The Creator Economy and Building Community: A Conversation with Vinnie Potestivo – Part 1
“Audio has had exponential growth these last four years. I mean, there’s just this power. It used to be supportive of video, and I think back to, like, Spielberg and Dolby and, like, some of the original advances that happened in the beginning part of my life. It seemed dormant up until these last four. So what a cool time to be in audio.” — Vinnie Potestivo
This episode’s guest is an Emmy Award-winning brand advisor with a twenty-five-year track record of guiding personal brands and founder-led businesses to new heights through strategic content distribution, brand visibility, and media reach. As an advocate for independent creators, he hosts LinkedIn Presents: I Have A Podcast and serves as the editor-in-chief of ihaveapodcast.com, the #1 source for creative and career inspiration. He also shares valuable creator-economy business strategies, insights, and experiences with co-host Judi Fox on Podcast to Profit. His name is Vinnie Potestivo, and he has quite a lot to say about how to tell a good story and improve the chances of discoverability for your podcast. He’s a fun guy to talk to, too: I think you’ll really enjoy this interview.
As always, if you have questions for my guest, you’re welcome to reach out through the links in the show notes. If you have questions for me, visit www.audiobrandingpodcast.com where you’ll find a lot of ways to get in touch. Plus, subscribing to the newsletter will let you know when the new podcasts are available. And if you’re getting some value from listening, feel free to spread that around and share it with a friend, along with leaving an honest review. Both those things really help – and I’d love to feature your review on future podcasts. You can leave one either in written or in voice format from the podcast’s main page. I would so appreciate that.
Lots of Right Ways
As the episode starts, we kick things off with a fast-paced discussion about everything from Podfest to reviving the dodo bird to the exponential growth of audio. “My favorite thing about podcasts,” Vinnie tells us, “is just the individualized approach that everyone has. And there’s no right way, or, no, there is a right way. There’s a lot of right ways, actually. And there are a lot of wrong ways too.” We talk about his early memories of sound and the surprising career that inspired him as a small child: “I wanted to be a Foley artist, a gaffer or a Foley artist. Those were the two things that I wanted to be.”
Louder Than Anything
We also talk about how the digital landscape of the early 2000s shaped his career at MTV. “Napster file trading, digitizing of our disks on computers,” he explains. “I mean, I saw music, and I saw video as files, and I knew that I can move it. So not only was I the person who had to fix the controls on the screen, but I could get all your photos scanned in for you.” He tells us about his casting work on MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch and the challenge of using audio to dive deeper into the emotions behind reality shows like the Real Housewives series. “I come from a point in time,” Vinnie says, “where they would say, ‘We want the loudest voice.’ You know what’s louder than anything? Silence.”
The Business of Music
Vinnie tells us more about the industry insights he gained at MTV and how he’s watched music videos transition from cable television to YouTube and new media. “MTV sure did play an impactful role in music and amplified music,” he says, “but what it didn’t do is get into the business of music, even the same way YouTube has gotten into the business of music.” We also talk about platforms like Spotify, the rise of influencers and the new creator economy, and how they’re transforming the music industry. “I would say that, in my opinion, the entry-level into the industry’s changed significantly,” he explains. “You can now create your own content and be found on your terms. And that’s gigantic.”
Building a Community
As the first half of our discussion comes to a close, we talk about the future of the audio industry in general and podcasting in particular, and where the creator economy might lead us. “I would strongly lean into building a community,” Vinnie suggests. “I think the community economy is coming next.” Vinnie also offers his advice for podcasters who are just starting out. “I think for any creator out there, just create,” he says. “And if you’re having a hard time creating, then collaborate.”
- The exponential growth of audio over the last few years
- How VCRs and Excel spreadsheets led to Vinnie’s creative role at MTV
- What reality TV taught him about bringing stories to life through sound
- How MTV lost its hold on the music industry to streaming platforms
- The rise of the Creator Economy and the upcoming Community Economy
Stay tuned next week as we discuss how podcasting could become an important part of the broadcast news landscape, what a chance encounter with Christina Milian and Janet Jackson taught him about the value of networking, and his advice to creators on how to see their dream through.
Connect with the Guest
Connect with Vinnie Potestivo on LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/vinniepotestivo
Follow Vinnie Potestivo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/vinniepotestivo
Connect with Vinnie Potestivo on Instagram: http://instagram.com/vinniepotestivo
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.