We’re sure if we ask you to name your favorite podcast off the top of your head you could give us at least three. According to Podcast Insights, in 2018 (so far): 64% of the U.S. population is familiar with “podcasting”; 44% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast; 50% of all U.S. homes are podcast fans; and 16 million people in the U.S. are “avid podcast fans.” 

We don’t need the numbers to let us know podcast listenership is on the rise, but the numbers that do raise concern for us is, according to the Economist, “men host 63 of the top 100 podcasts on their own, while only 13 are hosted by women and the rest by mixed teams.” While women listening to podcasts has grown 3% in the last year, there is still a missing link between that growth and a podcast network dedicated to women.

PHOTO: Black Enterprise

This is where author, former publicist and podcast host, Ahyiana Angel, steps in. Her new podcast network’s, Mayzie Media, goal is to produce shows created specifically for women to amplify their voices, stories and creativity in a space dominated by white males. Creating this platform was not Angel’s initial goal in this area, however, after recognizing the need she made it her duty to combat what was lacking. 

21Ninety spoke to Angel to learn more about Mayzie Media and what viewers can expect from this blossoming platform: 

21NINETY: Podcasts are all the rage lately and there is literally a podcast for everyone. You took it a step further though and created Mayzie Media which is a podcast network. Tell us why creating this platform was important to you? 

AHYIANA ANGEL: Creating Mayzie Media was not in my original plan when I first started podcasting. However, it did not take long after launching the Switch, Pivot or Quit podcast to realize that male led shows dominated the podcast charts and the news headlines. The majority of the most notable networks are led by men. It’s possibly unintentional, but the podcast space felt very male dominated just as many other areas of media. While podcasts continue to increase in popularity as a medium for creating content, they are also growing in listeners and women are no exception. This year it was reported that the number of women listening to podcasts has gone up 3% since 2017. 

PHOTO: Mayzie Media

The more that women tagged me on social media posts searching for women led podcasts, the more that I realized I wasn’t the only one who recognized the lack. There is also an issue with discovery. People have a hard time finding more shows that they can get into. Instead of simply complaining about the problem, at a point I realized that I could be part of the solution instead of simply recognizing the problem so I set out to create an undude, undad podcast network. Launching a boutique podcast production company creating content specifically for women is a bit of a risk, but I’m no stranger to risk so I’m up for the challenge.

21N: Currently you have two shows under the network: A Milli and Switch, Pivot Or Quit with you as the hostess. Let’s start with A Milli, this show focuses on women who have acquired one million in business. Explain to us what that means because, through the show’s viewpoint, one million can come in several forms? 

AA: That’s exactly right, amassing one million plus in business for the purposes of this show can be in the form of revenue, funding, investment, sales, subscribers etc. I felt that it was important to bring these women and their stories to the forefront because amassing a million of anything is no small accomplishment and so often women are overlooked for their great achievements and innovation in business. The purpose of A Milli is to celebrate the women who have reached the one million mark in business as well as provide a look behind the curtain so that other women can learn how they did it. We want to create many more women with A Milli!

PHOTO: Mayzie Media

21N: Keep with A Milli for a second, how are these female-bosses found or selected to be featured? 

AA: It’s funny because everything was pretty organic with all of the guests featured on the first season. Some of the women were friends or friends of friends, and others heard about the new show via industry chatter and it was a good fit so we slotted them into the lineup. 

PHOTO: SwitchPivotOrQuit

21N: Switching over to Switch, Pivot or Quit, you have been hosting this particular show for almost two years. Take us to the beginning, what created the spark for the show in the first place? 

AA: Once I made my own career transition from sports PR to a traditionally published author, I realized two things: people were inspired by my story of taking a risk and there was a lack of genuine support among women, without the ulterior motives. This was 2013 so the women’s empowerment movement had not really developed in the way that it is so prevalent now. With those things in mind, I created a social platform that shined a light on women doing awesome things and encouraged those looking to grow and achieve more. Eventually, I wanted a way to expand the conversation, help those in the midst of their transition and share inspiring stories. With those things in mind, the podcast was born.  

21N: Also, there is another show scheduled to hit the network this year called Book’d. What will this show focus on? 

AA: Book’d will entertain non-fiction fans with interviews featuring authors of new book releases in the areas of self-help, personal development and more. The authors are not only talking about their books and those themes but they are also sharing their writing process and personal stories as well. These conversations allow us to get to know the person behind the book and dig into some of the themes that stand out the most. 

21N: When it comes to Mayzie Media shows, for those who may be interested in joining your platform, are you scouting podcasts that already exist or are you hoping to create more original programming? 

AA: Currently we are solely focused on producing original programming and brining in talent to host shows as there are dozens of show treatments sitting in the cue. However, there will be a time when we will work with creators in either an acquisition or development capacity so ambitious creators should definitely stay tuned!

21N: Overall, what do you hope Mayzie Media does for women in the podcast world? 

AA: Prior to launching Mayzie Media, I surveyed my existing audience as well as the @switchpivotorquit Instagram followers to gain insight into their listening habits and more. I also wanted more evidence to determine if the need for a women-focused podcast network was in my head or a reality. 75% of respondents said that they were extremely excited for a network that produces podcast programming exclusively for women.

With 18,000 women applying to the Spotify Sound Up Bootcamp, I think it was a clear message that we can show up in large numbers, we want to be heard, we have ideas, and we are ready to make our presence felt in podcasting. The response to the bootcamp also showed that if you speak to us we will show up and if given an opportunity to shine we will glow. This further proved my gut feeling that the interest is there but the mainstream opportunities are not plentiful.

My goal is to help amplify our voices in the podcasting space as well as help to share our stories and highlight the things that others may not talk about. 

21N: You had a vision after recognizing a need and you are executing that vision! While it can be extremely exciting, we imagine it can also be quite intimidating given the climate in the field. How do you fight through those trying moments? 

AA: When I decided to create Mayzie Media, I knew that I would be facing an uphill battle in not having the big funding backing my projects. But on the other side of that, I just have to remind myself of what I’ve accomplished so far without leaning on anyone. I successfully switched careers and managed to get a traditional book publishing deal within four months of leaving my career in sports PR, despite not having any experience or connections in the publishing industry. In order to combat the trying times, I have to be keenly aware that I can do hard things. I surround myself with people that are equally ambitious and they really help to lift me up when times get challenging. I can call on them to brainstorm, vet ideas or sometimes just vent. I also use affirmations to purposely drill positivity into my psyche. I’m always consuming new information and learning to keep that edge and the most important thing is believing in me when it is all said and done. I always bet on me and that’s how I fight though. 

21N: In addition to the new show we’ll be keeping an eye out for, are there any other upcoming projects we should expect from Mayzie Media? 

AA: Yes! We already have tons of new programming slated to roll out over the next two years. In the near future, we have a more lifestyle rooted podcast launching in the first quarter of 2019. It is going to highlight and dig into some of the topics that we talk about most amongst friends, so I’m really excited about that.

21N: And what’s next for you? Another show maybe? How about another book? 

AA: Building and growing Mayzie Media is a huge undertaking, so in the immediate future I will be continuously focused on producing stellar programming and scaling the company. As for writing, I’m just starting the process of drafting the publishing proposal for a Switch, Pivot or Quit book to assist those in that critical transition period so I’m looking forward to that project coming to life.  

21N: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? 

AA: Podcasting popularity is still on the incline and definitely having a moment in pop culture, so if there is an idea that you have been sitting on for a show, do it! You don’t have to be perfect to start and if you’re looking for a little more guidance in getting started visit www.MayzieMedia.com check out the options to learn how to produce, market and grow a podcast. 

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