Back in August, World Wrestling Entertainment dropped the news that they’ll be getting into the podcast game. Veteran wrestling podcasters John Pollack and Wai Ting of POST Wrestling break down why this is such a big deal.
Unlike their film studios – WWE Studios, the podcast network might be more successful for them. “Storytelling is at WWE’s core and we are eager to add the audio genre to our portfolio,” said Jayar Donlan, Executive Vice President, WWE Advanced Media. “Partnering with Endeavor Audio, an expert in podcasting, will enable us to provide our fans with unique content and reach new audiences across the platform.”
“We’re always looking to pair dynamic content with the best formats for listeners,” remarked Moses Soyoola, Senior Vice President, Endeavor Audio. “Through our new partnership with WWE, we’re looking forward to tapping into their iconic event portfolio and talent base to create compelling audio content for their fans.”
Endeavor Audio is a full-service operation with all the bell and whistles. Financing, production, distribution, marketing and demonetization. They are the guys that produce Blackout, the hit audio drama with Rami Malek.
Where the WWE podcast network has an advantage
The wrestling world has been tag-teaming with podcasts for a while. Big names have taken to the microphone to divulge stories from behind the curtain and speak on the current state of the product. Former WWE superstar and current All Elite Wrestling champion, Chris Jericho, was one of the front runners. Backed by bigwigs Westwood One Jericho continues to do a weekly show in midst of being a champion and a rock’n’roller with his band Fozzy. Stone Cold Steve Austin took his podcast to the WWE Network a few years back to chat with legends and the current roster. Then there’s Nikki and Brie, the Bella Twins. The twins’ podcast is hosted by Endeavor Audio, which makes us think that they’ll be the first get for the WWE network when it launches. Nothing has been announced yet.
Endeavor can teach WWE about producing a podcast
It does seem that a wrestling podcast is being launched weekly. The king in the mat-podcast universe, Conrad Thompson, is launching his fifth. Yes, fifth podcast this month. It will feature 80s wrestling legend, Arn Anderson. However, these podcasts don’t have the backing of a massive empire behind them.
Both Blackout and the Twins’ podcasts are blueprints that WWE should want to follow. Endeavor has the means to show them the way. Blackout is a piece of wildly inventive audio fiction . The Twins’ podcast is them being themselves and unscripted. WWE can create a audio fiction show starring former or current superstars. Much like their cartoon parody, WWE Camp,
Another factor that WWE could possibly come out victorious in the podcast game is that podcasts are cheap to make. Compared to movies and the same budget for one of their direct-to-video features could power several podcasts for a while. A quick recap of the weekly episodes on even one of their three big network shows is an obvious ad move and won’t cost much to do. Meanwhile, Endeavor does the heavy lifting with the rest. Next have them hire writers outside of the WWE circuit would be the the smartest move. This’ll give them a fair chance at grabbing the brass ring of financial success.
The podcast network made their first hire
At the beginning of this month, WWE made their first hire for the podcast network. The company hired Dara Frank to become the Senior Director. Frank has been with Viacom since 2007 where she held the title of Senior Director, Podcasting, Radio and Records.