The podcast averages more than 1 million downloads a month but be warned: this an adult program with crude talk that could offend some listeners. Recent topics include False Flags, the Mothman legend and Herbert the I-70 Serial Killer. There’s a lot of friendly riffing mixed in with episodes, some of which are research-heavy, and others derived from listener-submitted letters and stories.
The two cohosts have been friends since junior high school in the mid-1990s and their humor often remains around that level. However, they are both married, and each have three young children. Family life has certainly softened the two men and expanded their worldviews. While they remain joyfully irreverent, the Bros also frequently promote tolerance and positivity.
The popularity of “The Brohio Podcast” extends to its active social media feeds and live appearances. Nick and Rob have done in-person events in Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Ohio, including at local venues like Lucky Star Brewery, The Brightside, Warped Wing and Wandering Griffin. The next live show is in Louisville, Kentucky on April 23. The Bros are also part of a podcast-themed Royal Caribbean Cruise in mid-September. The five-day trip to the Bahamas features “The Brohio Podcast,” “Hillbilly Horror Stories,” “Mysterious Circumstances” and “Foul Play.”
The Delicious Nickalicious and Rob Dawg recently discussed the program, which celebrates five years of activity in May.
Two buddies talking
Rob: “The podcast went crazy within the first two or three weeks. Other podcasts started reaching out to say they enjoyed it. We ended up doing promo swaps with a lot of smaller ones and that helped a lot. It’s something we weren’t expecting. We were building a multi-country following and that’s really huge. It went from our friends and family listening to 600 listens the next week. Then, after that it was 1,000. It grows faster than we can really keep up with.”
Nick: “It doesn’t feel like a job because we’ve been friends since sixth grade.”
Rob: “The podcast is an excuse for us to hang out and do cool stuff. We talk about anything we think we can have fun with. From the beginning, we wanted it to be like you’re hanging out with your buddies, just talking and having a good time. We wanted a homemade feel where you feel comfortable, and you know a lot about the people you’re talking to and we’re all friends.”
Nick: “We share weird stories on crime, horror and aliens. Neither one of us are political dudes so we stay away from that stuff. We talk about what people want, which is the deep, dark conspiracies like the Clinton Body Count and Neverland Ranch. We put our spin on the stories and the listeners eat it up.”
Rob: “People latch onto our authentic relationship. From Day One, we’ve not made it so much about our subject matter and more about building a connection with people. A lot of other podcasts miss out on the fact you’re not just a talking head, you’re a person and you’re relatable. It’s not just views, there’s more to it than that, but it’s fun. It’s been a trip.”
Nick: “We’re an acquired taste. It’s like Howard Stern and Coast to Coast AM made a baby.”
Rob: “Yeah, that’s very spot on.”
Nick: “Our wives are horrified. They’re like, ‘Do your best to keep me out of it.’ There are stories that make for good content that I don’t talk about. It’s a routine and she knows I’m just a character on the show. Once I leave the studio, I clock out of being Nickalicious.”
Rob: “That’s how it is, in some sort of way, with almost any entertainer. You have your stage persona and then there’s you as a person.”
Nick: “It’s you amplified. We make fun of everybody but we make fun of ourselves more than anybody. We take life seriously to a certain extent but it’s better to go through life smiling and being happy and letting the people around you know you’re a good dude. That’s how I’ve lived my life.”
Rob: “Don’t dwell on the negative. Just go about your life and do what makes you and the people you love happy. You’re only here for so long so why spend so much time thinking negatively about certain things? I don’t want to put that much energy into something like that. If there’s somebody I’m not cool with, I don’t deal with them. It’s more space in my mind I can use for other stuff.”
Beyond the ear
Nick: “Every Monday or Tuesday night, we do a livestream on YouTube that goes along with the podcast. We record that. We just started trying to monetize the YouTube thing but that’s not easily navigated. We’re still trying to figure that out.”
Rob: “As we’re recording our normal episode, we have our cameras open and we do the YouTube video live so they get to see everything. If we have to cut for some reason, like one of us has to go to the bathroom or something, we’ll stop recording the show. Then, we’ll hang out on YouTube and talk to people in between stuff.”
Nick: “We’re trying to find different ways to connect with people. I know the live shows have really amped us up. The fact people are coming out to hear us is huge.”
Rob: “We’re both musicians and we’ve played so many live shows so the live shows are probably my favorite part. We’re both extremely extroverted people so we love the interaction with everybody and being able to talk to people.”
Nick: “We hooked up with Spreaker, who does dynamic ad insertions. It’s commercials you’d hear on FM radio. You tell them the time slot and they put it into your show. When people download your show, it automatically plays ads in tasteful spots where it’s not cutting you off. With their Spreaker Prime program it’s like us having second jobs, really, and not bad jobs either.”
Rob: “It’s like working a second job that we don’t consider a job and it’s nice to have that cushion. Anybody with a hobby, whether it’s cooking or playing video games, imagine supplementing your income as much as your day-to-day job. It’s so cool we get to have fun doing something that’s so crazy and we’re getting paid to do it.”
Nick: “We started Patreon about a year ago but they take such a huge percentage. After you send out the stuff you promised, you’re looking at pennies on the dollar. Sometimes, we’d have to pay money. Normally, Patreon goes towards upkeep on our Web site. Our domain is ridiculous. It’s thousands of dollars every year.”
Rob: “Yeah, you’re essentially renting the domain. The more traffic you get, the more you have to pay.”
Nick: “Patreon covers the bills but in my personal life, Spreaker Prime has been the best part of monetizing the show. It opened up better opportunities for my family. If my kid wanted to do gymnastics or do softball the year before, I’d have to crunch the numbers. Now, I’m like, ‘You can do it, sweety.’ You can give them a big Christmas and when friends come over, you can get the pizza they want and that feels good.”
More info: brohiopodcast.com.
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.