MrBallen: From TikTok to podcasts

Short-form sensation on making the jump to in-depth storytelling

Video is becoming an increasingly important tool for podcasters, with short-form video platforms like TikTok gaining particular attention as a key way to build audiences. While many podcasters are using TikTok to grow their brand, however, Some TikTok creators are going the other way, and moving into podcasts. 

This week, Adam Shepherd and Rhianna Dhillon speak to John Allen - better known as social true-crime sensation MrBallen - about how he made the jump from TikTok, to YouTube, to podcasts, and the learnings he took from each platform, as well as how he grew his channel and why podcast advertising is a bargain for brands.

Key takeaways

Embrace delegation

“For a long time, up until even somewhat recently, even when we were hiring people that were like being brought in to research, to write, to do all these different things, I was not truly relinquishing a lot of the things that I did. For example, I would shoot a YouTube video, but then I would do the first round of edits. Because I'm really good at them, right? It's all I do. I'm really good at making those. I can do it like 10 times faster than anybody else.” 

“But when you start getting to a place where we’re looking at doing quite a few shows at all times, the only thing that I can't outsource is being on camera. In order to scale the media company, you really have to find people to do everything else, even if it feels like you're being rude handing it off. And so I have handed off virtually everything, except for the stuff that I literally cannot.”

Podcasting partnerships lag behind YouTube

“Once you reach a certain threshold [on YouTube], advertisers are going to approach you and they're gonna be interested in doing deals with you. And they can say exactly what it is, and that creator can very easily fact-check that deal and see if it makes sense. They can look at other creators who have done it; it's well-defined.”

“Podcasting is not even close. It is an absolute shot in the dark. And the size of a podcast is not really public. No one really knows who's doing well. And so what ends up happening is you have companies that want to get invested in podcasting. You have people that are super aggressive and just ready to dive in, and you have others that might be spending like mad on YouTube, for example, but are just not prepared to do that on podcasts, even if it's the same creator with the same type of success.”

TikTok viewers don’t convert to YouTube

“[Converting the TikTok audience to YouTube] didn't really happen. I think it's because the people on TikTok generally are looking for short-form content and YouTube is not necessarily that.”


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