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The Next Generation Of Media Companies

Have you ever wondered how some newsletter writers gain thousands of followers?

Or ever wondered how a podcast has a huge leap in listeners and you are recommended their podcast constantly?

These are just two of the important formula to uncover when trying to reverse engineer how these are working so well and then enables them to create something bigger, a new media company.

I have become fascinated by the process and what is making these creators the next generation of media companies.

A simple way to think of their process:

Think ➡️ Create ➡️ Curator ➡️ Edit ➡️ Seed ➡️ Distribute ➡️ Arrange more guests, + + +

This is an exhausting process.

The Foundations: Lead & Build Up

Incredibly Difficult: I have had two podcasts (fixing the broken world of work and the future state of podcast), I write two weekly newsletters (must reads & leaders letters), speak at conferences, and appeared on a number of podcasts and its an incredible amount of work.

Not to mention building out marketing coaching services and growth advisory at the same time.

Podcast + Newsletter Combined: With the future state of podcast, there was a supporting newsletter to cut through noise of podcast players and offer insights you might have missed.

This has become a common method to connect to your audience (listeners) and then drive feedback loops.


Having something to say each week that is compelling is difficult. You have to be prepared, you have to be able to ask key questions and have opinions that will help the audience learn something, share something or take action on something.

The complicated part of this is understanding how these creators or mini media companies go from a newsletter to podcast to much more.

And then how do they scale this?

The Next Generation Media Companies

Right now we have a new form of media companies and media arms growing, they all have their own magic ingredient but the common factor is how they leverage media and connect with their audiences and superfans with personal content that connects with you at a deeper level.

Example: The High Performance Podcast ➡️ The High Performance Media Company

Phase 1 – The Podcast

The High Performance podcast is a joint effort podcast between TV presenter Jake Humphrey and organisational psychologist Damian Hughes (who has worked with some of the top sporting teams across the world).

The podcast launched in March 2020 and gained huge reach with its great guests and variety of questions and how deep they got with the high-profile guests.

Phase 2 – Membership

The podcast was the start of something deeper, a move into a media company, with a Squarespace driven members only site (most will call this community) the high performance circle in early 2021.

The gated member’s area offers free exclusive content with exclusive guests and keynote speeches that you won’t hear elsewhere.

Could the members numbers and social media following help you to move into selling (charging for content) versus providing everything for free?

For sure! That is how publishing deals work now.

Phase 3 – The Book

The tricky factor is understanding the time to switch from free to pay for content, understanding the actual demand for a book and being able to distil the podcasts (transcripts are easy to create but a nightmare to edit and formalise) into actionable insight will have taken plenty of time.

Releasing (a best selling book) in time for Christmas 2021 and ensuring the podcast was an important driver of sales.

(An important note to consider is Damian Hughes has written four books)

Phase 4 – Live Tours

What Jack and Damian Hughes did well was leverage their active and vocal supporters and then turned them into a supporting community, leveraging live tours to connect one to a few thousand and build momentum around their brand and media outlets.

Phase 5 – Group

The next step was a quietly promote a new group on Telegram (the social media/chat app from Russia) that enables communities or groups to form and allow control of who can post and enable reactions and comments.

Why do they use and leverage Telegram? The Telegram group is where they share voice notes (important connection to voice back from the podcast), host giveaways (reward loop), updates and teasers of upcoming guests.

Phase 6 – Paid For Extras Podcast

This move is common for many podcasters (many went to platforms like Patreon and more recently Substack) to go premium and offer behind the looks talks and exclusive content behind a paywall or a service, this move will be hardest for them as many are used to new free content and not having to pay for something that will likely have made the podcasts early in their recordings.

Phase 6.5…The duo also offers executive events like Business Package and Away Days, whilst for a while offering merch via a link on their site which has been removed recently.

Phase 7 – Journals

Another example of how they are leveraging Telegram to promote their new journal

High Performance is a leading example of how many (professional creators) are developing a smart approach to leveraging their audience (building a restricted community-like feel) with great free content initially and then monetising via books, tours and then connected media like journals.

There are many other examples of the next generation of media companies like:

Polina Pompliano writing and recording The Profile, a brilliant weekly paid newsletter with supporting free newsletter and syndication deals

Example of Polina’s profile and deep dive of Robert Hoge:

Anthony Pompliano aka Pomp (Polina’s husband) of the Pomp Letter and YouTube/Podcast fame.

Example of Pomp explaining blockchain and bitcoin:

Dan Runcie with Trapital – the weekly newsletter, podcast and memo company.

This is Dan with fellow media company lead Kinsey Grant

In the coming months, we will see many more brilliant examples of the next-generation media companies and will you get behind supporting their transitions from “creator” to trusted media outlet? I hope so.

Now hit share below to help others be inspired:

Now listen to my favourite High Performance podcast with Olympian Sir Chris Hoy

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