I’ve been listening to Relay since they launched last year and probably listen to half of the shows Myke and Stephen have added to their network over the last year. They’ve done a fantastic job building a network of shows with interesting hosts that all seem incredibly proud to be part of their network (that or picthed shows just to get the Relay Slack invite).
Also, he probably doesn’t know it but Stephen is partially responsible for the Mac nerd I have become today. My first summer home from college I applied for a part time job at the Apple Store in Germantown, where Stephen worked as a Mac Genius, having never used a Mac or an iPod (iPhones did’t exist–I’m old). The awesome people I worked with there totally got me to “drink the kool aid” as they say. I left to go back to school with a shiny new 13″ black Macbook (for $50 extra!) and no chance of ever recovering the amount of money I would spend over the next decade of buying Apple products.
I’m really proud of what Myke and Stephen have been doing at Relay and can’t wait to see the exiting things to come.
But you can feel that all of these hosts want to be part of Relay FM as they interact with each other — on their podcasts, they reference other Relay FM shows. In many ways, Relay FM works like a comic book universe. If you want to know the entire story line, you need to listen to multiple shows.
But wanting to be part of a family isn’t enough if the numbers don’t add up. If Relay FM takes too big a cut, chances are many of these hosts would want to make a podcast on their own. “Our revenue is going up every month, which is great because it means that there is more money for our hosts, which is what I care about the most,” Hurley said. “Our number one thing is that everybody enjoys working with us and is happy with us and is well compensated for the work that they do. Our business is based on the people we work with.”
“Of all the money that comes into Relay, about three quarters of it goes out to hosts. Then the rest we use it to pay expenses and we take profits as owners — we are very lean,” Hurley said. While the number of shows has tripled during Relay FM’s first year, monthly revenue has quadrupled over the same period. Yet, the team doesn’t want to take any outside investment to fuel its growth.