Pete Donaldson co-owns podcast network and production company, Radio Stakhanov. He’s also on not one or two, but FOUR podcasts a week, so knows a thing or two about this stuff.
You’ve been podcasting for over 15 years now – what gives?
My editing fingers, mostly. Seriously though, even this far into my journey I still get a kick out of the creative freedom the medium affords every week. There are very few things I can still see myself doing in 2034 and one of those is definitely podcasting. God knows my Jiu-Jitsu career isn’t going anywhere.
That would explain why seemingly everyone has a podcast these days. How on earth do you stand out in such a crowded market?
Make good content. Plan and pace your shows properly, give your listeners a reason to stick with you. After you’ve mined your Rolodex for middling comedians with a decent social media following for some cheap heat, what exactly have you got left? I think podcasts need to have one eye on what they’ll be doing in 6, 12 and 18 months time.
Is that what’s behind the success and longevity of your podcast, The Football Ramble?
Possibly. Our chemistry is definitely our trump card and I’m told it occasionally approaches compelling. Without needlessly taking cheap shots at other shows in our radius (because they’re great too,) there’s a level of authenticity that comes with keeping a line-up together for over ten years. We started in a kitchen, we grew up together and dealt with love, death and a thousand broken condenser mics. It’s something that can’t be easily replicated with a rotating panel of jobbers picking up a fistful of tenners every third Thursday when they happen to have a free afternoon. Listeners have grown up and gone on that journey with us, and we’ve become a part of their week, and part of their world.
So what does the future look like for you then?
We’ll keep doing what we’re doing because we love it. This year we were the first sports podcast to fund our own outside advertising on London Underground. We’ll be the first to tour America this autumn. I’m getting a huge kick out of bringing other voices into the fold under our Radio Stakhanov banner and giving people a megaphone in what is arguably a very crowded room. Our shows support, feed off and compliment one another in a multitude of ways.
And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering starting a podcast today?
Don’t be put-off by the number of podcasts released every week – it’s a democracy and a meritocracy, and the cream almost always rises to the top. In my opinion the best films are the ones that get edited in storyboard way before the cameras start rolling. There’s no Adobe Audition plugin for a badly-planned out podcast. God, I wish there was.
Pete Donaldson is the co-host of The Football Ramble, The Luke and Pete Show, Wrestle Me, and Abroad In Japan. Search Radio Stakhanov in your podcast app or click an image below to listen now.