The podcast See, the Thing Is has been added to Gumball’s ad network and marketplace. Bridget Kelly, a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, and Mandii B, a media personality, host the show, which follows the couple as they traverse their 30s and provide mature, honest, and sometimes toxic perspectives on the latest in culture, music, and more. Every week, the ladies are joined on the couch by their “Friends with Benefits,” who are industry and celebrity guest co-hosts who discuss current events and personal staples.
The ladies of See, the Thing Is are continuing the trend of creator-owned IP founded on quality, consistency, and momentum, after being introduced by Joe Budden as the first podcast on his independently-owned network. See, the Thing Is will begin publishing two episodes per week beginning this month, kicking off a new multi-year, seven-figure sales deal with Gumball. UTA facilitated the agreement.
The SOURCE: What have you learned about yourselves throughout the development of See, The Thing Is…
Bridget Kelly: My industry experience prior to the pod required me to be much more PC and diplomatic about things, which I still tend to do. But I’ve learned to trust myself more. Whatever we speak about or share on the pods is OURS. The good, the bad, the embarrassing. Sometimes you can pour into projects that never go anywhere and it can take the wind outta your sails. We hit a lot of speed bumps on the road to get here, but we never wavered. The rewards have really been worth the risks we’ve both taken personally/professionally.
Mandii B: I’ve been in the podcasting space since 2016 and seen the ever changing landscape of the industry before my very eyes. From a business standpoint, I truly learned the importance of operating as a business first and putting personal relationships last. In terms of doing business with friends, it has left me much more hesitant but aware of the legal ways to protect myself.
How do you continue to source content as you are going to two episodes a week?
BK: Mandii and I both love to fuse current events with personalized topics and we’ve created segments that we switch up in each episode. It’s a bit more pressure, but the more concrete the outlines are, the better the execution. Plus we know we can keep things interesting with or without an additional guest.
With more podcast time, are there additional content ideas or segments that you would like to explore?
Mandii: In our original segment “Freshly Squeezed” we showcased new music weekly. Now that we have two episodes per week, we are focusing on sitting down with artists and discussing their new releases and discography. We have incorporated live performances and have recently had the likings of Dreamville’s Lute West, American Idol’s Hollywood Anderson and new R&B artist Aiyanna Lee in our studio. We have also extended “Freshly Squeezed” to different genres and eras of music on our Friday releases.
You ladies have agreed to a seven-figure deal – how did you feel once everything was closed?
BK: You know, nothing is ever really real until they show you the money! In all honesty, though, the offer itself felt incredible. To know a company saw how valuable we were and how much potential growth there was, reaffirmed what Mandii and I already knew about ourselves; We’re great at this! We had recorded less than 100 episodes, but we found our stride and an awesome ad partner to help us carry out our vision.
Mandii: Nothing is official until the ink dries and that first deposit is made. It wasn’t real until then.
What let you know Gumball was the perfect partner for you all?
BK: From jump, they asked US what we were looking for in a network. Some of the other companies we met with, came off like we were interviewing for a job; explaining what we’re all about. The amazing folks at Gumball were genuine fans of the show. They’re just as focused on longevity as we are and want to help us grow, all while allowing us to retain ownership. It was a no brainer for us. Podcasting isn’t as simple as some might think, Gumball understood the technical ins and outs of what we need.
What made Gumball stand out to you on a creator’s level?
Mandii: On a creator level, ownership was very important to us! We also wanted creative control and Gumball came to the table with all of the things that meant a lot to us! We agreed to an exclusive ad partnership while being able to retain ownership of all other podcast revenue streams such as touring, Patreon and merchandise. There were other networks that wanted a percentage of everything; It was giving 360 and it’s unfortunate that contracts are looking a lot like the music industry standards that artists have been complaining about for decades.
How important is it for you to show that two women can bet on themselves and succeed in the podcast space?
BK: I think now more than ever the climate is ripe for creatives brave enough to stand their ground when it comes to ownership and creative control. Not only are the podcasts insanely profitable, but as media personalities, Mandii and I are able to leverage our own brands as well. Mandii has inspired me so much, in all that she’s been able to build for herself, prior to STTI. We balance each other well, no egos at all, and we push each other to keep expanding. Not only are we a great example of friends who work well together, we love reminding other Black women and women of color to take up as much room as their creative gifts allow! There’s enough money for all of us to win in this space