How to Create a Bingeable Hybrid Podcast with Matt Hooper of the Live! From Tomorrow Podcast

How to Create a Bingeable Hybrid Podcast with Matt Hooper of the Live! From Tomorrow Podcast


As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a bingeable podcast”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Hooper.

Matt Hooper is the creator of Live! From Tomorrow, a musical comedy podcast about tech and innovation, and the host of the IBM Blockchain Pulse podcast. Prior to this, he was the first Vice President of Open Innovation at the Barclays Investment Bank where he helped launch Rise New York, the model for Barclays’ global innovation programs. He was also the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at WeWork Labs, and continues to work with and occasionally invest in startups as a mentor for the NUMA accelerator and at Yale University’s Tsai CITY.

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Can you tell us a bit of your “personal backstory? What is your background and what eventually brought you to this particular career path?

My pleasure. While I’ve spent the last three years building a little media startup, I professionally came of age in the NYC tech startup ecosystem. Started a business just out of college in 2010, worked for a few other startups along the way before helping to manage a ‘pre-accelerator’ — where my job was to source early-stage startups — and then landing at a big corporation where my job was, once again, to essentially source early-stage startups. So, the startup-corporate relationship has also been a rich field of inspiration for me and has directly influenced the different podcast series I host, as well as some of the video campaigns I’ve helped to produce over the last few years.

Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?

There’s an intimacy to existing in someone’s headphones — podcast creators are connecting with their audience, by virtue of the medium, in a very different way than other sorts of performers and hosts. Sometimes, if you’re lucky — and forgetful — this means that people will write to you from anywhere in the world with thoughts on very specific statements you’ve made on the show, that they listened to every word of, and that you totally don’t remember saying. A joke here, a question for the guest there, etc. So the most interesting thing since I’ve started podcasting has been an interaction across social media with listeners who pay close attention to the work and weigh in — it’s flattering, it has kept me on my toes, and puts a healthy pressure on me to continue to improve the quality of any given episode.

Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaways you learned from that?

During a live recording of Live! From Tomorrow, in 2018, a friend of mine was helping out backstage. In between segments on the show, he spilled beer on the stage and I then had to conduct two interviews, one with a classic rock/R&B singer and one with a leader from the U.N. Big-name people. Intimidating people. And I can’t stress enough how ridiculous it was that he’d knocked this cup over right in the middle of the transition. So, there we all were, our shoes caked in smelly, sticky, spilt IPA. I looked like an amateur. That nobody was bothered by this, and that the show was somehow able to go on and I was able to record all of it, was a non-minor miracle. So, what lesson did I learn? Never stop the show, even if your shoes (and the shoes of your guests) get a little scuffed.

How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?

I’m new to podcasting, having started in earnest last spring (2019). On the branded show I host, IBM Blockchain Pulse, we are embarking on our fourth season. In the case of Live! From Tomorrow, our first season launched on June 4th, with new releases every Thursday until the end of the month. It’s a scripted, narrative series designed to unfold over 5 episodes.

What are the main takeaways, lessons, or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your show?

We made Live! From Tomorrow in the spirit that ‘tomorrow’ is not yet written — and that now is the time to innovate; now is the time to make ‘tomorrow’ a better, fairer, more inclusive place. In that sense, I hope that our listeners laugh, sure, but also come away from an hour spent with us a little more hopeful than they were before.

Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Matt Hooper!

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Matt Hooper of the Live! From Tomorrow Podcast shares the best way to:

1) Book Great Guests. Make a long, long list of the sorts of folks you’d like to talk to and why you’d like to talk to them, and then be ready for nearly every single one of them to say no, or change their schedule at the last minute, etc. Always have a backup; always try to be as accommodating as possible.

2) Increase Listeners. Know where your audience lives — what sites they visit, which authors they read — and reaching out to them on those platforms, is a good way of grabbing their attention. Most people want to be engaged via conversation, and by visiting your audience where they are already spending time, you’re inviting them into a conversation.

3) Produce in a Professional Way. Find people who are more technical than you, and ask them every question under the sun. There is no shame in not knowing something when you produce your own work; your job, as the creator, writer, host, producer, etc, is to be focused on the content of your episode, so I highly recommend syncing up with someone who lives for audio while you focus on your job.

4) Encourage Engagement. Ask your audience what they’re thinking, and ask them to share their own stories with you. This is a conversation between yourself and your listeners — and one that you should keep having.

5) Monetize. If you are specific enough and engaging enough, there are bound to be sponsors interested in reaching your audience. Media has never been more fragmented; sponsorship dollars can go a long way when spent on a small(er) number of devoted listeners. Now, will the sponsorship let you quit your day job? No. But it’s a start, and it’s a validation of your work.

In your opinion what makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or your content?

Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Matt Hooper!


Picture of Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is a former Authority Magazine and Inc. Magazine Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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