Darran Bruce Podcast Transcript
Darran Bruce joins host Brian Thomas on The Digital Executive Podcast.
[00:00:00] Brian: Well, good afternoon, Darren. Welcome to the show.
[00:01:07] Darran Bruce: Hey, thank you very much for having me here, Brian. I’m super excited to talk with you today.
[00:01:11] Brian: Me too, because typically I’m chatting with a technologist or an executive out of Silicon Valley. But today I get to talk to somebody that’s in advertising and doing a bunch of DJing and podcasting yourself. So that’s just so awesome. So thanks again, Darren, for making the time.
[00:01:25] Darran Bruce: You’re welcome.
[00:01:26] Brian: All right. Well, Darren, we’re going to jump right in here. We want to get your story out to our audience. You’ve got quite the career in media broadcasting, operations. You were an assistant director. Now the amazing podcast interviewee and executive producer of the DJ sessions.
Could you share with our audience the secret to your career growth and what inspires you?
[00:01:47] Darran Bruce: One of the biggest secrets is that. I have always been surrounded by technology ever since I was a young kid. My, father bought the first video camera system you could get on the market. Not the first one, but it was 1979.
I was like five years old and here I am playing with this video camera. And he always lavished technology upon me when the VCR would come in or the TV needed to be fixed or the cable needed to be fixed or the wireless phone. Wanted to be hooked up. I was the guy that would get it or the kid that would get in program and play with it.
So always being able to embrace technology in a way and not be afraid of it I think is one of the secrets to my career growth. And what inspires me is that the changing of how fast technology changes and not getting left behind in it.
Moving all the way forward to my experience with working with, for Apple, and watching the iPod come out when I was in college and then watching the evolution of the iPod come out and getting to the video iPod, which we took full advantage of because I was producing broadcast television shows at that time, but then moving into the iPhone, and where that’s grown and then the smartphone industry is just that kind of is an inspiration to me.
Apple has been a huge inspiration to me as, as well as companies like Nordstrom. So I’m a huge customer service fan. I think when it comes to. Sales is one thing. Customer service is, I think, supersedes sales. And I think that, that is also a secret to my career growth is that I love customer service and putting smiles on people’s faces.
And the more smiles I see, the more inspired I get to make more content.
[00:03:20] Brian: That’s awesome. So yeah, no, a great blend. I love your, backstory there, and I know everybody will. On this particular show week or this episode, because we talk about tech, of course, but then the whole thing about the customer experience, which is a whole ‘nother thing that I get into on this podcast. So thank you so much.
[00:03:37] Darran Bruce: I was just going to say, everyone that I have on the show of mine is a customer and you know , if I want them to come back on the show which we’ll be talking about in a few moments, the DJ sessions I want them to have a wonderful experience because they’re going to go back to their PR agent or their booking manager, their manager and the manager say, how was that experience?
And they’re going to say, I had a great time with Darren and they’re going to say, would you go on the show again? And they’re going to say yes, which means they’re going to now recommend their are other clients to be on the show. So again, it’s a customer service really hits the heart with me.
[00:04:08] Brian: Absolutely. That’s you got to play the long game when it comes to that. So that’s so awesome. So Darren, jumping into the next question here, you’re one of the premier experts in broadcasting with a unique spin on interviewing top DJs and electronic music professionals. You’ve got over 2, 400 episodes and counting.
What inspired you to get into this space and what have you learned over the past 12 years?
[00:04:28] Darran Bruce: Well, we can jump the clock all the way back to 1992 when I graduated from high school. And my school that I was attending had the first ever video production class. And I took that class. And of course, having the experience of playing with video cameras for 13 years before that I got right out of school and I fell into working with a public access television show.
And for eight years, I worked as you could say, Over glorified associate producer, but it was more of a production assistant. And then later in 2000, I had the opportunity to work on a broadcast pilot series and I quickly went from production assistant to official associate producer of the show and I got hooked.
And I said, because there was no YouTube, there was no video outlets, there was no real video online. We had public access and broadcast television. And to get to broadcast television, there’s a huge jump. You can’t just take a videotape down to the studio, pop it in and say, that’s my show.
There’s a lot of FCC regulations, money it takes to put a show on broadcast television. After working on that show for about a year, I broke away and decided to go produce my own TV series called phantasmagoria and took the pilot in pitched it to Fox, the local broadcast station Fox here in Seattle, and they took it.
And here we are. Now. I’m a broadcast television producer. We took that series and spun off 2 more series out of that and then came back in 2005 rebranded. Made eight new pilot series and got them approved on 13 stations on the West Coast called ITV or independent television. And now we’re all of a sudden, where we were a small operation, we’re not trying to raise millions of dollars a quarter to put on this broadcast, these broadcast television series up and down the West Coast.
And when I was invited to go down and sit with the head of the, one of the vice presidents of Fox down at what most people know the building, the Fox Tower is down in in LA, which is also AKA the Nakatomi building in Die Hard. He invited me down there and he got me in his office and he said, the first words out of his mouth, he said.
How did you get eight separate television shows approved on 12 network stations? That’s what I do for a living because he’s the guy who sold Malcolm in the middle and that 70s show to the West coast. And so basically, that just kept me going.
But what I think really inspired me, because obviously raising millions of dollars a quarter, as an independent production company, we weren’t taking this to the studios, we weren’t shopping it around. What really inspired me would turn the tables. Was when I started working for Apple in 2005, I mentioned a few moments ago is when that video iPod came out and we passed the YouTube route because we thought YouTube was going to be a bunch of people just. YouTube talking to their cameras.
It was not broadcast tube. It wasn’t Hulu. It wasn’t Netflix. You weren’t selling series on YouTube at that time, but when that iPod came out, the video iPod came out, that was a surefire hit. And the funniest thing was, is that when they first came out, they had, Steve jobs always like to keep everything under wraps at Apple.
And when they first came out, there were no videos on the iPods in the store. So what I did is I went around to all the iPods in the store and I loaded our pilot series of our 8 shows on the store so we could actually demo the video iPods. And that I think just turned the channel because we found that I could host my shows on a GoDaddy server for 15 bucks a month rather than raising millions of dollars.
And at one point we were doing 300 000 downloads a week of our show. But at the time, everyone was asking, how do you monetize a podcast? Nobody ever really monetized it in that sense. So it was very interesting, but that was the, I think the key that inspired me to get into the digital distribution side of things, which then later led to the live streaming side of things and got me into being one of the top electronic music live streaming shows in the world.
And what I’ve learned over the past 12 years, the biggest thing I’ve learned is patience.
[00:08:25] Brian: Yeah, I can imagine that is a lot of work, a lot of episodes, but I love the story, how you actually got that out there and really got the attention of a media executive like that. I think that’s awesome. And of course, being innovative and getting your video out there on those iPods. Get people to start to share and I guess get into your podcast.
[00:08:45] Darran Bruce: I think one of the biggest things though, is that what’s also been an inspiration is the people that I’ve met along the way that I’ve told, got to pitch my story to and what we do, what we’re looking to do, and they’re just get on board with us.
Once we were actually one of the first featured video podcasts in the iTunes store when they made the podcast section, which we debuted at position 48 out of 50, and then eventually climbed to like position 21 or 22. And when we went live streaming, you stream and live stream, both made us a featured live stream with their platform immediately after getting off the phone with them.
They just loved my pitch and love what we were doing. They could hear how passionate I was about this. And so when we moved over to Twitch, we were one of the first live featured, partnered, live streaming DJ shows with Twitch. And those to me are like winning an award. it’s not an Oscar, it’s not a Grammy, it’s not nothing like that.
But it’s like you’re having other business professionals recognize you in your field, hearing your inspiration how in how inspired you are. And they say, this is a surefire kid. I’m gonna give this kid a chance.
[00:09:45] Brian: Love the story. Thanks again, Darren. Darren, this is what we talk about mainly here is if you’re leveraging any of that new or emerging technologies in your platform at all. And if not, maybe you found a cool tool or app you might share with us.
[00:09:58] Darran Bruce: Actually, I got a few apps that I’ll break down really quick, and I think the first tool that I would like to share is to give a shout out to the Hello Woofy team. Hello Woofy, is a social media tool that allows you, like a Hootsuite, I’m not a Hootsuite.
I’m trying to think the other social media because they used to have Buzzsprout and Frogger all these things, but it’s a social media tool that basically lets you do all your social media in one place. And I can hit a button. I can send it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and I don’t have to spend all the time.
I can schedule it in advance. I can have teams. And I have my whole resident team of 18 DJs on my team, and I have their social media tied in. I can go into and not only when I send to all my social media, I can send it to all their social media too. So, all of our social media is being sent in the communication is standardized throughout everyone.
Within the DJ sessions, I think that is a huge tool that could help a lot of people out, especially when they’re trying to manage social media. And now the new 1 that just came out, the… threads, so threads just came out and, managing this, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Threads. it can get, it can become overwhelming. So I firstly give a shout out to Arjan and the Hello Woofy team. They’re awesome. Another tool that I believe is a phenomenal player in the game for live streaming is company called restream., I can take a feed in and do we can be doing this podcast live and you could be sending it to Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, LinkedIn a number of different places which is just makes it nice for distribution because everyone has their flavor that they like to watch their favorite shows on. And if you can have somebody say, well, I only watch stuff on mixed cloud, or I only watch stuff on Twitch, or I only watch stuff on YouTube, you know, you can build a following, have it everywhere.
Like when I said, coming from the television distribution world, is pulling teeth to get 1 station on board, let alone 12 stations on board. Now I can go, I can put it out there where everyone is online. And then it automatically records it. And I can upload it to the podcast.
The 3rd company for podcasting, I would say Pod bean is a podcast. Hosting and distribution platform that makes it very easy to upload your episodes to with a click of the button, you can send it everywhere. And when you use your Pod bean link to set up, say your Apple podcast, your I Heart radio podcasts, all down the line of the 40 or 50 different podcast aggregators, you updated and pod being it updates it everywhere else. And yeah it’s a great, I think those 3 tools have definitely led to the success of the DJ sessions.
[00:12:32] Brian: Appreciate the share. And you’re right. There’s so many different platforms. It and standard that’s a standing joke for the last 40 years, and that’s why they come up with these platforms to accommodate everybody that, that is on a different platform. So, I appreciate your share.
Darren, the last question of the evening here, can you share something from your career experience that would be helpful for those listening to looking for their career to grow in broadcasting?
[00:12:56] Darran Bruce: I was asked this question a lot in the beginning of the pandy. And the question was, I want to start a podcast.
I want to start a live stream. How much money should I spend on getting involved with this? And I would say, spend what you got. You could use your phone to start doing a podcast. Most people, if they want to do audio podcast, record from your phone go to your local store. I say Radio Shack, but that just dated myself, buy a digital recorder for 99 bucks, buy a decent microphone, for 50, 60, maybe a hundred bucks, buy a pop screen, just maybe a hundred dollars, 200 investment can just increase the production value of your podcast. If you’re looking to go the video route, start with the video camera on your phone. Start with the camera on your computer. If you go back, I use this example. Gary Vannerchuk, if you know the name, he did this podcast once a long time ago, and it was a history as he was talking over the course of 3 or 4 minutes up in the right hand corner there’s a picture in picture of his podcast and it started going 1, 2, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 da, and it showed like a click little blip of each one. It just kept going and going. You could see the change in quality of how he first started his podcast to what happened later when these now millionaire making all this money.
The thing is just start somewhere. Don’t sit on it. Don’t wait and really move forward and do it. The second piece of advice that I give is plan your show. Just like when I’m sitting right here, we had questions and, or you had research you’d done on me and we know where we’re going and don’t make it an, I don’t know, or a who, what, why, where, when get in depth with this research, the person go to their website, go to their social media.
Every show that I do, an hour before I go live with a guest on the show, I am in their social media. I am in their website. I am on their Twitter. I’m in there. I’m finding stuff and they’ll go. How did you know about that? I’m like, we got our researchers and that’s me doing the research, but, just be interesting -if -you want to talk about cars. Okay, you could talk about cars in general, but if you want to talk about Ferraris, go research and find Ferrari experts and you can knock on their door. People are out there. They love talking about what they love, but just make sure it’s interesting. So, I think those 2 things is just start with something and make sure you’re researching and making your content interesting.
[00:15:20] Brian: That’s awesome. Thank you. And you’re absolutely right. I think when I started out doing this about three years ago, I found that after about 12 episodes, I felt like a pro, it was easy. So, I appreciate the share on that. And Darren, it was a pleasure having you on this evening and I look forward to speaking with you real soon.
[00:15:38] Darran Bruce: Was a pleasure being here and thank you very much. I had a great time, Brian.
[00:15:42] Brian: Bye for now.
Darren Bruce Podcast Transcript. Listen to the audio on the guest’s podcast page.