In 2018, Lawson Media was accepted into an RMIT Activator launch hub with the aim to turn Moonshot into the podcasting brand of Australia.
The company was successful in securing Activator seed funding of $25,000 which allowed the company to push ahead with Moonshot and also develop other content offerings, including a new show, Building a Unicorn, a deep dive narrative with successful leaders of global companies.
“One of the questions we asked was, how do you go from a small start-up that might have received traction in its local market, and take that to the rest of the world?” Lawson said.
“We had guests from across the world, from a range of different sized companies, some in the tens of millions of dollars valuation through to those worth more than one billion.
“We focused a lot on the quality of the program and it had great feedback,” Lawson said.
The team has also released a daily email newsletter, Moonshot Daily, a spin-off from the podcast that provides subscribers with a daily digest of what’s happening in future tech.
Lawson said the Australian podcast landscape had changed considerably since Moonshot was launched, with a smaller and healthier ecosystem in place now after a necessary contraction following an explosion of podcast companies about a year ago.
Moonshot listeners are largely US based and Lawson believes a lot of Australian podcast companies are yet to hit the mark when it comes to international audiences.
“A lot of Australian podcast companies tend to do these ‘talk’, conversation-style podcasts which are not exactly what works in the international market.
“There is definitely interest in the Dirty John / Serial-style podcasts, but the challenge is that they are very expensive to create and take a lot of time and resources to put together.”
Lawson added that successful podcasts like Teacher’s Pet by The Australian, which hit number one in the US charts and had great investigative journalism and a compelling story line, could have reached an even greater audience with more commitment to audio production quality and execution.
With a new series of Moonshot about to be launched, further development of Moonshot Daily and discussions underway about another season of Building a Unicorn, Lawson said he continued to benefit from the relationship with RMIT’s Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), a sister program to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) mentoring initiative delivered through Activator.
The program is one of a number of strategic programs RMIT has established to help budding entrepreneurs create value from their ideas.
Story: Karen Phelan