Seen and Heard in Edmonton started in the summer of 2015 for a few reasons. I had been paying close attention to bloggers and podcasters in my city for some time, and I wanted to create a systematic way to pay attention to them. I also saw podcasting as an exciting new medium that could be part of the local media mix that needs rebuilding, and to understand that space well, I needed to have my own podcast. So I started this blog and podcast about bloggers and podcasters in my city.
It’s awfully tough for a locally focused podcast to make money on its own. So the plan was always to see if it was possible to create a local podcast network, on the theory that cross-promotion would help everyone grow, and that bringing everyone’s audience together would create a better opportunity to generate revenue.
First I had to know whether local podcasters were interested, so I put out an invitation to be listed on the Seen and Heard Podcast Network page in exchange for some information about audience, frequency, focus and willingness to run ads. I also learned a lot about the local podcasting scene by creating the Edmonton Podcasting Meetup, which meets once a month and has been a tremendous source of encouragement and community.
The second thing I had to know was whether this was an interesting prospect for advertisers. I learned a lot about that by selling advertising onto my own properties. That experience reinforced my contention that we had to find a way to scale up, and that we needed to make it way easier for businesses to advertise on local podcasts, in a sustained way instead of a series of one-offs. It also became clear, as it does for many entrepreneurs, that this was going to take more time, and therefore money, than I had in order to build this on my own.
Enter ATB Financial. It saw the potential in this idea, and how it aligned with its values. I’m proud to announce today that ATB has agreed in principle to underwrite the development of the Alberta Podcast Network for its first two years.
We’re doing this with the help of CKUA Radio, which has a long history of supporting local, grassroots audio in Alberta. CKUA will help us get the word out about the network and its members, and it will give us more chances to get together in real life in its event space.
We have a lot of details to work out, but we now have some runway to create a self-sustaining network that gets some money into podcasters’ pockets, and helps businesses who want to reach their listeners in a powerful way.
Questions? Ask me anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.