Be Part Of the Podcasting Boom

By: Nicole Laidler


Learn how to create your own podcast 

Chances are good that you have spent at least part of the global pandemic listening to a podcast. According to Edison Research, nearly 13 million Canadians – that’s around 45% of the population – tuned into a podcast last year.  More than one-quarter tuned in monthly, with the 2020 Canadian Podcast Listener report identifying a dedicated six percent who listened each day.

“Podcasts offer the intimacy of radio, but you have hundreds of thousands of channels to choose from,” says Mike O’Connor, who teaches the new course in Podcasting at Western Continuing Studies.

Free, and easily accessible from mobile devices, podcasts owe much of their growing appeal to their ability to engage and entertain listeners through great storytelling, or to satisfy their curiosity about an almost endless list of topics.

And if you’ve got something to say, it’s never been easier to launch a podcast of your own.

That’s exactly what Ryan Robinson did this past December. A former producer at Rogers TV, Robinson co-hosted the OHL London Knights post-game show with veteran broadcaster Pete James. The two kept in touch and recently decided to harness their passion for sports into the PJ & RR Podcast.

Currently available on YouTube and Facebook, the podcast features interviews with industry insiders and lively conversations between the two hosts. “It’s an interesting dynamic because I’m in my mid-thirties and Pete’s in his eighties,” says Robinson.

As someone with broadcasting in his blood, Robinson sees podcasting as an opportunity to continue doing something he loves while he works as a digital content coordinator at King’s University College. “We try to do a new episode every two weeks. Especially when you are getting off the ground, it’s important to maintain a consistent schedule,” he notes.

Many people choose to launch a podcast for fun, but the medium is also becoming a powerful marketing tool as a podcast can be easily integrated into existing social media platforms.

“Podcasts are a great way to enrich your relationship with your clients or customers,” says O’Connor. The on-demand nature of podcasting allows businesses and brands to tell their story any time and to establish authority in their field with a potentially global audience.

YouTube, Apple Podcasts / iTunes and Spotify are the most popular listening platforms, but with more than 700,000 podcasts listed in Apple Podcasts alone, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd and it takes time to develop a loyal audience.

“The thing to remember is, it’s not about you,” says O’Connor. “It’s about how you can make their lives better and solve their problems.”

The new podcasting course at WCS is designed to appeal to everyone from business owners and entrepreneurs looking to build their brand, to people who simply have an idea they want to share. Delivered online, the 18-hour course covers podcasting essentials like coming up with ideas, recording your first episode, editing and uploading, and promotion.

“The idea for this class is to try and keep podcasting as low budget or no-budget as possible,” O’Connor says.

“With a decent mic and a few other pieces of software, you can produce a very professional-sounding podcast. You don’t need to be a technician,” he notes. And thanks to online platforms, distribution is easier than ever. “Today, you can literally hit one button and send your podcast out into the world.”







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