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The Dirtbag Diaries Plus: The Future Of Digital Outdoor Media?

Today on THE ROCK FIGHT (an outdoor podcast that aims for the head) Justin and Colin sit down with Fitz Cahall to talk about the industry of podcasting and how one of the original podcasts, The Dirtbag Diaries, fits into that industry.

At 17 years old, The Dirtbag Diaries are endemic to anyone who listens to outdoor podcasts as part of their adventure lifestyle. And while most podcasts rely on advertising revenue to make money, last year Fitz and his company Duct Tape Then Beer did something unique when they launched Diaries Plus.

A paid subscription for listeners to access more episodes of The Dirtbag Diaries.

But much like radio and TV before it, when it comes to podcasts consumers are willing to put up with ads to keep the product free. So why did Fitz think this was the right move?

Today Fitz goes deep on starting The Diaries and why Diaries Plus makes the most sense for his company and show.

Learn more and sign up for Diaries Plus by clicking here.

Pre-order Fitz's new book States of Adventure by clicking here.

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Episode Transcript

Colin (00:00):

Welcome to the Rock Fight where we speak out truth, slay sacred cows and sometimes agree to disagree. This is an outdoor podcast that aims for the head. I'm Colin Tru, and today we're again talking about outdoor media with someone who changed the game when he started the Dirt Bag Diary 17 years ago. Yeah, today Fitzgeral sat down with Justin Hausman and me for a chat about what he's learned producing the most famous outdoor podcast ever. But first I need to remind you that from now until the end of June, anyone who leaves a written review of the Rock Fight on Apple Podcasts and then reaches out to my rock that tell us about it will get a rock fight sticker. And while you're there, click follow to make sure you don't miss an episode and all of our rock fighty, goodness stickers and rock fights, what could be better? Alright, let's start the show

Chris DeMakes (00:49):

Fight. Fight.

Colin (00:54):

Fitz Hall was the third guest we ever had here on the rock fight, and I likely don't have to tell you how iconic his podcast, the Dirtbag Diaries is at 17 years old. The diaries are endemic to anyone who listens to outdoor podcasts as part of their adventure lifestyle. The company that has grown up around the diaries Duct Tape and beer, has produced short films and brand collaborations and has also allowed Fitz and his wife Becca to write a book called The States of Adventure that's actually available for pre-order at the link in the show notes. And I'm happily promoting the book because I didn't give Fitz a chance to talk about it during our conversation and I feel really bad about that. So please go Pre-order and buy Fitz's book. The diaries were launched when there were only hundreds of podcasts, and since then the medium has become a billion dollar industry.


With podcasts now numbering in the millions. And while podcasts mainly rely on advertising revenue to make money last year fits in duct tape than beer, bucked the trend and did something unique, they launched Diaries plus a paid subscription to more episodes of the Dirtbag Diaries. Think of it as sort of their own private Patreon. Now when it comes to diaries Plus, I never really understood the move because consumers think of podcasts as free, much like radio and TV before listeners are willing to hear ads in order to not pay for a subscription. So why did Fitz think this was a good idea? Well, to find out, I reached out to Fitz and he's here today along with your guy in mind, Justin Hausman, to talk about outdoor podcasts, the Diaries Plus, as well as where Fitz thinks outdoor media is headed. Welcome back to the Rock Bite. We, today we're talking about why the Dirt Bag diaries went premium with Fitz Kahal. Alright, Fitzgeral is back on the rock fight. He was our third ever guest on our 13th episode. It was a lucky 13, so it's been too long. Welcome back to the show, Fitz.

Fitz (02:42):

Thanks for having me back and congrats. You're still here. You've survived most podcasters level. What are you on like 200 now?

Colin (02:50):

We're over 200. Yeah, I was just going

Justin (02:52):

To ask that. What is it? What number

Colin (02:53):

Is this? Two two. 16. 16 top

Fitz (02:56):

16. Well, that's amazing. So good job.

Colin (03:01):

But we're recording this at the end of May and those of us who lived in the Pacific Northwest know that summer doesn't really arrive in Seattle until the 4th of July. Are you guys in that full-on mix of sprinkles and then some sunshine and then some sprinkles again? What's happening up in Seattle

Fitz (03:17):

Actually even more so than normal right now. Yeah, our friends are farmers and they actually haven't been able to get the seas in the ground just because it's been so wet. So we're having a dreary may, but that's

Colin (03:28):


Fitz (03:29):


Colin (03:30):

Jury may, well, the April always ends up being nice and kind of pulls everybody and then the reality sets back in

Fitz (03:36):

May. Yeah, we had a couple days of nice weather, but it'll happen. It's all good.

Colin (03:42):

Well anyway, I appreciate you coming on and joining Justin and the evolving landscape of outdoor media has been a topic. We talked about a bunch here on the rock fight. We've had folks like Kaylee Fretz from Escape Collective and Mike Roge from Mountain Gazette kind of come on the way in. Of course, Justin is here and is not really short on his opinions on things on this show, but I'm excited to get your point of view. Your journey is a little more I non-traditional maybe is best way to describe it. And I'm also especially excited to talk to another podcaster about all this stuff. But just to start looking backwards, I believe the Dirt Bag diaries are 17 years old now. Is that how old you guys are?

Fitz (04:22):

Yeah, 17. The diaries are 17 years old, 17 and a half right now.

Colin (04:28):

They're graduating high school soon.

Fitz (04:29):

They are. They're about to leave the house. Yeah, that's

Colin (04:32):

Crazy. That means you've kind of grown up with the entire podcast industry and on the outdoor media side of things, you've seen it. Things go from the peak of print and in Adventure media, the time when there were titles out there and then now we've had a full upheaval and a redefinition of the space. So when you step back in 2024 and look back at episode one of the Dirtbag Diaries, can you even fathom the journey that you were about to embark on?

Fitz (05:00):

Yes and no. So I will say that I didn't start the Dirtbag Diaries with the intention of having it be an 18 year thing. I mean, I just did it. I thought I was in a transitional period of my life where I had written for the magazines and it was really clear that I couldn't make a living doing that. I couldn't buy home, couldn't raise a family, and it was a really neat chapter in my life, but it was not one that felt like it was going to be sustainable in any way. And I don't know what I was going to do, but I had these great stories and I just started turning 'em into podcasts. I was psyched on that as an outlet and I was excited about the internet in general, and I'd been toying with things like starting online magazines before that was a thing.


And so I say I did not set out with the intent of being like, this is going to be a business or a life-changing thing. But I would say that almost right away I realized it was within the first month, I was like, my life has changed a hundred percent and I've got a second chance at this. And I brought that same sort of with that feeling like I got a second chance. I really poured my heart into it because I poured my heart into the first round of the whole thing. But this was wild because I realized that I had a one-to-one relationship with an audience versus filtered through another outlet. And that was a powerful feeling to

Justin (06:43):

Have. What was the podcast landscape? I don't really remember. So this is what, oh 7, 0 8. I mean even generally speaking, I mean this American Life would've existed, but I can't remember what else it would've been. It's like you

Colin (06:54):

And Bill Simmons.

Fitz (06:55):

Yeah, yep. So I started working on the podcast in 2006. We launched in February of 2007, I would want to say. And the podcast landscape was, I don't know how many there were probably when I started, but less than a thousand I would guess.

Colin (07:17):

That's crazy. There's literally millions now.

Fitz (07:20):

Yeah, and it was on, the reality is there was a KXP, our radio station here had a podcast. There was some Grateful Dead podcasts. There was Bill Simmons podcast and he was a super earlier adopter. I can't remember. I'm pretty sure that that was going then. It either started right away and it was a level of there you had to sort of set a category on iTunes because that's what it came through at that stage. And I think it was sports and there would actually be days where Bill Simmons would be one ahead of me or something like that. Wow,

Justin (08:01):


Fitz (08:02):

Amazing. So it really did, in the beginning it was like literally you would look at the top charts of sports and it would be like some show about the NFL, the Dirt Bag diaries. There was a cycling podcast I think at that stage too that kind of was out there. And there was maybe something about running as well too. So it was pretty limited. And I mean certainly it felt like, I don't know, the internet that period of time was really kind of just, it was an awesome period where there was not a lot of money. No one knew about digital advertising for the most part, and we were having to pioneer some of that and it was really cool. But there was also just a lot of freedom and it was a small enough community that it felt really powerful and people connected. So it was a really neat chapter in my life. And we were fortunate enough that in business there's that term economic martyrs, the people that sort of have to pave the way, but oftentimes they don't make it because they're paving the way. And we were really fortunate to be able to, and it almost happened, I mean we were really fortunate to make it because we were so early to it.

Justin (09:29):

Did you have to talk advertisers into the medium or did they understand pretty quickly the possibilities of a podcast?

Fitz (09:40):

People heard it and they reacted to it and they loved it. So it was some of that, but it wasn't as hard as you would imagine. The podcast just it worked. I mean, Patagonia joined us almost right away, maybe four episodes in, but we had this guy who worked in, I don't know, I feel like he worked in venture capital, just was like bought a couple ads for some of the businesses he had invested in. Interesting, smart. It wasn't a lot of money. You couldn't charge a lot of money because no one understood how it worked or how it would actually drive any sort of marketing or sales. So that was an interesting side of it, but the reaction was really strong. I think some of the explaining stuff happened later. I think the other thing that a lot of people don't, I was interested in all the ways people could connect online and basically at the same time I developed Dirt Bag Dairies.


I also developed this idea for a web TV show and I ended up kind of waiting and being like, okay, there's enough bandwidth. There's enough people that actually have good solid internet now. And there were, YouTube had settled out. I mean YouTube was Wild West before Google acquired it. And it took a while for it to work its way through things and there was Vimeo. And so we actually, maybe two years after the diaries, we launched an online television show called The Season, which we actually ran through RSS and podcast and Apple picked it up and put it on the front page. I watched every episode. Oh, you did? Crazy. I don't

Colin (11:30):

Even remember. I used to watch it with my daughter. He was actually graduating high school, so when she was four or five, he would sit there, watch the season every time an episode would

Fitz (11:36):

Drop. And that took more explaining to be like, Hey, people are actually watching TV online and there's a thing called YouTube. And that felt like that was more of an interesting thing is going to sponsors at that stage and advertisers and being like, this is going to just completely shift and completely change and this is where it's at and this is what's happening. And we're talking. I mean, the season's had millions, I can't remember exactly, but I want to say 3.3 million views.

Colin (12:18):

And I'm glad you brought it up mean it was really ahead of things. I mean, if you released it, my recollection

Fitz (12:22):

Of it, yeah, it wasn't good. I mean it wasn't like the most amazing thing I've made the idea and the concept were there. Yeah,

Colin (12:28):

I feel like if you released that today, it would still do pretty well. I mean, obviously there'd probably be some things you would do differently, but I mean the structure of it and the storytelling and the short form episodes relatively speaking and everything are kind of what you see, especially from out of the Adventure community is a lot of what you see on YouTube today, right? It's not that far off creatively. You might make some different choices 13 years later or whatever, but

Fitz (12:50):

I think one of my regrets is that one of some of the things I've learned, I would say through the years is if you can own your own platform, you're going to be better off. And there was really a period of time where people sort of the industry or just in general, I mean it was happening across the board in all industries where people were being creative and a lot of the early forerunners in the sort of creative communities online then got talked into making stuff for brands versus just keeping on making it their own. And the people that soldiered on and just kept doing their own things online, they came out ahead I think in a lot of ways than the people that were like, oh, I'm going to go make stuff for brands. Because a lot of that ultimately ended up getting swallowed up by bigger creative agencies and whatnot. So I think if anything, I do look back at that and say like, dang, I wish maybe we'd stayed on that. It was just such an endeavor and it was hard to talk people into supporting it. They just couldn't, it was a tricky,

Colin (14:03):

Couldn't wrap their heads around a problem.

Fitz (14:04):

Yeah, I mean it was wild. I think you could find it somewhere. Yeah, Roku actually came to me and was like, could you make us a channel for Roku in 2011? And I was like, that would be cool, but do you have money and just are you going to

Colin (14:20):

Be here in 2012?

Fitz (14:22):

Yeah. I was like, that sounds great, but I don't think I can do that. And I don't have a background in business. I didn't know what venture capital was. I was a creative kid that was in love with Outdoors, and so I didn't have the savviness that I probably could have. Things would've worked out really differently if I had somehow linked up with somebody that knew what the hell they were doing on a business front. So

Colin (14:52):

Since you have that kind of memory of launching the diaries, especially at a time when you're ranking with all of the podcasts versus how things go when you launch a show today and then over time, so what mid 20 teens, that's like Safety third, and then recently you launched Climbing Gold with Alex Honnold Get, is it the same kind of response? Is it the same vibe launching a new show as it was back then? Or is just because the landscape is so different now, is it just completely different?

Fitz (15:19):

It's completely different. I mean, it was like sandbox when we started these things. You were like, is this going to work? And you still feel the same things? Is this going to work? But tactically, there's, I mean, one, there are jobs that exist in podcast. The industry of podcasting did not exist.

Colin (15:40):

It sprung up now,

Fitz (15:42):

Right? And it really didn't even exist until the mid s And I think really it's really kind of the last five years even. I mean Gimlet was kind of the first sort of thing that woke people up to Gilet. The startup podcast was like what woke up people to the fact that there was going to be money in this and that there was important. And so a lot of the infrastructure that's been built now didn't exist even seven years ago, I would say. And that's for better and for worse. I don't even know, frankly, put some of the business conversations we have. I'm not even on the phone anymore just because it's just another world and it's my eye. It's just not what I have to do in order to make the things we make. And so I'm not even a lot on a lot of those phone calls anymore. I think there's a lot more headwinds now to being successful than there was even seven years ago. And I think part of that is actually that all the people that came in and were like, we want to make money out of this, frankly put, they wanted their piece of the pie, and it's when that happens, who gets hosted? And it's the creative people get hosted.

Colin (16:59):

Well, the podcast industry, just podcasting in general is a interesting inflection point because it's literally a billion dollar industry. But compared to other media, out media types, it's still, I kind of misunderstood in a lot of ways and small. And people try to make really one-to-one comparisons to radio, tv, film, whatever. And it is truly its own thing. This is probably a good segue into one of the key things we wanted to chat about is especially in the outdoor space where there's a very set way of doing things and what a media buy looks like and where do you want to get your product placed and all of those things. And even as things have continued to change from the days when you launch the Dirt Bag diaries to today, brands and other folks still seem to operate the way they always have even though things are different.


And as a result, I do think things like digital paywalls and subscriptions have become much more common in recent. And that's probably, I think, a good thing. That's how people are starting to find, hey, you don't necessarily need an advertiser. You can do this on your own. And we've had folks like Kaylee Fretz from the Escape Collective who launched last year, and now they are totally existing on the back of their subscribers. And I think that's also why Justin will speak to it working at Adventure Journal, you're seeing print come back in a major way. And you did something interesting last year by launching Diaries Plus, which is the only podcast I can think of, whether inside the Outdoors or not, that has said, Hey, we're going to do a subscription model for podcasts. And I know you might bristle the term, but it is sort of almost effectively kind of paywalls the Dirt Bag diaries to a certain degree. So can you take us through the process of why did you decide to go down the route with Diaries Plus and what was the decision making?

Fitz (18:36):

Yeah, it's interesting. There's a lot of questions. There's tactical, what do we do? Why do we do this? And there's obviously the Patreon model that a lot of people use and it's happening everywhere. It's like that's what you see with Sub Stacks. It's like basically people need,

Colin (18:53):

How can you monetize your creative work?

Fitz (18:56):

And it's like so many people have been either they write for another outlet, they have exposure that way, but they get paid poorly for that work. And it's like, how do you actually make this work? And I think part of this is this pushback towards ownership of platform and that trend and creativity and hunger that a lot of people have. And I mean that's why so many creatives also got excited about the sort of blockchain elements of the whole thing. That to me was, it's not something I was totally interested in, but I understood why I saw other creatives that worked in adjacent fields being so excited about that, where it was like, Hey, my audience can own this and I can create with that versus me being sort of beholden to someone else. So I think that there's a general trend in creatives being like, I would like to take back my relationship to my audience because I'm tired of either one, a brand being in the way of it.


Two, I am tired of a media outlet being in the way of it, and three, I'm tired of an algorithm being in the way of it. And I think there's probably more reasons than that, but I think those are the biggest bits. People don't, for so long, the part of the awesome part of the internet was that there weren't that many gatekeepers and now there are a lot more gatekeepers. And that's a cool thing. And people would be like, well, it's like the Instagram. There's no gatekeeper on TikTok. And I'm like, the algorithm is the gatekeeper. Of course the algorithm is the gatekeeper on YouTube. It's in so many different places. So there's this quest to sort of pull this back in and to create more of a direct relationship between the people who care about what you're saying and yourself. And that's an awesome thing. So that stems out of our decision to create the diaries Plus stemmed out of that wanting authorship. I want the diaries to be free and I want the diaries to reach people. And I understand that it is something called the Dirtbag Diaries. It is meant for people that are

Justin (21:10):

Living cheaply

Fitz (21:11):

And I want to find the kids in college dorm rooms. And we built that so successfully because we found those kids in college dorms rooms now have grown up. And one of our team members grew up listening to it with his dad right now. Oh wow. And that's so wicked to me that we're kind of on the full cycle of this whole thing. And what is harder and what we saw is that one that we had a section of our audience, which is super passionate, that had always tried to support us. And we had talked with Patreon for a long time. Patreon for us was felt like a little bit of a weird tool to create. And we had people just actually sending us PayPal donations. They would just send us money like unsolicited, they would just unsolicited. I mean, dude, earlier this year I just got a hundred dollars bill in the mail. Insane. Someone just sent me thank you, whoever that was.


I don't think there was just thanks for what you do. And there was, I don't think there was a name on it's, and you're just like, there's a hundred dollars bill just in the mail. And I was like, that's amazing. And I think for us, we wanted to make sure that we were giving something back and deepening the relationship with those people that were in that level. So for us, diaries was like, Hey, we can do more. This will help. I don't think that the Diaries Plus will ever be able to fully drive what we do at the Dirt Bag diaries, the scale and scope of it. But it can be a really important part. And I think that right, and this year has been a tough year for so many people in the media world. And the Diaries Plus has been the difference between survival and not survival this year. Interesting. And so that's incredible. I think that that'll change. I think that'll kind of balance out. But we built it as a way to one, deepen a relationship. We could do more. Our staff was excited to do more. People were excited to listen to more of it, and I think people were excited to be able to support something they cared about. Did

Justin (23:16):

A lot, well, I guess you probably wouldn't get pushback since you kept the regular content free, but was there any kind of pushback at all or any kind of negative response?

Fitz (23:26):

I mean, it's the internet. There's always going to be somebody who's upset or doesn't feel good about it. But I don't know, I just try to be open and honest with our community about what's going on. And I think for the most part, people can not listen, but people always will make it a point to kind of like if they're in a grumpy mood, they'll make it a point.

Colin (23:50):

Is there an argument to be made though that you could have expanded, done more stuff, provided more opportunities for advertisers and just kept, all increased the content and just maybe there's more advertising.

Fitz (24:01):

But the way of doing that is that's another form of algorithm. That's another form of thing is that what do you do? You just make a fricking Joe Rogan length episode or a three hour episode so you can have more roll breaks and sell more ads and talk more bullshit. Because the truth of it is, that's part of the sort of sum of the problem right now is that people are just yapping. And a lot of those shows are carrying misinformation. They aren't, aren't anything like that. And that's like a product of just more and more and more. And so the answer isn't always more, it's better. And I think that's just what we tried to do. And I think we're still getting our feet underneath us with the Diaries Plus about what exactly we're tackling in the future. I would love to have it be our most ambitious stuff to have it be four part series where we spend six months reporting on something and assembling it into almost a mini ear movie. That would be my hope is that we can get it to that stage. I don't know if we will be able to, but we'll give it a try.


So it was our way of building a model that felt like it was more congruence with kind of where we felt the marketplace should be going versus where it is. Because I think it was headed towards basically just, there's a big consolidation in podcasting and online in general of what it is.

Colin (25:36):

But in that there's still the, and just kind of being the devil's advocate. So the consumer expectation with podcasts is that they're free, right? I mean that's almost the thing. Maybe if I'm going to push up against even considering what we would do with the rock fight, right? I mean you see, even Escape Collective is a good example. Their stuff, their content is a digital subscription, but you get all their podcasts, you get anybody else's podcasts. You think this is something, do you think we'll see more of folks maybe going down this road in the future? Or do you think maybe, hey, this is what works for us. How do you look at this?

Fitz (26:09):

I mean, there's a bunch of reasons to say, Hey, this didn't work. I think if we look at what's collapsed in terms of media outlets, and most of them are riding a sort of free access to anyone, they were dependent on shares on Facebook even. I mean, it is crazy. The traffic off of big sites like Washington Post, Washington post's, traffic is down 50% right now. Holy shit. Yeah, from 2020 it's down 50%. It's not something like Breitbart, the Rightwing news media outlet. I've heard figures that that's down 90%. God, I was

Colin (26:49):

So worried you were going to say it was up. I thought you were going to tell me it was up and I was going to have just start crying.

Fitz (26:53):

Because so much of that was this re-sharing on Facebook and all driving this huge amount of traffic. So all of a sudden they're left with the Washington Post has a paywall. I don't think Breitbart does. And so Breitbart's now in a pretty big fight for its life. I have to be careful now. I was lambasting fact checking and I'm like, oh God, I hope I nailed it.

Justin (27:15):

But yes,

Fitz (27:17):

The Washington Post thing is correct that it's down 50%. And so to think about that, that's kind of a wild setting. And we lost a bunch of outlets that were sort of founded on that free principle. And I think I just don't,


The advertisers are always going to want to pay less and they're always going to want more out of it. And I don't mean to sound like I'm being adversarial with advertisers, but I think that when you look at it, the things that we care about won't be here unless we actually actively think about how we use the internet and what we care about online. And that comes down to what are we actually reading? What are we subscribing to with paying and what are we supporting as advertisers? Those things will go away if we don't actively engage with what we care about. And it's like that takes a moment to sort of say, instead of just doing the easy thing or the thing that's being fed to me, I'm going to go back out and I'm going to treat this reading versus a tv. And to think about that is a powerful thing.


And it's up to the creatives to remember that. And it's up to the consumers to remember that. And it's up to the advertisers to remember that because they're just going to end up left with meta, frankly put, if they don't think about that and they don't do that, they're going to have just, there's going to be even a bigger monopoly on how people can brand what they can do and how that is. I understand those are powerful tools that convert sales sometimes, but that's the truth of it, is we get a choice in this and we get a choice by how we make decisions, how we define ourselves as a community. I think part of the reason that it's tougher as the outdoor industry isn't a community anymore, it's an industry. It used to be a community and it's industry, and that's just change and that's growth and that's how things evolve. But I think there's a level of it where people may need to think about it and maybe even on industry levels, it's worth thinking about communities and about what's important to see in our world.

Justin (29:36):

It's interesting to think about for some reason hadn't put this together, but hearing you sort of describe the nature of people supporting what they care about, which is obviously what Adventure Journals based on. I mean, we have ads, but I mean that mostly covers the printing costs, which is kind of how it's always kind gone. But thinking about a world in which your content isn't free anymore, it reminds me of before the internet existed altogether. And for me as a kid growing up, I had three surf mags to choose from that I was going to subscribe to. And I chose Surfer. It was the one that spoke to me. I liked the writers, I liked the editors. That was the one I liked. Surfing was a bit more brash and younger, and transworld Surfers a bit more skate oriented. So I chose Surfer. That was the one felt right to me.


And I subscribed to my local newspaper because that was the stories I wanted to hear. And I subscribed to a baseball magazine. That was a sport I liked, but it was much more of that, obviously a little bit of a different model. I mean, they were making money based on ads. It wasn't just subscription costs, but still as a consumer, it was much more about me finding my community and I supported each one individually. And I've actually, even though I'm old enough to remember those days, I guess I've kind of forgotten what that's like. I mean, I still do that. I subscribe to my sites that I like and stuff like that. But just generally speaking, as the free model of the internet is just kind of washed over everything, it does kind of feel like we're getting back to where it used to be where you just supported the three or four outlets that you liked and that's how,

Colin (30:58):

Yeah. Well that was my big takeaway even from the last election, was just sort of like, I'm so tired of having stuff thrust in front of my face. It didn't used to be that way. Like you said, Justin, you had your choice of award. My parents were one of the weird ones who got both the morning and the evening paper, but in between those times, we didn't talk about politics or the news or whatever. It was like, oh, the paper showed up. It's now to be engaged with the world. Okay, that's over now let's go play a game or something like that. And to realize that no, if I want to go on a website or an app and not have something thrust in front of me that's just going to get my blood pressure up, then it's time to make, I need to make the change. I can't just expect all these people who are clearly getting paid for this content to make the change for me. So that's a really good point.

Justin (31:37):

And people complain now about, well, I don't want to have to subscribe to everything I like, but it's like, well, that's how it was. I don't, but also that's how it was. I mean, music wasn't free liked REM, you had to go buy their record. We grew up in that world.

Colin (31:52):

So I know. I'm sorry, by the way, I just want to say that REM pretty dope band still exists.

Justin (31:56):

Actually. They don't exist. What am I talking about? They don't. No, they don't. No, they're retired. But yeah, it feels like, I dunno if the younger generations will be able to, I dunno, accept the sort of new the way things are going to be, but I guess we'll find out.

Fitz (32:13):

Think I'd warn you to pin it on the younger generation. I warn you against that because I actually think it's a bunch of people our age and older that probably need to sort of set this standard, frankly put, because I think part of what we modeled the Diaries Plus after is like, Hey, the main thing is free and we have this incredible radio station here in KXP. It's now actually even bought. It's an amazing move. They actually bought a radio station in the bay, so now it's in the Bay. It's obviously streamed globally, worldwide, all that's free. But if you found connection in that show and in that music, they just ask you to donate and it's an NPR model, but they do, even it's an NPR model on steroids where they give you more out of it. It's like we support it and we go to these awesome daytime concerts on our lunch break now because of it.


And we utilize the space and we see our donations become a bigger building. And that to us is this profound thing. And we realize, I think it's only one out of 10 listeners actually support the show or support KXP in some way. And I think we wanted to bring that to what we were doing of, Hey, I want new people to find it. And I understand that, that there's, on some level, this has to be free and there has to be an element of discovery. And someone's not just going to be like, oh, here's a random podcast. I'm going to join it and spend this money. That's not going to happen. So I understand that. But I do know that there are people that care enough about us out there that are willing to be like, Hey, this meant something to me because we get those letters on a weekly basis about something you did, changed our lives or changed the course of my life.


That's a crazy thing to hear. And so for us, we're like, that means something to people. And they're willing to be like, okay, I can pay that forward. Maybe I'm not listening to all the episodes that are out there right now, but I can pay that forward and I'm willing to step up and believe in this thing and believe in the future of this thing and that it's there for the next generation to do. And I think if we do that, that's how we teach a generation is to do that. It's not just being like, Hey, all you kids go spend some money online that's never going to, when did that ever work? When did that ever work? And we have to think about that as well as the people where we are at in our life, how do we model that? And we do it by supporting the things and knowing we've got a little more income maybe than a 20-year-old is paying off of fricking student loans. Yeah, hundred thousand trying to save it for a house or whatever. I mean, it's ridiculous. It's going to take our generations kind of doing that and caring about it to basically make sure that those models are there. And I think that's just, we just forget that we're actually a part of the media media ecosystem, and I think it's important for us to remember that.

Colin (35:18):

I know we got to wrap up, but I did want to hit you on one last topic. Talked a lot. Justin and I both have, but talked about what I call the outside sized hole that sort of exists in the outdoor media landscape, which is not about whether, how much I like what outside is doing, but more about how brands are still kind of yearning to be covered by outside. You talk to PR reps all the time, they're like, oh, we want to be placed in these certain ways. We always have, and yet things aren't the way that they've been. Right? It's a very different landscape. Things have come and gone. There's been outside, has acquired most of the titles that we grew up with. It's whether you like it or you don't, it's different. So when you kind of look ahead for the goals of Duct Tape and beer, but also just sort of at outdoor media in general, give us your predictions like five, 10 years from now, where do you think things end up?

Fitz (36:04):

I think it's funny. I feel like for many parts of my career I've been able to see where everything is going and I've been able, and obviously I've always done it. It's like, well, why didn't you make Facebook then? Or whatever. You're like, well, because I do what I care about and this is what I care about and this is who I am and this is how I express those passions. And so I'm like, cool, this is what it is. It's been an incredible ride. But for periods of time I was like, oh, it's going to be video. Oh, this podcasting thing is cool, right? It's like people are going to gravitate towards line. It is like, oh, the cell phone's there. Once that's there, it's like people are going to be watching videos. I mean, the season was, to go back to that, it's like we had to figure out how to put that on mobile and it was like we did it as a way, and it was like a hundred people watch that on mobile.


There'd be a hundred people that would tune in on mobile and you're like, wow. But I was like, that's clearly where it is. This time around I feel like I have less of a sense of where it is. I think there's a lot up in the air, there's a lot up in grabs and there's a lot of opportunity in situations like that when there's sort of a bit of disruption that's happened. And I think that some of that stuff is going to go away. I'd be curious. I have no idea how healthy outside is, but they've made some pretty big moves. I have no idea.


I think it is important for people to look at things. Just because something worked eight years ago doesn't mean it's going to work now. And also vice versa. Just because something didn't work eight years ago doesn't mean it's not going to work now. So I look at it and I say, I don't know, but I think that the way that I've staked it out is I'm willing to try to have not chase more numbers. I think we've all kind of gotten too stuck on the TikTok thing where it's like, this video reached 25 million people and you're like, that's not real, and it doesn't happen again. Or it's hard to actually do that again and again and again. It's really hard to do that again. Again,

Justin (38:23):

Hard. You have to bet on your listeners, you have to bet on your audience.

Fitz (38:26):

I think that's where

Justin (38:27):

We're all learning or remembering I should say,

Fitz (38:31):

And to care about them. And then I think just, yeah, I think that that's the truth of it. And then realize that anytime you're linked up, anytime you're relying on a publicly traded company like a Meta or Google that owns YouTube, they're going to figure out how to make more money and that money is going to come out of what you, it's not going to you. And so I think that that's, from a creative standpoint, that's what it is. And then on the brand side is like, man, if you just are spending money with Meta, the things that are actually going to build community, you got to remember to do that because at the heart of it, that's what's going to power this whole thing because it's making fleece tech fleece right now, right? And they're about to go up against, they are already going up against all those other people that have just come into our market. They went to go challenge them and it didn't work out that well for 'em. So yeah.

Colin (39:24):

Thank you so much for coming on everybody. Pre-order fits his book it. It's in the show notes. We'll talk about that book again later too. Yeah, we'll make sure we bring it up.

Fitz (39:33):


Colin (39:33):

Cool. Thank you so much for coming on, buddy. Appreciate it. Thanks

Fitz (39:35):

Man. Oh yeah, absolutely. Okay, cool.

Colin (39:38):

Alright, that's the show for today. Big thank you to our guest Fitzgeral. And a reminder to you listening go pre-order his book States of Adventure at the Lincoln show notes and another reminder to you to follow the rock fight. Wherever you are listening, sign up for our And if you leave a written review on Apple Podcasts, tell us by sending an email to my rock and we'll send you a rock fight sticker. The Rock Fight is a production of Rock Fight LLC for Justin Hausman. I'm Colin Truth. Thanks for listening. Like always, he's here to take us out. Krista makes with the Rock Fight Fight song. We'll see you next time. Rock fighters. Rock

Chris DeMakes (40:14):

Fight, rock fight, rock fight, rock fight, rock fight, rock fight. We go fight where we speak on truth, stay sacred cows and sometimes agree to disagree. We talk about human power, outdoor activities and big bites about topics that we find interesting like music. The latest movie reviews, ideas look in for this is where we speak our truth. This is where we speak our truth. Rat, welcome to, welcome to.


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