Three West Orange friends have taken their gift of gab to the masses with their new Average Guys Podcast.
Daniel Hungerford, Howard Salter and Noah Treadway are used to drawing a crowd whenever they get together.
“We would start with just the three of us in a conversation,” Salter said. “At church … we would be in a conversation, next thing you know, there’s seven, eight, nine people coming into the conversation.”
Now, the three West Orange friends are hoping to capitalize on their ability to captivate with conversation through their new podcast, Average Guys Podcast, which launched in January.
Salter said the idea to start the podcast came after he noticed there weren’t many podcasts from “average guys” where the podcasters talk about everyday topics and engage the audience.
“I had started listening to some podcast, and I was looking for a guy-focused podcast that wasn’t (from) some executive,” Salter said. “Everybody knows somebody who is an expert or has a lot of knowledge in specific areas, and they’re just regular people … that’s the heart of being an average guy. Everybody knows an average guy who knows a lot about a few things.”
“We want to give everybody a voice,” Treadway said. “Not just the scholar, not just the history-specific expert. … These (podcast) guys that have millions and millions of subscribers, I haven’t found one yet that’s entertaining and actually talks about real stuff, and there are thousands of podcasts out there. I can’t find any that do what we’re doing.”
Before launching the podcast, Salter said they recorded a rough-cut episode and released a 49-second teaser. At first, he didn’t expect it to get many plays.
“In my mind, I was thinking, ‘If we get to like 20 or 30 plays, maybe we got something,’” Salter said. “Before we actually launched our first episode and that whole, full-length precast episode, we actually had (more than) 100 plays on the teaser. … We put the first episodes out, and they shot through the roof.”
“You kind of doubt that anybody would listen to that crap, but they do,” Hungerford said. “We didn’t expect to gain so much traction so fast. … We just started it for the fun of it.”
THE FUN SHACK
The podcast’s topics range wildly — regular “guy stuff” such as Star Wars, the Marvel universe, sports, video games, alcohol, conspiracy theories, dad life and women.
“We agree on a lot of things, but we also disagree on a lot of things, which gives us a lot to talk about,” Hungerford said. “We’re all strong-willed people.”
“We enjoy entertaining conversation over just regular topics,” Salter said. “We have a lot of fun … and the podcast is a small sample of the fun.”
“In fact, we have so much fun, the name of our studio is the Fun Shack, or F Shack for short,” Treadway said.
Podcasts began in the mid-2000s as Apple’s iPod grew in popularity. The medium became the preferred method of publishing audioblogs and has continued to grow along with the rise of smartphones.
“Before we started this, one of the first things I did was I started looking at stats,” Salter said. “Over the last five years, it’s gone up. What’s driving (the popularity) is actually not podcasting (itself). What’s driving it is YouTube.”
“Podcasting as a genre ... is going to go through the roof,” Salter said. “I’d like for us to be the first group that does the opposite with YouTube, where we start as a podcast and really grow our podcast community and then launch a YouTube channel.”