Canadian podcast publishers and agencies collaborate to gain insights about growing industry


For the first time, major advertising agencies and media companies joined forces to exchange insights and questions about the emerging Canadian podcast industry. The group gathered on March 21st to help shape the third annual Canadian Podcast Listener survey, which is going into the field in May.

The study’s mission is “to elevate the awareness and understanding of the Canadian podcast audience for podcasters, agencies, advertisers and others seeking to learn more about podcasting in Canada.” The 2019 study is supported by The Podcast Exchange (TPX), as it was last year.

Representatives from PHd Canada, GroupM, Magna/Mediabrands, BellMedia and Corus Entertainment joined with the research team at Audience Insights Inc and Ulster Media to form the Canadian Podcast Listener Client Advisory Council. They offered input about what they found useful in the 2018 study, and what new ground they wanted to cover in 2019.

Much has changed in less than a year. Spotify, which wasn’t even on the radar last year, has risen up to compete closely with Apple as the market leader for podcast distribution. Early reports from the US (Edison’s "The Infinite Dial") indicate that there’s been a big leap in the number of regular podcast listeners year-over-year. We’re excited to find out if this trend is happening here in Canada, too.

Agencies are more familiar with podcasting now, and some are reorganizing how they work to merge their audio-buying expertise across different platforms into one department. They want to know how to achieve scale in a fragmented market, how to leverage opportunities in podcasting as a unique medium, and they are interested in learning more about ad performance (host-read, pre-roll vs mid-roll, listening vs. downloading, etc.).

As podcasters ramp up their publishing efforts this year, they have questions about podcast discovery, consumption and platforms. They want to know what’s working - and what’s changing - in Canada. They’re also interested in developing strategies for leveraging their traditional platforms (TV/radio) as well as social media to help grow podcast audiences.

It was inspiring to see major players in the industry working together with the research team to uncover the answers they need to advance the Canadian podcast industry. The more that industry leaders work together, the greater the benefits for podcasters and brands in this growing and highly engaging medium.

The Canadian Podcast Listener 2019 is published by Audience Insights Inc. and Ulster Media, and is supported by The Podcast Exchange. To subscribe to the study or get more information, please contact or visit

Jeff Ulster