'Mental Floss' Cofounders Head To 'HowStuffWorks'

Earlier this month, cofounders of the fun facts and trivia publisher Mental Floss,Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur, announced they were leaving after 16 years at the helm. Now, we know where they are headed — to develop podcasts for HowStuffWorks.

HowStuffWorks, which was founded by college professor Marshall Brain nearly 20 years ago, is akin to Mental Floss. Both produce informative content in an entertaining way.

But HowStuffWorks focuses heavily on its podcasts series, which range from “Stuff You Should Know” to “Stuff Mom Never Told You.”



In February 2017, podcast analytics company Podtrac ranked HowStuffWorks as the fourth top podcast publisher, with over 25 million global unique streams and downloads, behind NPR, WNYC Studios and This American Life/Serial. The publisher has 13 podcast shows.

Each series at HowStuffWorks functions a bit like a vertical, with its own dedicated site that houses episodes, as well as related articles and photo galleries.

Hattikudur told Adweek, which first reported the news, that he and Pearson “have pages of ideas” to develop podcasts at HowStuffWorks.

“Podcasts are such an intimate relationship with an audience, and we want to foster that communication… It’ll be fun to experiment with what a ‘knowledge podcast’ can be,” he said.

The podcast platform is booming. Readers are increasingly turning to audio as a new medium for storytelling and news. An Edison Research report shows at least one-fifth of U.S. consumers (21%) in 2016 had listened to a podcast, compared to 12% in 2015.

Meanwhile, Mental Floss’ site will undergo a redesign in early May. It shuttered its print edition in September after 15 years to focus on the brand’s digital presence.

HowStuffWorks.com attracts about 30 million monthly views.

Next story loading loading..