Em Rusciano’s Emsolation podcast becomes a Spotify exclusive

Former Editor & Content Director

Former radio announcer Em Rusciano has become one of a limited number of Australian broadcasters whose podcast is exclusively available on Spotify.

Previously, Rusciano’s podcast Emsolation was part of Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) PodcastOne.

Rusicano had previously admitted she had a bit of a tortured relationship with SCA given her high-profile stint as a Breakfast announcer on Sydney’s 2DayFM.

Her and podcast co-host Michael Lucas announced late last year they were taking the podcast independent, in a bid to have more control.

“My production company is going to make it. I will wholly own it. It’s very exciting. The time is right. It’s a bit scary, because basically that means I’m now completely financially responsible for paying everyone and we’re hoping to get some great sponsors on board,” she said on the last Emsolation episode of 2020.

Now, however, she’s revealed it will be a Spotify exclusive.

“This has been the longest, most drawn-out process. I apologise,” she said on the podcast, admitting lawyers, contracts and processes held her up from revealing the deal.

Despite the delay, Rusciano was thrilled to be able to share the news.

“This is such a big deal for so many reasons,” she said.

“And I want you to understand, this is something I’ve been working towards for about 15 years, and I couldn’t believe it when Spotify came to us. So, Spotify’s podcast division, you should know, is run by mainly excellent women, and one incredible gay man. So, first of all, tick. And they approached us – Prithy [Dey] is in charge of podcasts there, she’s incredible. I love her so much, Prithy. She said she’s a real fan of Emsolation, and, wondered if we would consider allowing Spotify to be our home. And I was like ‘But what do we have to change? Like what do you mean?’ You know I’m very protective. Because obviously we left PodcastOne, I wanted to go independent. And she said ‘No, no, you don’t have to change a thing. Nothing. We just would love to have you at Spotify as is. We love you. We love your product. We love it. We just want to pay you to just be with us’. And I was like ‘What? You want to pay me to make this thing that I love making with my best friend, where I can say whatever I want, do whatever I want, and I can do it from my house?’ And she was like ‘Yes, yes, yes yes, yes’,” Rusciano explained of the new deal.

The enthusiasm from Dey, as well as the ongoing independence of the podcast’s content, gave Rusciano the confidence that the deal was the right one, she said.

This end result, she joked, had “almost” made all her Breakfast radio dramas worth it.


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“I have to say to you, to have arguably one of the biggest listening platforms in the world love what I do and believe in what I do, and back what I do and not ask me to change a thing, and they enjoy me, they don’t endure me, as so often has been the case with previous employers, it’s so, so validating, because, for those of you – I’m getting teary – for those of you who have been along for the journey of my career, you know it has been hard fought and there has been so many times that I have been laid flat and my soul bared and thinking that my career was over and that I was something was wrong with me, because I kept getting these jobs in radio – and I love radio, I love broadcasting, I think it is my most favourite medium. I think it’s so intimate, especially podcasting, because we’re right here with you. I’m right with you now in your ears, in your house, in your car, and you’ve chosen to be with me, and it’s a relationship I take very seriously.

“And I was constantly being told that who I was, I just needed to make myself a bit smaller, can you not be as opinionated? Can you not talk about periods? Can you not talk about messy stuff of life? We need you to do this for this advertiser’, and I kept feeling that who I was just wasn’t quite right and then, so I got to do this podcast with no straight white men in their 50s overlords telling me to tone it down or do this, do that. And then to have Spotify come and say ‘Yea, it’s great. It’s for us. Who you are is exactly right. We love you. We want to align our massive brand with you’ – I can’t tell you how exciting it is, and I hope that you’re all super proud of me, and I hope you’re proud of our little podcast that is a strange old thing, which we just honestly talk about the stuff that lights us up, and you know, it’s politics, it’s pop culture, it’s the royal family, today especially, that’s what we talk about.

“And to be able to make this thing now and get paid to make it, so that’s another thing, it’s a show that I’ll be making once a week, I don’t have to get up at 4am, I don’t have to spend hour away from my family to be paid to make this thing that I’ve ben making as a passion project for so long… is another incredible milestone for me and for us.”

She also assured her fans, despite the exclusive deal – which means only those within the Spotify app can access the podcast – Emsolation will “always be free”.

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Hit Network
26 Apr 2021 - 11:13 pm

Em knows Gemma Fordham wasn’t a straight white man in her 50s right?

Joe P.
27 Apr 2021 - 2:24 pm

At first glance I could not decipher this show title. Is it a play on Immolation? Emulation? Insulation?

I soon learned it was an “isolation-themed podcast”. Well, of course it is. However, it must be one of the most forced and unnatural portmanteaus I’ve ever read.

Imagine being so centred on one’s identity that one’s name must be front and centre at every opportunity, even at the cost of clarity or reason. I should like to listen to the show, because I’m genuinely curious to understand how our shared social experience of isolation needed the ego-boosting proprietorship of one public personality.

@hit network
27 Apr 2021 - 4:01 pm

Yes, but the part about it being “for the advertiser” lends itself to Brian of Boomtown.

27 Apr 2021 - 9:56 pm

Of course the comments here from the keyboard warriors are negative; it’s a post about Em Rusciano after all. Why can’t people just congratulate and celebrate others for their successes!??

Well done Em! Awesome work!

29 Apr 2021 - 1:46 am

Rather than being a “forced and unnatural portmanteaus” to be using your own name to brand your podcast and apparently expose yourself as being “self centred”, I’ve always considered that an example of good marketing.

It’s just like how McDonalds add Mc to anything and everything, from McCafe to McNuggets (so much so that when you think of adding bacon and egg to an English muffin at home, you almost have to stop yourself from labelling it a McMuffin). Or what about how Wil Anderson has managed to factor his name into the title of every single stand up show he’s done, like Free Wil, Fire at Wil, Wil-Informed and even his podcast Wilosophy.

Then there’s those supposedly “self centred” comedians who just name their shows after their name, without creating a portmanteau, like Seinfeld or Roseanne, that Cosby creep, Mary Tyler Moore, Lucille Ball, the list goes on.

Maybe if you are genuinely curious to listen to a show, you should just go and listen to it…or don’t…just do anything other than use the internet to show off all the big words you know, while attempting to dump shit on another human being for no other reason than you aren’t very happy with your own life, or it gives you an ego boost, or you’re jealous, or you just don’t like the idea of a woman having some success, it’s just sad.


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