Listener Supported Political Podcasting with Jen Briney

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Jen Briney is a trailblazer in crowdfunding podcast journalism. During this episode, we talk about what actually goes into producing an episode of Congressional Dish, and discuss downloads, listener-based financial models, what it’s like to get bad reviews, and how you can grow a big audience by focusing on creating solid content.

Main Questions Asked:

  • When did you introduce the Listener Contribution Model?
  • Talk about the behind the scenes production work on Congressional Dish.
  • Do you mingle with the other podcasters in your category on iTunes, or just focus on your own thing?

Key Lessons Learned:

Congressional Dish Podcast

  • The first episode released in Sept 2012.
  • Congressional Dish involves reading and outlining a bill. It is entertaining, educational, and has opinion.
  • The show has two episodes per month, and Jen does all her interviews in one week. 
  • The research alone takes a solid week.
  • The show is high in the Government category on iTunes, but Jen doesn’t feel as though she is in the political clique.
  • Jen will fire at certain people for job-related scandals but not personal scandals.

The Funding Model

  • The show is an advertising-free space and makes money from listener contribution.

Show Notes & Outsourcing

  • The show notes are the most valuable part of the show, as there are links to actual provisions.
  • Jen hired an audio engineer to edit the show, which saves her a day of work.

Download Stats

  • After 30 days, if your episode has 165 downloads, you are doing better than 50% of the podcasts on iTunes.
  • Congressional Dish garners 10,000 downloads per episode.


  • It’s good to market your podcast from the beginning, but don’t let it replace quality content.

Point of Difference

  • So many podcasts are using the same ‘recipe’ and same questions. Be different.

Journalism & Journalists

  • There are a lot of people who call themselves journalists but are actually pundits.
  • The question is, ‘Are you delivering information or opinion?’
  • Congressional Dish also has opinion and slant, but the information is always backed up rather than made up.



Congressional Dish

Electoral College Episode

Horse Radio Network

Walking Deadcast

Heather Havenwood: The Win

The Ladygang

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The music in today’s episode was written by The Danger Os and produced by Nick Palmer. Check them out at 

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Want to hear from a trailblazer in crowd funding podcast journalism? Listen to @JenBriney & @JessRhodesBiz

How does a listener-based financial model of podcasting work? Find out w/  @JenBriney & @JessRhodesBiz

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