I recently interviewed for the Chief of Staff role at a hypergrowth startup. Halfway through the interview, I realized neither I nor the CEO really knew what a Chief of Staff does.

I decided to find out.

I interviewed nearly a dozen current and former Chiefs of Staff along the way, ranging from a Chief of Staff at a young 30-person media tech startup to the former Chief of Staff at a Fortune 500 hotel chain. …


Raising venture capital is daunting.

Almost weekly, an incredible entrepreneur reaches out to me for advice because they’re having trouble getting traction with investors for their seed round.

They read stories on Tech Twitter about billions of dollars swashing around Sand Hill Road, VCs battling to wire $5 million dollars to a pre-revenue startup, and investors writing checks based on ideas on the back of a napkin.

The founders who reach out to me are frustrated. They have a product, they have a business plan, they have traction. …


(Re-published from October 29, 2019 on the glow.fm blog)

We are no longer charging to process payments at Glow.

Starting today, if you use Glow only to collect listener support, you will pay credit card processing fees, and nothing more.

Podcasts make our lives better. They encourage us to engage deeply and thoughtfully with the topic at hand, and create a platform for voices and ideas that are often overlooked. They catch us at times when we have hours — not seconds — to listen, to learn, and to reflect.

If you’re a podcaster, you’re creating immense value for your…


The 5 Most Shared Podcasts, from Refer-o-Matic

The Refer-O-Matic beta launched one month ago. These five podcasts have been shared the most.

One reason we’re excited about Refer-O-Matic is that we love podcasts. And, we love to tell our friends about our favorites. That holy s*** moment that makes you pause an episode halfway through to text seven friends about it? That’s why we built Refer-O-Matic.

Here at Glow, we keep our eyes on a few metrics to track the success of podcasts growing with Refer-O-Matic. One of them is Referral Rate. …


TLDR: Glow helps podcasters build their businesses. We do that by bringing modern tools to podcasting where they don’t exist yet. We started with memberships. Now, we’re dropping a tool for referrals. You can try it out here.

Nineteen months ago, we launched Glow to help podcasters make money by getting paid by their audiences. Today, we’re proud to facilitate payments from over 15,000 listeners and put that money in podcasters’ pockets.

Along the way, we’ve spoken to over 1000 podcasters. Almost every one of them asks the same question: can you help me grow my audience?

We hated saying…


For the last three weeks, our team at Glow has been cooking up a project alongside some friends in the podcasting community and a nonprofit called GiveDirectly. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to find a way to make a positive contribution in the context of something we all love, podcasts. Today, we’re ready to announce that project — and invite you to buy a ticket.

It’s a virtual podcast festival we’re calling Podapalooza, and it’s happening April 25–26.

Think Live Aid, but at home, in your sweatpants, listening to podcasts.

When you buy a ticket, you will…


The podcast industry is hot right now. With one-third of Americans listening monthly, podcast ad revenue is expected to cross $500 million this year and predicted to hit $1 billion by 2021. Most measurements of the size of the podcast industry only take into account ad spend, but podcasts are earning an increasingly significant share of their revenue from non-advertising related sources. These encompass everything from t-shirt sales to listener-supported or paywalled content (which we help make happen at Glow), and of course — live shows.

We follow all aspects of the growth of the space and asked ourselves if…


We are no longer charging to process payments at Glow.

Starting today, if you use Glow only to collect listener support, you will pay credit card processing fees, and nothing more.

Podcasts make our lives better. They encourage us to engage deeply and thoughtfully with the topic at hand, and create a platform for voices and ideas that are often overlooked. They catch us at times when we have hours — not seconds — to listen, to learn, and to reflect.

If you’re a podcaster, you’re creating immense value for your listeners. Despite that, most of you are still paying…


The Tim Ferriss Show is experimenting with donation-only revenue

Yesterday, Tim Ferriss announced a six-month experiment: he’ll stop taking sponsors for his podcast, and switch to a donation-only model.

Tim cited two reasons for this shift: 1) sponsorship takes a lot of time, and 2) fans are constantly looking for ways to support the show.

Full-disclosure: I founded Glow, a startup premised on the idea that podcasts can build great businesses by doubling down on their direct relationships with their listeners. That’s not to say that ads aren’t a fantastic way to monetize your podcast (because they can be). …


Conversations have been bubbling recently about idea of a “Netflix” for podcasts. Much of the media is getting tired of advertising-supported content, and we’re seeing increasing movement towards direct consumer-monetization by charging subscriptions (see Memberful and Substack).

Could podcasting grow by charging for premium content?

It’s tough to know; Apple’s stranglehold over podcast distribution has forced the industry to rely almost entirely on making money through advertising. Let’s say we didn’t have to deal with Apple, though. Could a Memberful model work in podcasting?

To bet on the Memberful-of-podcasts, you’d have to believe that paywalled audio content would eventually become…

Amira Valliani

Founder @GlowDotFM, believer in a robust media & the power of storytelling. Obama & Hillary alum. Creator of the Backyard Cambridge podcast.

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