TMBA 341: Alex Blumberg on the Power of Podcasting

TMBA341: Alex Blumberg on the Power of Podcasting post image

Podcast 33:53 | Download | Stitcher | iTunes | Comment

Last week we teased about a very special guest that would be appearing on this week’s show. Today, Dan and Ian are pleased to reveal that guest is Alex Blumberg, the CEO of Gimlet Media and the host of one of our very favorite podcasts, Startup.

As entrepreneurs, many of us have grown up listening to Alex’s work on shows like This American Life and Planet Money. But, with the creation of Gimlet Media which, he hopes, will become the ‘home for narrative audio for decades to come’, he’s having a huge impact on the world of podcast production more widely.

In the episode Alex talks about his vision for the company, what he’s learnt along the way and why he thinks audio is an ‘inherently more empathetic medium than TV’.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • How Alex felt about our audio response to the first season of Startup. (5:44)
  • What kinds of risks Alex was taking when he decided to leave public radio. (7:59)
  • How Alex’s partner Matt was able to craft a sales narrative for podcast advertising. (13:02)
  • Why Alex believes in the power of an audio medium. (15:15)
  • One of the biggest issues that Gimlet Media faces moving forward. (25:08)

Mentioned in the episode:

The Gimlet Media Studios

The Gimlet Media Studios with Brittany Luse and Chris Neary working on Sampler. (Photo Rose Reid)

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Dan & Ian

Published on 06.16.16
  • JustinWCooke

    Was really looking forward to this one! Great to hear our podcasting buddies interviewing Alex. I’m digging Startup and a huge fan of Reply All.

    I’d be really interested to take a course Alex put out on podcasting – specifically the storytelling aspect.

    I think Startup would be well served to do an episode on the Tropical MBA story somehow. It’s a unique story and approach that could make for some interesting radio, IMO.

  • Ryan

    Maybe it’s time for you guys to stop referencing your lack of owning a company?

    Justin mentioned Alex creating a course. While I’m sure he’d be surprised at the money something like that brought in, I doubt he’d pursue it. Beyond being busy with his company, changes in routine seem to require much larger mental shifts.

    Making a business out of the TMBA would definitely require a mental shift, but it’s there if you guys want it.

    As far as monetization, there’s a lot of potential for creativity there as well.

    You can attach micro productized services onto them. If you signed a retainer with WP Engine or Convert Kit, that could be packaged with a service that handled the transition and / or getting them set up.

    This isn’t even touching on TMBA branded events. Personally, I’d have a plane ticket within a week of learning about an event in Austin.

  • mikedariano

    Have you checked out when Blumberg on was Ferriss’s podcast? They cover at least part of the storytelling class.

  • agree! :D I haven’t dug into reply all yet but looking forward to doing so

  • agree !

  • Eagan Heath

    Really enjoyed the part about creating a Hollywood equivalent for audio workers.
    Loving the high-profile guests like MMM and Blumberg. Have you guys thought about interviewing Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme?

  • cheers Eagan, actually haven’t considered it till now but always loved that blog

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