do this.
PF It’s just like having you in the house. It’s hard.
RZ It’s hard. My kids are interested with it. They’re just curious about it.
RZ Not the subject matter, just the fact that it exists.
PF My kids did one podcast with me. It was six months ago.
SC Oh I loved it.
PF You heard it, yeah. They’re just absolute knuckleheads and but then they got bored, they only wanted to do one. Like, we did it.
SC I am curious to see like what happens with Gen Z and podcasts because I think they’re gonna naturally get a lot shorter and a lot weirder. Just because I think our attention spans are—I say ‘our’ but I’m wicked non-Gen Z.
PF You’re also gonna just see high quality mics plugged into phones.
SC Oh yeah, I hope so.
PF I don’t think you’re gonna have like the little studio you have any more.
RZ Oh, I think that’s true. I mean the phones now, people are making movies on them.
PF You’ll just literally use AI denoising. And that’ll be it. Right? It’ll be weird cuz I think you’ll lose quality and you’ll lose that tone but you’ll get so much weird variety.
SC I think I’m bias on that. I don’t know.
PF Also you have a product and a craft. But trust me, as old internet people, I can tell you absolute garbage production will kick your ass. You don’t stand a chance.
SC I also want that content, like I want I want to hear the weird content. I just also want there to be some sort of quality barometer. I just don’t know what that is.
RZ There’s always gonna be the top shelf stuff.
PF And there’s an incentive structure.
RZ People thought movies were dead when the internet and YouTube showed up.
SC Well. [Steph laughs]
RZ Did movies die?
PF Here’s the thing, right, like millions of people to listen to something it actually has to be pretty well produced. The friction just kind of, they start to fade away. Every now and then something will pop through and it’ll be kind of fine like you see with TikTok videos and so on. I think that’s the dynamic here we’re looking at and then there’ll be this Kwazii podcast middle layer of influencer like Semi Pro. A little studio or the piece of equipment or whatever. Like same with game streamers on Twitch where it’s like their studio setups are almost pro.
SC I think so, too. The middle ground will shift.
RZ I want to do something historic right now.
RZ I’m gonna do the first podcast product placement.
PF Hey, what are you doing Rich?
RZ Oh nothing, Paul, just having some water in my MIRR water bottle.
SC I would love it if product placements became like audible though, that’d be hilarious. Like bubblegum or something.
RZ Like you’re chewing. “What’re you chewing?!” And then you saw what it is.
SC I do remember, I was in like a—I’m part of this thing called The Podcast Academy and someone in one of these like meetings at the like TPA thing was like, how are we supposed to compete with like the competition because since the pandemic there’s like so many new podcasts and blah blah blah. And I don’t remember who said it but like one of the like, board people came on and was like, right, but like have you lost any listeners? And they were like no, and it’s true. Like I kind of felt the same way. I was like, oh my god, everyone is making a podcast. And so you get scared. But it’s not true. It’s like in like early growth stage, I think. I think there’s like a lot of untapped networks.
PF Yeah cohorts.
RZ And kids!
SC And kids.
RZ There’s no kids podcasts.
SC That’s not true. I worked on a podcast called NowThis Kids with NowThis. It’s great. Give it to your kids.
RZ They’re hard to find. It’s still very, there’s still few and far between.
PF Gimlet has one called Story Pirates. Alright, so make this podcast better. What do we need to be doing Steph? This is your chance to tell everyone.
RZ It can’t be better. Just say that so we can close this podcast out.
SC I think it’s perfect the way it is.
PF Ahhhh. [Steph laughs] I’m heart broken.
RZ Steph. You’ve brought us here to 300. There’s nowhere else to go, Paul.
SC It’s only up from here.
RZ It’s only up from here.
PF That’s right. That’s right.
RZ Paul, tell me about Postlight.
PF Steph, can you tell us about Postlight?
SC Yes! Postlight is awesome. If you like this podcast, you’ll probably like Postlight. Are we hiring right now?
SC We are hiring right now. So if you’re interested in technology and platforms and solving messy problems and figuring things out and making things pretty, you can apply for a job and Postlight.com or if you just want to like say how awesome this guest was today, you can write Postlight at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’ll go straight to Rich and Paul.
PF It’s incredibly—it’s both flattering and a little insulting what just happened.
RZ Meaning she pitched us better than we pitched ourselves?
PF Well also it’s just hearing yourself back to yourself.
RZ It’s a lot.
SC I mean I wish I had your like rumbly voice. Like I don’t have a future career in ASMR but someone here does.
PF I bring it up like half an octave, because the real one is like, you can’t have it. It’s actually too confusing for business context.
RZ You purposely raise it up a little bit?
PF It’s just natural. There is one episode, I don’t even know where it is.
SC Oh it’s incredible. I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s one on my favorite things in the whole world.
PF Tell the people what happened. We recorded it but we didn’t get it done and I went out for client drinks and got absolutely destroyed. And it was like we were at some bar where everybody’s yelling. So like it literally is like okay, well that sounds really interesting, click. And I have to explain what happens.
RZ It was glued together.
SC He sounds like Bane or something. He sounds like a Marvel villain.
PF We have to find that one. That was an absolute disaster.
SC It’s one of my favorite things of all time.
PF Yeah, it was terrible. It was a terrible. It was like a good client drinks. It just got out of control.
RZ Well, those are good client drinks.
SC The best thing is no one like pre-warned me. I edited that episode. No one warned me. So I got this audio file and I think I messaged you. I was like, did you like export this weird or something? Also, are you alive?
PF Yeah. My hungover voice is actually weird. It’s like 12 tones below where I’m at right now. [music fades in] It’s just bad. Oh my god. Well, Steph.
SC Paul. Rich.
PF You are a wonderful friend of the firm. Thank you so much for the lovely work you do making us better every single week. Congratulations on your success with your company.
RZ And welcome to New York!
PF It’s been really fun to watch your stuff grow. Also you are committed to building an ethical and inclusive work and you are doing it. So congratulations.
SC Yeah. Thank you.
RZ Thanks to Steph, thanks for bringing us to where we are today.
SC Happy 300!
PF So that’s how it gets made, everybody. There’s a person. There’s people. Hello@postlight.com. How do they reach you, Steph?
SC Steph@editaud.io or you can follow editaudio on Instagram or Twitter or follow me on twitter @Steph_Colbourn.
PF Anything you’re looking for? Anyone you’re looking to hire?
SC Always looking for cool people that are working in audio. So if you are, come say hi.
PF There you go folks! Alright, let’s get back to work.
RZ Have a lovely week.
[music ramps up, plays alone, ends]