Not only do podcasts create the best impressions (user experience) but podcast listeners are proven to take action more than any other media audience. In 2016, Wondery launched a brand new podcast that achieved extreme success with the runaway hit true-crime podcast “Dirty John,” (over 8 million downloads to date) and other gripping series such as “Inside the Exorcist,” and “Inside Psycho,” which explore behind the scenes around the making of classic American horror films. Wondery’s founder and CEO, Hernan Lopez, the former CEO of Fox International Channels, focused the platform’s programming on entertainment, true crime, audio drama, personal growth, business, and the home/family verticals. Lopez understood early on the immense power of the podcast as the ideal advertising platform, especially as TV ad units become shorter (as short as 6 seconds) and an astounding amount of those units are played with the mobile device on mute! Lopez’ message for companies who advertise on TV is: Compliment your efforts with a sound strategy to ensure that your brand is never on mute.
We had a chance to interview Herman Lopez and asked about his story, how he started his business and the future of Wondery.
Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
I spent nearly 20 years working in senior management at a large media company (Fox), and for about half of that time, I was a “wantrepreneur” – without even knowing there was a name for it.
How did you come up with your business name?
I read a great book by Alexandra Watkins, “Hello, My Name Is Awesome” and had a one hour consultation with her. She gave me so many ideas and techniques. Within two days, I came up with a short list, among which “Wondery” (“the factory of Wonder”) was my favorite.
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
We create and curate podcasts like Dirty John, Sword & Scale, American History Tellers, Inside The Exorcist –– and help advertisers find a highly engaged audience for their products.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
Our podcasts are “immersive” – when you listen to them, you’ll feel immersed in the action. Whether it’s immersive true crime, history, entertainment or personal growth, there is a very special sound that’s unique to Wondery’s podcasts: they sound more like Hollywood movies than the average podcast.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
We’re already a top 10 publisher according to Podtrac; we’d like to be in the top 3.
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
Spend more time in hiring than you think it’s needed. You may be frustrated about that open slot that’s taking too long to fill, but that’s better than regretting your hiring decision.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
The Stockdale Paradox: confront the “brutal facts”, but remain optimistic that you will prevail in the end.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
If they’re not listening to podcasts, they should! They can start on our page at ApplePodcasts.com/Wondery