The Future of Beyond the Balcony and The Movie Breakdown

Have you listened to the recent bonus episode of The Movie Breakdown?

If you haven't, then I think you should, but I am a little bias.

For those with a podcast allergy, I'll reveal the announcement that was made.

About two weeks ago, a representative from iHeart Media got in contact with me and offered for The Movie Breakdown to join their podcast branch, Spreaker Prime. I've got many emails over the years to join different sites or groups, but this was the first where someone was willing to talk on the phone with me for over 45 minutes and seemed to be a genuine fan of our podcast, who wanted to team up with us to see it grow and expand.

iHeart Media is a rather big group that owns tons of radio stations and there is even a chance you listen to one when you wake up in the morning or on your commute to work or maybe when you are doing work. It was a 'pinch myself several times' moment to realize that a giant company wanted our humble little podcast to join them.

As someone who constantly has death matches with self-doubt and a lack of confidence, I keep needing to push away the dark voices that are saying this isn't actually happening and this is all about to fall apart. But we've officially joined, and The Movie Breakdown has even made a small pittance from sponsors already, which is the first amount of money that it has ever made. This is reality, and this is a big break for both me and Scott.

This means we now have a big media company behind us to help with networking, collaboration, marketing and expansion. We will be able to achieve growth and a reach that I'd never be able to do on my own.

It is kind of crazy to realize that in a few weeks I have a meeting about marketing strategies, and meetings like that will be a monthly event. We have a team that help increase the exposure of our podcast, and more importantly, a team that is invested in our success.

Again, I need to keep convincing myself this is a real thing. But it is a thing that I've dreamed about and hoped to become reality for a long time. I need to remind myself that I've been working hard at this for many years now.

If you listened to the latest episode, then you will already know that we now have ads. I get ads are annoying and not a thing to be excited about as a listener. But ads are one of the things that will allow us to focus more on the show and really grow it into something great. It allows The Movie Breakdown to become a part of my business, and I'm already talking to Scott about expanding the number of shows we do a week. We have tons of ideas, and the ads and the marketing and all the stuff provided by IHeart Media will allow us to make The Movie Breakdown bigger and better.

I said on Facebook that one may wonder how you luck into a person out of the blue making you an offer that can help you realize your dreams?

What I did is start working on a podcast since 2013. I kept making weekly episodes while wrestling with self-doubt and continue to work hard at creating great stuff despite beginning to feel like this thing will never take off or get any bigger. I also have an amazing wife that supported me while I spent hours and hours a week on a podcast that never made any money. She allows me to treat it like a business, even though it was nothing more than a hobby. After less than 24 hours with Spreaker Prime, we officially made our first dollar with The Movie Breakdown and it has risen since that time (I could now take a guest out for coffee on podcast money).

I recognize that joining Spreaker Prime is not the realization of my dreams. But it sure feels like a huge step towards them. It is that moment where years of hard work now have a tangible result. It all still feels kind of surreal and a bit like some elaborate prank, but I just must The Movie Breakdown has achieved some unexpected but amazing success and progress. I need to take that as the fuel and motivation to really strive for the rest of my ambitious dreams and take it all as a powerful sign that all my big dreams are achievable. 

I did it on the show, but I need to thank my wife Emily for the years of support and believing in me. She is incredible for many reasons but allowing me to pursue my dreams is one of the major ones. 

My listeners and readers are amazing. You folks reading this, right now. You are amazing. Many of you have supported me for years by listening to several hours of podcast and reading thousands of articles. Many of your have sent me some of the most encouraging and beautiful messages. I am so grateful for your support. You are the reason that iHeart Media discovered us and gave us this amazing offer. So, I am very grateful and I thank you.

My hope is that this news can be an inspiration for my dear readers. It is proof that if you stay positive, believe in yourself, work hard and focus on your dreams that you can achieve big things. Even though I write and podcast about movies, the goal has been to use those discussions to explore all aspects of life. A big thing for me is being positive and really achieving one's goals and dreams. If this guy who constantly wrestles with self-doubt and lacks confidence can somehow stick with something long enough that I get an offer that could lead to bigger things, then trust me, you can do it too.

So, what is next?

As I mentioned, Scott and I plan to really expand The Movie Breakdown. We have always had the hope to do more than one weekly episode and create a mini-pop culture network. For now, we will just be focusing on the main show, but if things continue to take off, then we will be looking at delivering much more throughout 2022. This is one of the first times that I really believe that big things are on the way.

When it specifically comes to the podcast, I asked this on the show but I will now mention it here. We are going to allow the listener and reader to decide what The Movie Breakdown looks like in 2022. Back in June, we changed our format due to many reasons, but we just couldn't justify the time commitment that the structure demanded at the time. This big move now means that we can return to it if that is what the listeners want.

Do you want us to return to the five-segment structure? It would mean that we would review somewhere between three to five movies an episode. There would usually be at least two new releases that we would review. and some weeks, we will discuss major movie news and do tributes to celebrities again. I know that there are many listeners that like our current episodes but missed the new release reviews and major news discussions.

Or would you rather we stick with the current format where we deep-dive into a single movie each week. Currently, we are leaning towards returning to the format that we've done for most of our time podcasting, but we really want to make sure we create shows that our listeners want.

This big break and opportunity is specifically for The Movie Breakdown, but we still have full creative control of the show and I can use the podcast to promote other projects. If we do grow our listeners, then the strategy is to encourage them to check out this site, and eventually, promote my books and novels when those are things that I can market and sell. I feel like I've uncovered a golden opportunity, and this is the moment to really capitalize on striving towards my dreams and goals.

Way back when Scott and I started The Movie Breakdown, we talked about launching a movie site. A year ago, I rebranded this blog to be more movie focused. But I admit that for various reasons, it has not had the sea of articles and reviews that I hoped when I launched the new look last October. My gut is screaming that this is the moment to really put in the work to grow this site and turn it into a legitimate movie site that can be a crucial part of my career and business. This little site can be the dream Scott and I discussed way back in 2013. The idea is that The Movie Breakdown and Beyond the Balcony compliment each other and grow together.

In order for this to happen, I have officially invited Scott to become a full-time writer on here. Going forward, it is going to be a two-person operation. The hope means that on a good week that there will then be at least two articles a day, and we will have way more movies be covered and reviewed. I'm excited for there to be two voices and two perspectives on here.

I don't ever expect this to be a movie news site that gets exclusive breaking news. It is hard to do that when we're living in Ontario and no where near the hub of moviemaking that is Hollywood. But even if we won't ever break any major movie news, I feel there is a lot we can offer to the conversation. We can look at major news and provide our own insight and perspective. We have almost a decade of experience when it comes to reviewing and analyzing movies. Our podcast points to us being at least borderline competent at it.

The tagline for the site is 'A place to explore movies, the creative process and life itself.' That is still the vision that I have for this site. I will likely move away from posts that are just pictures of my kids, but I still want this to be a place that is deeply personal and reveals a bit of who I am. I want it to have a heart and soul. I feel the only way this site has any chance of growing is for the reader to really connect and relate to me and Scott. That aspect will still matter.

I also feel that great art or even halfway-decent art is crucial to society. It is crucial because it explores all aspect of life. It looks at social issues, politics, mental health, creativity, and all aspects of life and society. A movie is always saying something. It always reveals something about the world and ourselves. That is the part of movies that fascinates me most, and that is what this site aspires to explore and dig into.

Since part of the strategy is to make the site a part of my business, it will be following the podcast and adding some ads. The plan is for them to be as unobtrusive as possible and I don't want to harm the reading experience. The best way to grow the site is to have an income stream, so that will be something that gets implemented over the coming weeks. I won't rush into it, but instead try to get a groove going on here to start inviting readers to come here on a daily basis. Once that gets mastered, then the ads will likely follow.

We are aware that we're announcing this new direction to growing the site right before a little holiday called Christmas. Scot has already informed me that he likely won't really be able to devote significant time until 2022, especially since a lot of our free time is catching up with potential movies that could make our big best of the year show. While I am going to start getting back into the daily groove of writing and posting articles and reviews on here, I also know there is a lot going on and so, the real relaunch of the site will happen in 2022. Anything in December is pre-launch bonus.

This is your warning that things are going to start rocking on here in 2022 and there will be some stuff on here this month too We have a lot of big plans. All the stuff that I have been promising will also start arriving on the site in 2022. For now, my hope is to post a few reviews for 2021 releases that either I still need to see or that I should have written about awhile ago.

Consider the rest of 2021 the warm-up before the site gets cooking in 2022. This will be the teaser of what to expect, but we are really excited to make this site and the podcast something really special.

Once again, thank you so much for all the years of support. I'm still trying to comprehend what happened over these last two weeks and come to terms with the fact that our podcast is now part of a big network and my dream have just come a little bit closer to reality.

Thank you.