Wake up and smell the podcast coffee!

Nick Hilton
6 min readJul 18, 2022
Would a flat white produce a good show?

This article first appeared on my newsletter, Future Proof, and is reproduced here because some people are very kind, generous and physically beautiful, and subscribe to that newsletter. You can join that well-groomed crew, if you’re sufficiently big-hearted.

A few years ago, I was reviewing the film Mid90s, directed by Jonah Hill. The film is fine, I should add, but my review opened with a long spiel about its distributor, hipster outfit A24, and excoriated how they had become more of a lifestyle brand than anything else. They had just released a series of scented candles, each pegged to one of the genres in their catalogue, so you could watch, say, Hereditary while sniffing the Horror candle or Moonlight with a nose-full of the scent of Drama. The editor of that piece insisted on cutting that whole opening paragraph, noting, fairly, that the film was not even distributed by A24 in the UK.

Currently in the A24 shop you can buy things like a buttplug-shaped Auditor of the Month Trophy Candle (not sure what film this is even linked to) for $60, a set of black A24 monogrammed sports socks for $12, a set of Maruhiro x A24 ceramic teacups for $45 or a tiny ceramic pin of Florence Pugh’s screaming face, for just $10. The distinctive aesthetic identity of A24 and its films has made this a profitable endeavour (many, if not most, of the items for sale on their website are currently SOLD OUT). And even though I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing when the brand identity of the distributor of a slate of unconnected independent films becomes so homogenous it can be monetised, you can’t deny that there’s commercial sense at work here.

Two weeks ago, Crooked Media, the American podcast giant, announced that they were launching a coffee brand, Crooked Coffee. Their What a Morning coffee comes in Medium or Dark roast and retails at $19 a bag (unground). I dread to think how much it would cost to ship to me in the UK. The Crooked Coffee website describes the product as ‘a rant in liquid form’, which I suppose is just about a fitting description for most any cup of coffee. But whatever, they’ve made their careers out of tub-thumping and polemicising and it fits nicely in that brand.

Why am I interested in coffees (or butt plug shaped candles, for that matter)? In my little world of podcasting…

Nick Hilton

Writer. Media entrepreneur. London. Interested in technology and the media. Co-founder podotpods.com Email: nick@podotpods.com.