AV Rant Podcast Celebrates 15 Years
This week, the AV Rant Podcast celebrated 15 years. Publishing their 749th episode this week, this mainstay of the AV podcast industry has changed over the years. It started as a general AV podcast hosted by Dina Clarke and our own Tom Andry. Each episode featured home theater news, editorials, and reviews.
Back in those days, we were really trying to find our footing. Dina was versed enough to grasp the basics of home theater, but didn’t know a lot of the specifics. She became the stand-in for the audience. We would talk about news and she’d ask natural questions. It was a really great dynamic.-Tom Andry
Over the years, situations and co-hosts changed. After Dina moved on, Tom was left without a co-host. He had a couple of guest co-hosts that filled in while he searched for another full-time host. Eventually, one of his listeners convinced his wife to reach out to Tom.
Will convinced Liz to reach out and she was nervous at first. But the chemistry was pretty instantaneous. Liz is an extremely smart person and quickly established herself on the podcast. Honestly, she brought as much to the podcast as I did. We podcasted through moves – her to London, me to Australia. She really put in the work. But eventually, her life got too complicated and she had to move on. Honestly, I was crushed.-Tom Andry
Rob H., known as “Grammar Rob” on the podcast for correcting Tom’s grammar over the years, had filled in as co-host many times. Rob made a suggestion: Rather than look for another co-host, why not switch up the format of the podcast? The listener base over the years had grown to the point where AV Rant was getting dozens of questions a week. AV Rant could switch to a Q&A format rather than news and reviews.
For years Rob and I would worry that we wouldn’t have enough questions each week. That never materialized. Even with the pandemic, the questions kept rolling in. And, yes, some of the answers are repetitive. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve talked about subwoofer or Atmos speaker placement. But we’ve had many listeners tell us that they find that the repetition helps them understand.-Tom Andry
After 15 years, the AV Rant podcast has developed a dedicated listener base. Not only do they listen, but they support the podcast by mentioning AV Rant when they make purchases. This lets manufacturers and retailers know that AV Rant is pointing consumers their way. On top of that, their listeners have set up interviews with industry influencers. They know that Tom and Rob are just as excited about home theater as they are. If they take it on themselves to reach out to someone, Tom and Rob will be just as jazzed to talk to them.
Our listeners have been amazing. They support us financially, which is great. But more importantly, they talk us up when they make purchases. They’ve even sent people like Todd Welti our way. Rob and I geeked out so hard talking to him. It was like talking to a legend. Our listeners have been fantastic and I can’t thank them enough-Tom Andry
The current format of the podcast is simple. News and updates at the top of each episode. Then Tom and Rob answer users’ questions pretty much in the order they were received. Tom answers from his decades of experience in the AV industry as a reviewer and writer. Rob deep-dives into each question bringing a near-obsessive dedication to thoroughness. Questions range from simple setup or purchasing inquires to whole room designs.
We really don’t turn any questions away. If you have a question, chances are that other people do as well. Not only that, we’ve heard from many listeners that say that they didn’t know they had the question until they heard someone else ask. They didn’t know they had a problem until someone else described their issue.-Tom Andry
What’s the future of AV Rant? It’s spent half of its life as a conversation between AV enthusiasts about the industry and the other half as a conversation between the hosts and the audience about their questions. Tom doesn’t rule anything out.
I can’t say what will happen to AV Rant as we move forward. We’ve collaborated with other podcasts recently and that was a blast. The format of the podcast has changed and it might again in the future. For now, however, it seems that the current Q&A format is working well. Listeners like it and I feel like we are making a difference in their lives. We know some people have home theaters that are completely built around our recommendations. Everything from gear selection to seating to paint color to acoustic panel placement. Knowing that there are people like that out there that are loving their home theaters makes me confident that we are helping.-Tom Andry