Be a good listener. Meeting podcaster and entrepreneur Casey Adams, it’s clear that this mantra is something he has carried with him ever since interviewing Larry King in 2019.
Being a good listener is a vital skill for an interviewer, but Adams has taken his obsession with the listener a stage further by launching a podcast network called Listener. Thanks to GoDaddy’s Afternic marketplace, Adams is building his network on the premium domain Listener.com.
I sat down with Adams to talk about his career as a podcaster, being an entrepreneur, and how premium domain names have played a part in his two businesses so far.
Becoming Casey Adams
Casey Adams, born and raised in a small town in Virginia, was a natural athlete until a sporting injury left him in a neck brace for six months, nearly paralyzing him. The downtime and rehabilitation took Adams on a journey of discovery and business creation.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I began this transformative experience of diving into business biographies, learning about marketing, and understanding entrepreneurship. It’s easier than ever to start a business online, and that led to launching my first marketing agency when I was 16. It quickly transitioned into the world of podcasting, where I started my podcast, The Casey Adams Show, when I was 17 years old,” described Adams.
Podcasting, and Larry King being a good listener
Adams launched The Casey Adams Show in December 2017, a business-oriented show with an interview format that has accumulated over 450 episodes with famous guests, such as Tyler Winklevoss, Rick Ross, and Larry King. In addition, business leaders like Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph and Whoop CEO Will Ahmed have told their stories to listeners.
One of Adams’ most pivotal interviews came in 2019 when he spoke with talk show legend Larry King, notable for his long stint as host of CNN’s Larry King Live.
“I have been obsessed over the years with just being a true listener in these conversations. And that obsession really came from interviewing Larry King. I always say that has been my favorite interview and the most impactful for me.
I was 19 years old. He was 87, and he said during the interview that he’d never learned anything while he was talking. Therefore, being a better listener is how you make not only a great interview, but a great life and great relationships. Truly listen and be a listener.”
Throughout Adams’ successful career as a podcaster, the notion of being a good listener has stayed with him.
Domain names have also been a recurring subject on Adams’ show. Before acquiring Listener.com for his latest venture, he interviewed the founder of Plunge, and discussed their acquisition of Plunge.com for $250,000.
Before that, Adams interviewed Andrew Gazdecki, founder of Acquire.com, around the time that Gazdecki secured Acquire.com through GoDaddy’s Domain Broker Service.
Good digital branding has always been appealing to Adams, who leverages some top-notch social handles for his brands, including @Questions, @Listener, and, of course, @Casey on Instagram.
Leveraging the MediaKits.com domain to launch a company
While continuing to build his presence in the podcasting world, Casey Adams co-founded MediaKits, a startup helping influencers design media kits using real-time social data.
This was Adams’ first foray into building a tech company, which quickly gained traction after YouTubers, including JR Garage, began using and recommending the service.
Of course, as Adams discovered, the choice of domain helped establish the brand. “I’ll say this with so much confidence; knowing that we had the domain MediaKits.com gave me so much conviction, not only around the idea, but as the industry leading media kit tool for creators. There’s no other place to go besides MediaKits.com, right? We wanted to be the industry leader.”
“Having that domain was such an edge to first impressions, brand building awareness, and that initial growth and trust.”
That initial growth saw 25,000 creators signing up within 6 months. By mid-2022, Adams and his co-founder sold the company to leading social media marketing agency Viral Nation.
The narrative of being a good listener has been weaving its way through Adams’ career, so, months after selling MediaKits, when he set out to build a vertically integrated podcast network, naming it Listener seemed an obvious move.
“When I think about Listener, I was obsessed over this name because everything in the world of podcasting goes back to the listener. Every piece of content, every episode, every advertiser that’s sponsoring episodes, is listener-focused. The word listener is such a powerful word in the world of podcasting.”
Listener has three distinct arms of its business. First came a tech platform for AI-driven podcast post-production, and then Adams began building a network to elevate and distribute podcasts. Beyond that, a premier podcast booking service matches guests with hosts.
In all, Listener is an all-encompassing solution for the pain points of the podcasting world.
Finding Listener.com through GoDaddy
Like many entrepreneurs do in the early days of a startup, Adams looked up his ideal domain, Listener.com. Through a GoDaddy.com search, he found the domain was available for sale, so he inquired.
“I was looking back at the earliest emails from when I inquired with GoDaddy, and it was December 2022. I had just sold MediaKits and quickly started working on Listener.fm.”
As a good podcast host and interviewer would, Adams started a conversation. The interactions with a broker from GoDaddy’s Afternic marketplace were initially exploratory for Adams and his aspirations of securing Listener.com.
“It was one of those things as a founder where I wanted to learn more. I wanted to understand the cost and just go from there. It wasn't like this urgent need [to buy listener.com], but just something that I thought if I could get that, that would be massive for the brand.’ I just kept the conversation going slowly but surely.”
Adams was in contact with an Afternic broker for the whole period, learning more about the domain name and asking questions along the way. “It was my first time working with a broker, and they were so on top of it, just very professional, and answered all my questions.”
Buying Listener.com – A year in the making
As Adams continued to grow Listener.fm, it became apparent that to further build the brand, he needed Listener.com.
“As someone that has built a tech company on a premium domain, MediaKits.com, there was no other option but to go do the same thing again. After going with Listener.fm for the tech product, it became apparent to me that I needed to get Listener.com. I knew it would elevate the brand. When it comes to first impressions on social media, or even my podcast being presented by Listener.com, I'm someone who places such a large emphasis on not only valuable domains, but also trust and brand value.”
Once it came to negotiating the purchase, it was a swift process that saw Adams secure Listener.com through Afternic, GoDaddy’s aftermarket platform.
Adams’ outlook was immediately positive, “I know it's going to pay dividends when it comes to the long tail effect of brand building. Owning that part of the industry is huge. Anytime anyone in the podcast space thinks about ‘listener’ or says ‘listener’, Listener.com is going to come to mind.”
For Adams, using GoDaddy’s Afternic platform was a hugely positive experience. “The process of working with a broker was so wonderful. I've had friends and other founders talk about domain stories. Some of them don't use brokers. Some of them do, but I'll say in my experience, it was so great just having that broker not only to help with the process but also to answer all questions and to really be there to help overall.”
While Adams’ post-production suite, Listener.fm, has been in business for some time, Listener.com is a whole new brand.
A month after acquiring the Listener.com domain, Adams officially launched the Listener.com podcast network to significant attention across social media.
The beginnings of the long-term plan are starting to take shape. If you look at The Casey Adams Show on any podcast platform, you’ll now see that it, along with other podcasts including ‘Questions,’ is distributed by the Listener.com podcast network. The brand has the right digital assets to build and grow.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
It’s staggering that Adams has built a successful podcast, exited one company, and is building another, all by the age of 23. Before parting, I asked Adams to share some advice with other entrepreneurs on his philosophy on the importance of digital assets in startups.
“Before you start a business, go and see if you can get the social handles on all platforms. Go and see if the preferred domain is even available for sale. If you don't value the intellectual property of whatever you’re building today, you're going to have to value it later if you're ever going to have to go through an acquisition or take a company public.”
“And whether it's a premium domain or yourcompanyname.com, it's just important that you think about that when you start. This is not to say that it's going to make or break the business, but you can place priority on getting the premium domain, whether now or later. Just start a conversation, like I did twelve months ago with Listener.com.”
It’s apt for a podcast host and entrepreneur to close by recommending starting a conversation. During that conversation, make sure that you’re a good listener.
Whether you’re looking to buy a premium aftermarket domain name or register a domain for your first business idea, GoDaddy is the place to begin your search.
To connect with Casey Adams, you can follow him on X @CaseyAdams or Instagram @Casey. The Listener.com podcast network can be found at Listener.com, and Listener.fm houses Adams’ podcast production tools.