One million podcast downloads… and 721 chicken nuggets for Toni Lodge and Ryan Jon
Toni Lodge and Ryan Jon’s new podcast on ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia hit a major seven-figure milestone this week, becoming one of a handful of independent Aussie podcasts to reach 1 million downloads in two months.
To celebrate the pair are eating chicken nuggets! Why… you’ll find out.
The pair met at ARN, where Ryan now hosts workdays on KIIS FM Melbourne after an extended break from breakfast radio and Toni was, until recently, a producer for the station’s former breakfast show with Jase & PJ. Following three “awkwardly long” years of early starts, she made the decision to quit and have a “solid crack” behind the microphone.
Toni & Ryan, who refer to each other as “just good friends”, launched the podcast on August 23 with an episode titled ‘T-Pain and Tinder Bios’ after a series of videos recorded after hours in the KIIS FM Richmond studios went viral on TikTok and Instagram with almost 100 million views.
The podcast was quickly snapped up by ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia and, surprising even themselves, climbed official podcast charts in Australia and abroad – including Top 5 on Spotify’s Overall Chart and Top 5 on Apple Podcasts’ coveted Comedy Chart – making it a breakout smash and the surprise hit Aussie podcast of the year.
To ensure they could keep the podcast going, and continue to fund the production, Toni & Ryan launched a community for diehards on Patreon at the suggestion of a fan, where they “regrettably” committed to devouring one chicken nugget for every subscriber that joined in October.
Now podcasting’s new power couple is preparing to eat 721 chicken nuggets via a Facebook ‘NUG of WAR’ livestream at 11:30am AEST this Sunday, November 7.
Toni Lodge says their journey so far has been “lifechanging,” especially after spending such a long time producing other shows and podcasts. “I never thought I’d have a job where a day at the office consisted of eating so many nuggets, but my body is ready!”
Ryan Jon said: “It’s the strangest feeling to be annoyed and scared that too many people have paid up to subscribe to the podcast. It’s a great compliment too, but attaching our Patreon subscriptions to a food challenge may live to be one of my biggest regrets.”