Podcasting’s the word at events across Canada
It’s been a busy spring in the world of podcast-related events. From grassroots festivals to industry committees, the podcasting buzz seems to be getting louder all across the country.
TPX is proud to have been able to take part in several of these events of late. Here are just a few:
Atlantic Podcast Summit: Held in Halifax on the first weekend of May, this was the first official podcast summit of its kind in the Atlantic Region. Designed “for podcast fans and creators on Canada’s East Coast”, it gave budding new podcasters an opportunity to hear from experts in the field of production and development.
I happily accepted an invitation to present insights from the Canadian Podcast Listener survey (now entering the field for the third year), as well as to explain how we work at The Podcast Exchange. It was great to see so many keen, creative people looking to learn how to improve their craft and learn more about the business side as well.
The program included workshops, panel discussions, pitch contests, live shows and other events that will help Atlantic podcasters reach more people and elevate their production game.
Although the Atlantic region is fully stocked with great storytellers and creators, the local podcast industry is in its early stages, and listening lags slightly behind the national average. Last year’s Canadian Podcast Listener data shows that while monthly podcast listening averages 26% across the country (June 2018), only 21% of people in the Atlantic provinces are regular podcast listeners.
Hopefully events like this will help grow the industry and spread the word.
Canadian Music Week: Podcasting came up frequently in the “Radio Interactive” portion of this festival/conference, held in Toronto each year. TPX joined the “Preparing For A Digital Future: What Is It and How Do I Get There?” panel discussion to talk about the growing audiences and opportunities for broadcasters in the podcast space.
Moderated by broadcaster Alan Cross, there were great insights from panelists Barbara Escoto (VP Digital, Bell), James Cridland (author of Podnews newsletter, and “Radio Futurologist”) Jeff Leake (Music Programming Director, SiriusXM), Steven Goldstein (consultant) and myself (Jeff Ulster). The room was full, and there were lots of questions about podcasting and the role it will play in the future of audio content delivery.
A full panel was devoted to the discussion of “Broadcasting in the age of Podcasting” on the second day of the radio conference, and Edison research also shared some high level findings from the Canadian version of their latest report of The Infinite Dial.
Among other interesting tidbits, they reported the biggest-ever jump in podcast listening in Canada since they started tracking it. Edison is now reporting 36% of Canadians are monthly podcast listeners, up 8% from what they reported at the same time last year.
It will be really interesting to see if we find a similar jump in this year’s Canadian Podcast Listener survey. We’ll let you know as soon as we know!
Podsummit III: Now in its third year, the Calagary-based event "brings together 100 podcast creators, industry experts and the podcast-curious” this June. TPX won’t be attending, but we did participate in a Skype interview to talk about the industry and where TPX fits in. We’ll share that with you when it’s available as well.
IAB: I sat on the panel for a discussion of “The Changing Search Landscape” in early May, where committee members learned about what’s changing in consumer search behaviours, and what the future of discoverability might look like. With the proliferation of smart speakers and other voice-enabled technology, audio and podcasts are increasingly part of the conversation.
And while they’re late to the game, the mother of all search engines - Google - is finally catching up to the value of podcasts for their users. Google has now rolled out podcast results in their desktop and mobile web search along with play buttons, so listening is just a click away. They’ve also begun indexing transcripts of audio from podcast episodes, which will make searching for podcast content a whole lot easier.
At the risk of sounding repetitive - it’s an exciting time to be in the podcast industry!
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