Internet users are convinced that Bobbi Althoff is a “podcast industry plant” after landing interviews with some of the world’s most famous entertainers on her new show.
Bobbi is a 25-year-old TikTok creator and mother-of-two who amassed millions of followers for her sarcastic humour and realistic videos about parenting. Though she’s transitioned out of parenting content, Bobbi became notorious on TikTok for calling her children “Richard” and “Concrete” to avoid using their real names online.
On June 1st, Bobbi launched ‘The Really Good Podcast’ where she interviews a new celebrity guest in each episode.
Her third episode, released last week, put her podcast on the map when she interviewed Drake. The interview went viral for their awkward chemistry and Bobbi’s deadpan delivery, leaving listeners to wonder who she is and how she’s so connected.
With the subsequent release of episodes featuring Lil Yachty and soon Mark Cuban, many internet users are now questioning if Bobbi is an industry plant given her relative anonymity as an interviewer and the caliber of her guests.
She has also interviewed actor Rick Glassman and social media star Funny Marco.
While the concept of an industry plant dates back to the early days of hip-hop music when it was important for an artist to seem “homegrown”, the introduction of social media and streaming platforms have made it easier for record labels— and now possibly podcast networks— to capitalise on this marketing strategy.
In some instances, a record label may buy bot streams or video views to inflate a plant’s music and create a ‘FOMO’ effect. In other instances, the label may create a fake or exaggerated backstory about how the artist was discovered, which many believe is what Atlantic Records did with viral ‘abcdefu’ singer Gayle.
Basically, an industry plant is someone who did not find success organically. They were manufactured to be a star by a record label, production company, talent agency, or network. Industry plants often seem to appear out of nowhere, and their backstory is sometimes murky.
Though her podcast’s success may seem suspect, Bobbi has been creating content with this same “persona” since 2020 and recently signed with talent agency WME— one of the most prestigious agencies in the world.
It’s likely that her agency thought her sarcastic tone and deadpan humour would make for good interview content, given the success of other similar interviewers like Chicken Shop Date’s Amelia Dimoldenberg.
As her high-profile guests also appear to be represented by WME, her podcast interviews function as safe promotion for both parties involved.
While there’s no way to know for sure, it seems that Bobbi is not an industry plant, but rather, she’s made the transition from TikToker to podcaster with the help of WME after years of building her own platform.