Jenni Hogan's Next Big Thing podcast took a meta turn this week as she welcomed Luke Burbank, the host of the podcast "Too Beautiful To Live" to the show to talk about the next big thing: podcasting.
Burbank who serves as KIRO Radio talk host by day, and podcaster by afternoon, ran the mixing board in the studio for Hogan as the duo recorded her show.
"So I'm in your home interviewing you," said Hogan, commenting on the fact that they were in a studio Burbank often uses for his own podcast. "No interviewing me," Hogan added.
"That is difficult for me when I'm a guest on other people's shows because between the podcast that I do, and I do a radio show as well, I'm very used to being the person who's doing the interviewing," said Burbank. "It's hard for me sometimes to transition into the role of being the guest, so if at any point you feel like I'm trying to host your show for you, give me a look."
Hogan, who has ten podcast episodes under her belt, was hoping to get some insight from Burbank, who believe it or not, is on episode number 1342 of his podcast "Too Beautiful To Live" (TBTL).
Burbank's introduction to podcasting was a little different than Hogan's.
"We got fired," Burbank explained.
TBTL was originally a radio show that aired on KIRO Radio from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. every weeknight. After the show was canceled, Burbank decided he wanted the show to go on.
"I went to the engineers at this radio station and I said, 'I want to start doing this show as a podcast from my house.' Do you have any gear that I can borrow? And they went and they got the stuff they used to use for remotes from the boat show or something, and they brought it over to my house and set up this funky little setup. That was over the weekend. So Friday we did our last radio show. Monday at noon we did our first podcast from the house."
Burbank continues to broadcast the show from his house and gets millions of podcast downloads a month. What didn't quite work as a traditional radio show proved super successful as a podcast. He said he and TBTL co-creator Jen Andrews never knew quite how the show would translate in a conventional radio setting, but it wasn't all about that for them.
"We kept saying, we're fine with the show being too beautiful to live. We don't care if the show gets canceled after a month. We just want to make a show that sounds different to us and is fun and interesting and doesn't sound like every other news-based talk show."
Podcasting made it possible for the show to live on and it's been produced online-only as a podcast now for over three years. And TBTL is only one of many shows that works because of the freedom of the medium, Burbank explained.
"Over the weekend, I was talking to this guy named Marc Maron who has a podcast called "WTF," and I think it's a really great show, and it's the kind of thing - basically the first part of the show is just him talking about his feelings and what's been going on in his week and his emotional state. It's so great, it could only exist though because of podcasting. It would never be something that could survive in commercial radio."
Even the interview style allowed on Jenni's show is something Burbank said wouldn't work on commercial air. "Just the conversation you and I are having right now, we couldn't do this on any of the existing KIRO Radio shows."
But there is room for it in podcasting. And as the technology advances, Burbank told Hogan he sees this as the way radio will go.
"It's definitely I think where spoken word is going in terms of radio stuff. Right now, I think the main impediment is just there are still a lot of people who don't exactly know what a podcast is, how podcasts operate. The cars aren't set up for it yet, although that's changing more and more."
Burbank says once it's as easy as pressing a button in your car to access a podcast, that's the way people will listen. "It's sort of like once you have a DVR, you'll never watch normal TV again because who would watch a show they don't want to watch because it's what's on as opposed to all the stuff that's in your DVR now. Podcasting is just that."