Mia! Mamamia Out Loud is a flagship show on the Mamamia podcast network; the largest women’s podcast network in the world (19million downloads and counting!). What makes your product such a phenomenon?
I think it’s because we are girlfriends having a catch-up. There are genuine chemistry and interest in what each of us has to say, which helps! You don’t form that dynamic overnight. Mamamia Out Loud has been a staple of our podcast network for almost five years. It’s always evolving, but the format itself has finessed over a long period. We always try to find the balance between what’s in her world and the news of the week. Having different age groups (Jessie is a millennial, Holly and I, Gen X) and very different backgrounds means we bring a variety of opinions. Which listeners say they love.
Holly! Mamamia Out Loud is now going on its second tour. What do you most enjoy about the live shows?
The mixture of excitement and nerves when we’re doing live shows is unlike anything else we do. When we push through that, there’s just the best energy being in a room full of women who want to share, laugh and gasbag along with us. It’s absolutely one of the best professional experiences I’ve ever had, and I know the other two feel the same.
Jessie! In discussing broad-ranging topics, there are times you all disagree while remaining respectful. Did this come naturally, or with practice?
Weirdly, this came naturally! I wasn’t sure it would to three people who didn’t know each other well. But our jobs require us to have debated several times a day to decide on the angle of a story. Pitching stories for the website needs us to be honest with each other. We have the same philosophy in the studio. We play the idea and not the person. There’s nothing more important in 2019 than having the ability to disagree respectfully, and I truly believe that!
Holly! Tell us your most memorable moment from being on the road together?
I will never forget the time that we played Melbourne and Jessie had stomach flu. That sounds mean but is a testament to her, because even though she fought nausea through the whole show, she was as dry, funny and sharp as always. An absolute trooper. We’ve all discovered a lot about each other doing these shows, and that’s part of the joy; being up there together, having each other’s backs.
Jessie! Your Mamamia writings take-the-mickey out of tabloid journalism while avoiding academic piousness. A part of me believes you’re creating a pioneering expression for women. What ideology guides your approach, and how does this influence Mamamia Out Loud?
I am so flattered! A little over four years ago, I was at a crossroads. I was either going to embark on a PhD or start working at Mamamia. I’d never worked in digital media before, and they were taking a massive gamble. But I chose the latter. The reason was that I wanted to interpret and explore the incredible ideas that are sitting in universities and communicate them to the masses. I’m not sure I always do this, but I try! The average person, I think, is a lot smarter than media has traditionally ever given them credit for. Often popular culture is our way into the most exciting discussions and unpacking the world we live in.
Mia! Yours is a media company with a purpose; to make the world a better place for women and girls. How does Mamamia Out Loud positively impact women?
For a long time, women’s media was considered a hilarious niche market. We affect women positively because we’re the friends in her ears. We’re there when she’s lonely or struggling, on her tractor in a drought-affected area, walking to work. We make her feel seen because the listeners are an enormous part of our show. They are in our Facebook group (Mamamia Out Louders), call our pod phone and send us emails. It’s a two-way conversation and always has been. Every piece of content we produce, and every single topic, is put through the filter: Does this make the world a better place for women and girls? It doesn’t mean all content needs to be serious and earnest. But making her laugh, making her think and making her feel part of a tribe all contributes to that core purpose.