“We Are In Our Epic Era”: Natalie Harvey On The Big Changes Coming As Mamamia Celebrates 10 Years Of Podcasting

“We Are In Our Epic Era”: Natalie Harvey On The Big Changes Coming As Mamamia Celebrates 10 Years Of Podcasting

Mamamia announced yesterday that Natalie Harvey has been appointed as its Chief Executive Officer. This morning, at a celebration of the tenth anniversary of Mamamia podcasting, B&T caught up with Harvey on the new role and Mamamia’s future.

Harvey joined Mamamia in the role of chief revenue officer in January this year and will move into the CEO role on June 1st, taking over from Co-Founder and CEO Jason Lavigne, who shifts into the role of executive-chair.

Harvey told B&T she is “super excited” to be stepping into the new role. “When I joined the business, there were two kinds of key things that attracted me to it. And that was the sense of purpose about making the world a better place for women and girls, but then also that growth ambition that the business has,” she said.

“I genuinely believe with what’s going on, at the moment, with legacy media and clients trying to find ways to engage with audiences in trusted environments, and still get that scale, that we’re uniquely positioned to be able to, like run through this gap that’s been created. Just a few years ago, I think it would have been a bit harder to play in that bigger ad market space. But I genuinely believe that we’re in such a unique position that we can run hard in the future, create new ecosystems, build our audience, and have them on the platform for longer. And so for me, I’m like being able to lead into that next year”.

“We are obviously a women’s network; we talk a lot about Taylor Swift. So, we are in our epic era. I’m just pumped because there’s so much we can do, and it’s now just trying to get the discipline of working out where to start first”.

“When we talk about the scale of Mamamia, it feels like a lot of people are surprised about how big we are, how many podcasts we have, how big our team is. I think we’ve been underestimated in the past. I’ve been trying hard over the last couple of months to change that,” Harvey said.

“We’re going to be making a lot more noise and talking more about our business to make sure that people understand what the opportunities are. We have big ambitions, and we don’t have anything holding us back”.

Part of that plan for the future involves leveraging the brand’s existing strengths while also exploring new opportunities for growth. Harvey told B&T that it is really difficult to launch a new podcast into a market with over 4 million programs. The key for Mamamia is utilising its promotional platform and incredible team to explore all the different types of content, platform pillars, and vehicles to support its work. “Having that huge audience means that we can take risks as we look to launch anything new,” she said.

“I’ve been so impressed by everyone from people and culture to finance and sales team. There’s this enthusiasm and excitement about building new things and a real entrepreneurial spirit that sits across everybody. That is a massive asset to be able to launch into the future. I feel really lucky. I feel like I’ve come in right at the best possible time”.

As part of that growth strategy, Mamamia is looking at working with other independent publishers to strengthen any gaps. “We are very strong with women, so looking, for example, from a male perspective, are there other publishers that we can work with that we can create campaign ideas about to execute across both our platforms?,” Harvey said.

“We’re looking at different ecosystems that would complement what we’ve already got that we might not be as strong in. And when you’re looking at going to new spaces, you look at strategic partnerships, you look at acquisitions, and you look at creating something new… There’s quite a lot of it’s kind of a choose-your-own-adventure at the moment.”

AI, particularly the creation of the AI programmatic advertising tool Sam, is a key focus for the team moving forward. Sam, an AI voice tool made up of an amalgamation of Mamamia’s creators’ voices, will allow for a 24-hour turnaround on ad campaigns across the network.

“If you are looking for something really quick, want multiple creatives done at speed, or need the ability to change creative really quickly, Sam is able to fill that gap. So it’s all about speed to market and making it easier for clients to trade. Sam absolutely won’t replace the content part of our business,” Harvey told B&T.

“One area that we need to lean hard into and with and are going to is the from a data perspective and getting even stronger insights around our audience. We know what they like because we’ve got this real-time feedback loop to see what’s trending, what interests them, and what they’re not interested in. But getting an even better understanding that advertisers can leverage will be vital to our future”.

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