Iconic films. Either you love them or hate them for their predictable and happily ever after storylines.
Wellness movies are known to be shot in around 15 days and shouldn’t be taken seriously. But a trio in Greenville – Panda, Dan and Bran – launched a podcast, “Deck the Hallmark,” to do just that.
“We don’t give these films any leeway,” joked Daniel Thompson. “You put something under a microscope that you don’t have to put under a microscope.”
“Looking at them and taking notes, you’re like, ‘Wow, they’re really not as good as I thought at one point,” Brandon Gray joked.
It was three years ago. Within months, they were invited to “Good Morning America” and the podcast racked up over four million downloads. “Deck the Hallmark” is the flagship product of the Bramble Jam Podcast Network, which they started in 2019. Originally recorded in Gray’s living room, it’s now produced from a space on Laurens Road that they rent out to other podcasters.
“Everyone wants to start a podcast, but they don’t know what to do next,” Thompson said.
For $ 75, a podcaster can record for an hour. At no additional cost, Gray will edit the episode and publish it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other platforms. For $ 250, Gray will edit both an audio component and a video component for YouTube.
” You introduce yourself. You do the thing you want to do. And then you go out, ”Gray said.
Thompson said it was also a good option for training videos or for advertising a small business. A group of architects use the service to explain how they design schools. While this type of podcast doesn’t go viral, it’s worth it if it leads to just one project.
“Companies like this just need 100 of the right listeners,” Thompson said.
Creative specialist Nathan Robinson helps produce the podcast for the architectural firm, which wants to be a thought leader in its field. Rather than hiring someone who knows how to record, edit and publish a podcast, as well as buy all the equipment, they have time at Bramble Jam.
“The podcast is not to be next [highest-paid podcaster] Joe Rogan, ”Robinson said.“ It’s more about putting a microphone on your business, or thought leadership, or potential customers. ”
About a quarter of podcasts on Apple’s service have only one episode, according to a recent report from Amplifi Media. A service like Bramble Jam can help empower podcasters, Robinson said.
“It’s not just you in your closet and after one or two episodes you give up,” he said.
Right now they rent the studio for about 12 to 15 hours per month, but they have the capacity to rent it that much per week. Some podcasters book four to five hours at a time and record the episodes one after the other, while others rent by the week.
Robinson said it was a good opportunity for new podcasters to use the same equipment used for a successful podcast like “Deck the Hallmark”.
“It’s not just a business idea for them,” he said. “It’s already a success for them and they’re at the stage where they can open up the studio to help others go from zero to one in this space.”
Thompson and Gray, who previously worked as a principal and teacher respectively, said they weren’t able to quit their day jobs until they started posting on YouTube and creating Bramble Jam. A podcast network is a group of podcasts that are produced and distributed to advertisers through a single company.
Like other successful podcasters, “Deck the Hallmark” realized they could keep the money in-house with a podcast network. This is especially true for advertising revenue, which is expected to jump 45% to over $ 1 billion in the United States this year, according to research firm eMarketer.
So far, the Bramble Jam network includes 12 podcasts, some of which are themselves hosted. “Fostering Hope” is hosted by Hallmark Channel actress Jen Lilley and focuses on foster care and adoption. “Our Dad’s Diary” shares messages dads want their kids to hear. “My Year With Dolly” breaks down every Dolly Parton album.
Podcast networks usually cross-promote, especially if all shows are related by a similar genre. Bramble Jam podcasts are all family friendly. At the start of “Deck the Hallmark,” listeners said they were happy to find a podcast their family could listen to in the car.
Thompson and Gray said it was possible that a tenant with the right idea could join the network. Being a part of Bramble Jam or other podcast networks sometimes makes the difference between a podcast that dies after a few episodes or becomes a well-known show. The podcast market is crowded. As of June 2018, Apple had 550,000 podcasts. It now has over two million shows and 48 million episodes.
Gray’s advice to newcomers is “rarely a podcast idea goes untouched,” but also “don’t plan forever.” Eventually, you just have to start posting content and see what happens, he said. When he started releasing episodes of “Deck the Hallmark” in July 2018, they were just for practice before the Christmas season heats up. But they quickly caught on and in November they were on “Good Morning America”.
“But don’t just focus on the listeners and make money,” he said. “If you’re not passionate about a topic, don’t. People can tell.”
After three years, the three friends have watched around 300 Hallmark movies and aren’t even close to having watched them all. So far, their favorites are “Two Turtle Doves” and “Snow Bride”.
Their mission remains the same. The same goes for their podcast, the podcast network and the new rental studio.
“The reason we do it is the same reason the Hallmark films exist, which is to show things that can make people happy,” Gray said.
For more information about Bramble Jam or the Podcast Studio, you can contact Thompson at email@example.com.