Hashtag ME launches Access Granted podcast
Hashtag ME, an independent radio show that focuses on social media, tech, gaming, and web, inaugurated the Access Granted podcast on Tuesday, 27th May as one of the first shows on its podcast network.
Access Granted is hosted by Mike Riversdale and Raj Khushal, and consists of a weekly discussion about startups, upstarts, tech, and social media. The show, available on iTunes, does not follow strict guidelines. Instead there are conversation topics which Mike and Raj debate and explore in friendly dialogue.
Hashtag ME first started in 2012 as a single radio show that was concocted by Matt “V8Matty” Bartley and Phid “McAwesome” Oldfield over a smoke and a coffee. Within a week the show was broadcasting on Free FM, focusing purely on social media from a user end perspective.
As the show expanded, it began including the other interests of their listeners, like tech and gaming. Hashtag Radio was recorded as a podcast too, which Phid says gained a huge amount of interest online, driving subscriptions and traffic and eventually leading to the creation of Access Granted.
Recently, Hashtag TV, the video side of the show that was created in 2013, won 4 awards for the “Best in Gaming” and “Best in News” categories on Citizen.TV, but Phid says their biggest accomplishment so far has been when Hashtag Radio was nominated in the NZ Radio Awards, and went on to become a finalist.
“We like to think its our amazing personalities,” says Phid regarding why he thinks the show has become so popular, “but in reality, I think Hashtag ME has done so well because we like to do everything in an ‘uncultured’ way, looking at tech, social media and gaming from a user perspective and how things actually work.”
Hashtag Radio has been funded by sponsors and Free FM’s resources, which was sufficient for them to launch and gain their initial audience.
“Once we realised that Hashtag Radio could become more than just a show,” Phid said, “we knew that we were going to have to invest our own money into making it a better product.”
Phid, his wife Charis, and V8Matty have contributed the funds required to purchase professional recording gear for the podcast, and film gear and lighting for Hashtag TV.
With previous successful shows under their belt, MattyV8 and Phid are looking for new sponsors and advertisers for the upcoming season of Hashtag TV. But because the Hashtag crew have won multiple awards and are becoming increasingly popular doesn’t mean they don’t experience the same startup difficulties that the rest of us do.
“We all have day jobs and families,” Phid says, “so to be spending money on Hashtag ME, recording the shows, and all the trips for product launches has taken away from cash we could have spent on holidays.”
“Making the Hashtag TV web series an actual 13 episode series has meant we don’t have to spend all year away from home making that show, and by buying our own studio equipment, we can record Hashtag Radio at Matty’s house and not have to be in a studio to do a live show every Saturday at 5pm.”
It has been difficult, especially in the show’s early days, but the awards they received and the response Hashtag has been getting from listeners and viewers has made it all worth it, Phid says.
Access Granted, the most recent addition, is a new way for Hashtag to connect with its current and future listeners who are interested in startups and business. It’s also an icebreaker of sorts, as Hashtag is testing the concept of adding new podcasts, TV shows, and web series to its brand.
If you’ve got an idea for a podcast or film show, Phid says the Hashtag team would love to talk to you about if and how they can make it happen.