The reality of trying to make it in podcasting

Host Bevan Jones of the Legends with Bevo podcast started back in 2018 as a weekly online tipping show with big dreams to crack it in the world of paid podcasting, but despite running for five years and hosting over 200 guests, including Lawrence MooneyMatt Preston and Sunrise’s Sam Mac, Bevo is struggling to get there. 

“Back in April 2018, I’d just lost what was my dream job as a breakfast announcer unfortunately, and then I thought, what am I going to do next?” Bevo said. 

After a coffee with olympian Phil Smyth, the idea for Legends with Bevo was born, which has now had sports stars, entertainers and people from all walks of life on the podcast to share their stories.

“That first year, I just couldn’t believe how much fun I had, and looking back now to where it is, and the amount of people I’ve been able to chat with, over 200 interviews and all the absolute legends I’ve had on,” Bevo said.

“Everyone I’ve interviewed has a story to tell, but the incredible calibre of guests I’ve been able to get on from sport, entertainment and people in the community just blows me away, and I’m so lucky and so fortunate.”

When the podcast first started, Bevo recorded the podcast in low quality on his phone. Since then, the podcast has developed to a professional standard.

Bevo sought out a world-class studio where he now records the audio and video through a third party who also edits the show for him. The quality improved, but so did the cost, putting him out of pocket as he invested in the show, hoping to get attention from sponsors to help carry the dream.

“You look at my videos early on and they were filmed on a mobile phone – you could barely hear us talking. Now I’ve got this world-class facility where I do my videos and yeah, it costs me big money, but it’s so worth it,” Bevo said.

Despite his love for the podcast, Bevo often questions whether he should give up on it.

Investments of time and money over the years are building frustration as he balances the show with full-time work and being a dad.

“My motivation at the start of the podcast was to one day make it a full-time business and get it on commercial radio or television as a weekly show,” Bevo said. 

“Obviously you dream about making it a full-time thing and I’ve had sponsors here and there, but I’ve never been able to make it, like where I make a profit out of it.”

“It is really hard and tough, especially because I don’t have that financial support, I’m pretty much doing it on my own, bar having producer Rory at Podbooth, who does an amazing job of filming videos and editing them.”

“There have been a lot of times where I’ve been thinking whether or not I’d do it, and especially since Evie, my daughter, has come along, that’s been one of the times where I was really considering whether to do it again this year. But when you sort of bump into people, not so much people you don’t know, but friends, and they watch it and they give you really good positive feedback, that sort of makes you think, oh, I’m actually making difference out here, people like what I’m doing and that sort of makes you want to keep going with it.”

Sharing a common sentiment in the industry, Bevo feels like a lot of hard and consistent workers are overlooked while reality TV stars go to the top of the pile.

“It’s really tough because you put so much time and effort into it and then people come along – and I don’t want to bag reality TV by any means – but when you see people that go on reality TV like MAFS and those sort of shows, that are no better than myself . . . but because they’ve got that profile, they’ve got those Instagram followers, they get into the podcast world and they’re now your LiSTNRs and iHearts,” Bevo said.

Bevo’s most recent push for expansion has seen him contact community television stations like Adelaide’s Channel 44 and Melbourne’s Channel 31, offering his content for free in the hopes that the right people see the show. As a result, Legends with Bevo episodes now appear on Channel 44 in South Australia every Monday night at 5pm and Saturday nights at 8:30pm.

“I’ve reached out recently to Channel 31 over there in Melbourne and they’re going to be putting episodes up too for a few months which is wonderful because obviously they’ve got a bigger audience over there in VIC,” Bevo said.

Podcasting in the world and especially in Australia has been on an upward trend in recent years in terms of creation and consumption. Last year, Australia overtook the US as the biggest podcast-listening nation with 40% of Australians listening in July and a total of 755m podcasts being downloaded over the whole year.

As of January 2023, there were 3.02 million podcasts globally and there are just 150 podcasts in the Triton Digital Podcast Ranker, which makes up 0.00496688742% of 3.02m.

The top 150 is where the money generally is, but even then, there is a vast difference between the top and the bottom.

Between the number one podcast in the Triton Ranker and number 150, there is a 504,074 monthly listener difference, meaning the podcast at number 150 would need to multiply its listenership over 19 times to find the top. 

Podcast listenership is increasing, but so is the competition for people’s ears. These are the realities of breaking into podcasting and succeeding financially.

“Yes it is hard, but I don’t regret it one bit and again, really proud that I’ve been able to speak to so many amazing people over close to five years now,” Bevo said.

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Craig Wessels
22 Feb 2023 - 12:33 am

Bevan has been a great friend to my podcast, and is an awesome interviewer. So glad to see the success that he is having.
He has to be one of the hardest working men in Adelaide.

22 Feb 2023 - 12:49 pm

Craig, did you read the article?

Craig Wessels
8 May 2023 - 1:07 am

I did read the article. I’ve had Bevan on my own podcast (A Yank on the Footy) twice, and am sitting down with him again, in about 7 hours to further chat about his achievements.


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