David Harper talks to us about the beginnings and development of Hail Hail Media, home to various shows devoted to the Celtics Football Club (and one to the NY Mets). Read up on this well-oiled machine of a show that’s full of heart:
How did you guys start podcasting? Had you already been doing it before coming to Spreaker?
I have been involved with a Celtic (Scottish soccer team based in Glasgow) supporters group at LostBhoys.com for a number of years now running the website side of things from Ireland while the guys based in America & Canada hosted their very popular weekly podcast. On the back of that shows success we decided to start another live phone-in show where fans could call in and discuss the teams fortunes with other like minded supporters rather than dealing with an agenda driven mainstream media who we neither trust or admire in any way shape or form. Out of all of this the HomeBhoys phone-in show was born to run alongside the LostBhoys podcast.
From there we joined up with the guys at Beyond the Waves and although at first we were both broadcasting separately on Spreaker we quickly came together to set up the Hail Hail Media channel that has now grown into the most popular resource for Celtic fan produced media on the internet.
How did you find Spreaker?
We had initially started out on Ustream but they priced amateurs such as ourselves out of the game so we scouted around for viable alternatives. We had a number of different suggestions sent to us by listeners and visitors to the LostBhoys website and after looking into the various platforms we felt Spreaker best covered our needs from both a technical and cost effective point of view.
And we’re thrilled to have you! How did you guys all meet each other?
To be honest most of us still haven’t met each other in person given that the 8 shows we have built up over the last few months on our Hail Hail Media channel come from all over the world. We have shows produced from the home based guys so to speak in Scotland, Ireland and England but also shows hosted entirely in the US, Canada and Australia. Most of us would have a good online presence and would be in contact regularly via Twitter. From the initial 3 shows being HomeBhoys, LostBhoys and Beyond the Waves we’ve slowly been adding other Celtic shows that were broadcasting elsewhere to build up our network and give the supporters a one stop channel for all the Celtic content they need on Spreaker.
That’s interesting that although you haven’t met in person, the shows runs so smoothly. What do you like most about using Spreaker?
The simplicity of its use first of all, closely followed by the stability of the platform. Due to the fact 3 of our shows go out live it’s very important for us that the software runs as smoothly as possible. None of us are professional broadcasters and although we have the odd small hiccup they are few and far between and actually we find our listeners enjoy the live ‘bloopers’.
The other feature that we really like is the Spreaker app for iPhone, etc., which some guys find essential for listening to the live broadcasts while stuck in work or out and about. We often get messages from people, especially in Canada and America,to say they are listening to the shows while driving around in their cars. It’s quite surreal to think we’re sitting talking in Ireland/Scotland and someone is driving through downtown Toronto tuned in to us live.
Finally the ease of use for the listeners is very good too, whether they want to tune in live, listen to an archived show or download the MP3 to listen to at their convenience. In this day and age the more hassle free things are for our listeners the better especially as a lot of the fans tuning in might not be overly tech savvy and some are from an older generation that want things as simple as possible.
We’re certainly happy to hear all that. Sport certainly brings people together, do you see that among your own shows?
Yes most definitely. We believe Celtic fans and the Celtic family have embraced social media like no other club in the world, partly due to our mistrust of the mainstream media and also due to our fans being spread out all over the world. Podcasts and live shows where people can Skype in have given fans a voice no matter what far flung part of the planet they are isolated in.
Excellent! Do you use Spreaker’s interactive features to chat with your fans?
Yes we have a very busy chat room when the live shows are on and it’s good to be able to interact with other fans who might want to add their opinions but not might feel confident in calling in to be live on air. Also the chat room has become a real social meeting place for regular listeners to the shows to catch up with one another every week.
Do any of you play sports in any leagues yourselves?
Personally no although I did when I was younger but only at boys level. I think I can speak for most of the Hail Hail Media team when I say our sporting prowess deserted us some years and a few too many beers ago…
Understood. Most of your shows are about football (soccer to you all in the US) and the Celtics, but you also discuss baseball and the NY Mets. When did you decide to go beyond football?
It wasn’t something where we sat down and said where can we go next or anything like that it just sort of happened. A couple of us are big New York Mets fans and would watch a lot of games especially at the weekend, but with the 5 hour time difference between the East Coast and the UK/Ireland it means a midnight game time for us usually. We came up with the idea of the MetsBhoys show to kill time chatting with other fans while we hung around for the late start to the games. Although we’re very enthusiastic we are also novices but thankfully we have two New York natives that have joined us as our resident experts.
Any games or matches that have remained particularly memorable?
There have been so many memorable games it’s hard to narrow them down but I suppose since we have been on the air with Spreaker it would have to be the recent victory against Kilmarnock when Celtic sealed the League Championship. It’s our first title win since 2008 and with the 6 nil victory we clinched it in some style.
So great to talk to you Dave! You guys have an excellent community, and are a great example for other Spreaker users.