‘Money Rehab’ Podcaster Nicole Lapin Launches Money News Network
Nicole Lapin has built her career as an author and journalist by being a keen-eyed observer of business and financial trends for CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg News. This year, she’s following her instinct that there is a major opportunity to build a podcast network devoted to financial literacy and investment guidance for mainstream listeners.
Lapin, host of the podcast “Money Rehab” and author of how-to books including “Rich Bitch,” “Becoming Super Woman” and “Boss Bitch,” is among the co-founders of Money News Network, a collection of business-focused podcasts that are coming together under the MNN banner. Lapin and co-founder and executive producer Morgan Lavoie, aim to emphasize expertise and plain-English discussion of complicated financial markets rather than trying to draw listeners with high-wattage celebrity names.
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“Podcasting has lately become a gold rush for celebrities who have been offered a zillion dollars to host shows,” Lapin tells Variety. Listeners are looking for content that feels intentional and rich and not just banking on the power of celebrity. We’re trying to democratize the pathway to wealth for everyone.”
MNN aims to build scale across multiple media platforms with podcasts that can also spinoff complementary newsletters, books and live events. The independent startup is being self-financed by its partners. The company is pursuing advertising and subscription models to support the podcast. Lapin launched “Money Rehab” as a daily news show with a focus on explaining markets to the uninitiated in partnership with iHeart Media. But she recently acquired the title back from iHeart in order to have maximum flexibility in building the MNN roster.
The two other podcasts under the MNN banner at present are “Help Wanted with Jason Feifer and Nicole Lapin,” a weekly career development show, and investment-focused series “We Have Options with Dominque Broadway.” On March 1, MNN is set to launch a podcast that will be produced in English and Spanish with veteran media entrepreneur Nely Galán, “Money Maker with Nely Galán / Mi Mundo Rico con Nely Galán.” Also coming later this year is financial true-crime series “Filthy Rich with Hill Harper,” a venture capital show “Pitch Me with Jesse Draper” and stock-trading show “Trade Like Einstein with Peter Tuchman.”
“We’re targeting a coveted demographic,” Lapin said. “Our listeners are highly educated and affluent. We’re about to do some creative ad partnerships around the individual shows.”
Feifer, who is a strategic adviser to MNN, said the budding podcast network is looking to capitalize on recent shifts in the still-nascent audio storytelling arena. As Spotify and others pull back on big-money podcast talent deals, there’s new opportunity for those who are laser-focused on building brands that are rooted in podcasting. The softness of the programmatic digital ad market is also forcing large media firms to reconsider strategies for the sector.
“When the gold rush happened, it was monetized by a lot of programmatic advertising,” Feifer said. “The whole game was about numbers of shows and just running a lot of programming with a lot of ads. That was a pretty bad user experience. We’re really focused on how to we deliver a premium experience. It’s not just about loading up a bunch of ads as mid-roll breaks.”
Lapin acknowledges that the podcasting arena overall has become hugely crowded in a short time. But she sees opportunity to build a CNBC-like niche for nonfiction business topics. The company and Lapin are represented by CAA and YMU Entertainment.
“We’re going to see a lot of innovation in podcasting and we want to be at the forefront of that during this (challenging) macroeconomic time,” Lapin said. “We’ve seen more Americans becoming more anxious about money and more people trying to sign up for brokerage accounts. What Money News Network is about is us identifying authorities who are committed to building relationships with their audiences.”
(Pictured: Money News Network’s Jason Feifer and Nicole Lapin)
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