Episode 63: Building local listenership

Katrina Ingram and Chris Chang-Yen Phillips discuss increasing local listenership at the Edmonton Podcasting Meetup on March 26, 2017, at Variant Edition (Photo by Chris Sikkenga)

Our March podcasting meetup offered a local spin on #trypod, a campaign that started in the U.S. to encourage more people to listen to podcasts.

I am, of course, strongly in favour of more people listening to podcasts of all kinds, but I am particularly interested in carving out some mindshare for locally produced shows. That’s why I invited Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, creator of Let’s Find Out, and Katrina Ingram, interim CEO of CKUA, to give their perspectives on how to do that.

Chris’s podcast was part of his successful application to be Edmonton’s historian laureate, and his aim was to extend interest in the city’s history beyond the usual heritage community. So far he has succeeded, with 400 to 500 downloads per episode and a ripple effect beyond that can be felt in mainstream media coverage of his stories and new questions from people curious about our past. He is also news director at CJSR.

Katrina, a marketer by trade, is currently at the helm of Canada’s first public broadcaster, which has seen a tremendous amount of technological and cultural change over its 90-year history. She has been paying close attention to the evolution and growth of podcasting ever since her friend Tema Frank introduced her to her show, Frank Reactions, and has been working with me to see if we can put together a sustainable local podcast network. (It will grow out of this.)

You’ll hear them address what it will take to get more people to listen to more local podcasts; what podcasters can learn from independent radio stations like CJSR and CKUA; how to activate a community of support; why quality and uniqueness matter; why local matters; and how networks can help.

This episode is also available in iTunes, on Google Play, on SoundCloud or on Stitcher.

We also mentioned these resources along the way:

You can subscribe to Let’s Find Out on iTunes and Stitcher. I highly recommend the Let’s Find Out live show, recorded earlier this year at The Needle.

Also, check out the excellent podcast CKUA does with the Edmonton Public Library called Capital City Records, featuring a taste-maker’s recommendation of a song by an Edmonton artist.

Thanks again to Studio Theatre for donating guest passes to Bright Burning (on until April 8); to Variant Edition for hosting; and to CafeRista for catering.

Our next podcasting meetup is on April 30. Join the meetup page or subscribe to the Seen and Heard in Edmonton newsletter for details as soon as they’re available.

wearecastriaThis episode of Seen and Heard in Edmonton is brought to you by Castria, where award-winning podcasters help you take your podcast from idea to reality.

Castria’s Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky record and edit both our live meetups and the regular interviews you hear on Seen and Heard in Edmonton. If you’d like them to help you, visit wearecastria.com.


Musical credits: Beethoven’s Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 2 No. 1, played by Daniel Veesey, from freemusicarchive.com.

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