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Mamamia Out Loud is the iTunes Best New Podcast of 2015.

It’s nice to be noticed.

Look, no biggie, but Mamamia’s flagship podcast, Mamamia Out Loud was just named the Best New Podcast of the year by iTunes.

Evidence:

For Mamamia’s Director of Podcasts, Monique Bowley – well, for the whole network – this is a bit like every single one of your Christmas presents being a foot massage from Ryan Gosling. And almost as exciting as that time she wore a penis dress to work.

So we thought we’d ask Monz, who joined MWN less than a year ago after 12 years in radio, a few questions about this excellent end to 2015.

MMOL is iTunes’ Best New podcast of the year. How big a deal is that?

It’s a massive big deal. iTunes and apple is basically my music and podcast life overlord.  To be honest, I have no idea how this happened. I thought iTunes was run by robots but turns out they listen to our podcasts. Far out. That is pretty cool. I might ask them for a free iPhone 6plus in the next episode.


What makes MMOL different to any other podcast out there?

Umm.. it’s three WOMEN talking. A lot of podcasts are men talking. Evidently, it’s more entertaining when we do it. Seriously though, I think the best part of it is keeping people up to date with life. We’re all so rabidly time poor that we like to think we are your friends that say to you “Here. This is what you should know this week.”


When did you begin to realise that people were really LISTENING to MMOL? 

I realised when I got an email from a fundamentalist Christian group telling me they were praying for us all and we should turn to the Lord. You know you’ve got a LOT of people listening in when you hit that market.

The listener feedback, though, honestly warms my heart. I get emails from people all day, from “you helped me with my body image issues” to “look at my dog, I’m a dog person too!”. Podcast listeners are THE BEST.

Who are they? Where are they?

They are my friends.  In fact, that’s the most common email I get: people saying to me ‘I feel like we are friends’ and I’m like ‘YEAH WE BLOODY WELL ARE!’

We have listeners in the strangest places. A lot in Canada, weirdly. HI CANADA! And the US. And the UK. But even like Tel Aviv. And Barbados! Can you imagine? HI BARBADOS!  Hope you’re reading this on the beach!

Monique Bowley, Mamamia’s Director of Podcasts. The woman just wants a Black Thunder.

What’s the secret spice to an engaging podcast?

Podcasts should do one or more of the three things: entertain, inform or engage.

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I think the biggest question you need to ask yourself is “Why would someone listen to this?” if you can’t answer that, don’t push record. Also, if YOU’RE bored, good chance is the listener is bored too.  Audio texture is important (music, stings, vox pops), but above all, authenticity. Just be yourself. Got all that? Good. Easy.

What was your favourite episode this year?

I have such a special place in my heart for the Amy Schumer episode. I went to interview her, she’s my hero, and it was an abject disaster. It was supposed to be the best thing of my year and it turned into the worst. But instead of burying it and forgetting it ever happened, I went on air straight afterwards and detailed the entire shameful episode, including behind the scenes, being in the toilet afterwards, thinking my life was over. I was crying with shame and laughter. It was the moment where I went “Hey guys, I f**ked it.” And I think because we all have bad days at work, it was the best.

Hear for yourself:

Also I loved The Logies episode because I snuck into the toilets and recorded what went on. That was super, super fun. Also I got to see Kate Richie in the flesh and she is quite beautiful.

Team Mamamia Out Loud: Jamila Rizvi, Monique Bowley and Mia Freedman.

Who was your favourite guest presenter?

Susan Carland, without a doubt. She is heaven on a stick. I had to hold my tongue though, because I’m so curious about her, she’s a Muslim, and I had a BAZILLION Muslim-related questions to ask her.  But then at the same time in my head I was telling myself “but she’s SO MUCH MORE than just Muslim! Don’t pigeonhole her.” Also, because she is a doctor of sociology, she has this incredible innate understanding of why people do the things they do. She’s widely read and so interesting and also, she wears a hijab and never lets us see her hair. So she also has that tantalising “playing hard to get” element. I managed to sneak in many, many Muslim questions, guys. I just sandwiched them in when no one was really concentrating. And she was such a good sport about it that I wrote a special song for her. That was a highlight of the year.

You can hear that in all its glory, here:

Who would be your dream guest presenter?

Whooo. Good question. Leigh Sales. I would wear a suit and have a sensible bob and pretend I was a pollie. And she could GRILL me on my policies and my department of life. And it would start out fun but then her journalistic instinct would take over and she would burn me. I would likely leave a wet patch on the chair. Then afterwards we could have a cup of tea.

#lifegoals

Why do you love podcasts? Why do you think they are BACK?

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SO MANY REASONS. Mainly because they make the boring parts of your day better. I listen when I clean the bathroom or I’m gardening or I’m on my way to work. Anything that distracts me from the mundane routine of life is a great thing. Heaps of our listeners listen at the gym which I love, because I like to imagine people doing situps and listening to me talk about cake.

The other part I love is that there are so many niche shows out there that you can find. Like there’s a sewing podcast that you can just listen to while you sit at the Janome. All these mad fanatics who are passionate about their thing can talk to others about it. Brilliant.

Also, they’re not “back”. They’ve always been there. It’s just now we’re all like “OH! You mean there’s more to listen to than Ray Hadley? Awesome.”

What do you tell people when they ask you, “What’s a podcast?”

I say “You know Netflix? or iview? It’s like the radio version of that.”

The other thing I say is “Do you listen to radio? It’s the better version of that.”

What other podcasts should I be listening to?

WHOOO! If you’re brand new, go back and start at Serial, season 1.

If you want my other favourites? 99% Invisible. Meshel Laurie’s Nitty Gritty Committee. Lena Dunham’s Women Of The Hour.  Double X Gabfest. RN Showcase has some strange and great shows and lately they did one on boredom which is super. The Allusionist. RN’s All in The Mind. Chat 10 looks 3. Hack. Background Briefing.

What’s going to happen to MMOL in 2016?

I’m planning on playing a LOT more amateur acoustic guitar and making up more shit songs for Mia. She loves it. But now that we’re number one we need to step things up. I’m going to lobby management here to let me drive around a Black Thunder and hand out icy cold cans of coke. But we’d probably call it the Vagina Volkswagon or something and we’d probs hand out the Pill, or chocolate instead.  I’d love a big mum Tarago actually. We could do a show in that and drop listeners kids off to soccer. Helpful, I tellsya. HELPFUL.

Seriously though, it’s the hardest question, because that’s like asking a woman what’s she’s going to talk about when she goes out with her friends.  The answer is EVERYTHING.

There’s only one thing left to do. Listen to this week’s episode of Mamamia Outloud here. It’s epic.

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