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Corey CoatesCo-Founder and Chief Expectations ManagerPodfly Productions
Podcasts have been around for a while, but only in recent years have they gotten attention from brands. And while all types of businesses in the US make prolific use of branded podcasts, businesses in Canada are waiting for the right moment to enter the space. eMarketer’s Sean Creamer spoke with Corey Coates, co-founder and chief expectations manager of Canada-based podcast production house Podfly Productions, about how brands in the country are taking the leap in the market.
eMarketer: What’s appealing about podcasts to marketers?
Corey Coates: As a marketer, it’s difficult to get someone to sit down in front of a 2-minute YouTube video or read a 750-word blog post nowadays. But if you throw that same blog post into a podcast for 45 minutes of stimulating conversation, consumers can come in and out of that content as they see fit as a listener.
eMarketer: What businesses have a significant podcast following in Canada?
Coates: Google, Instagram and Cisco are major players in the podcast space, but even the Canadian government looks at podcasts as a great vehicle to deliver their message in a way that’s more accessible and portable.
eMarketer: What types of businesses are showing interest in branded podcasts?
Coates: Large players like law firms, banks and ad agencies come to us and say, “We want to get into this space because we see our competitors doing it in the US, and they’re starting to have measurable success.”
Canadians are conservative people—we sit back, watch someone else do it, see how it goes and then put our money behind it. Businesses are duplicating the success of branded podcasts in the US, but putting Canadian touch to it.
eMarketer: How are branded podcasts different between Canada and the US?
Coates: In the US, more small and medium-size businesses embrace podcasts. That’ll be the trend here in Canada within the next year or two. American-branded podcasts have more of a quick, snappy, edited, fast-paced approach, whereas in Canada, there are lengthier diatribes with less cuts. The trend is top-down here, starting with organizations like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and government agencies, and it’s starting to trickle down to the bigger parts of enterprise.
eMarketer: Is it difficult to grab the attention of consumers in Canada through podcasts?
Coates: There are 10 times as many people in the states, which means 10 times as many opportunities to reach an audience compared to Canada. It’s hypercompetitive, especially when Canadians think, “I’m giving 2 hours every week to the Montreal Canadiens. If you want to try to kick them out of my queue, you have to be better than the hockey team I love.” Brands getting into podcasts are dividing time and attention for Canadians, and trying to break into existing media consumption is a challenge.
eMarketer: What podcast topics attract audiences in Canada?
Coates: The most popular programming is ESPN and other sports networks like TSN. Sports podcasts, especially the dailies for sports fans, are popular. We love hockey—there’s no way around it in Canada—and the most successful hockeycentric podcasts are localized. Second to sports is the content coming from the CBC—the journalistic, investigative, editorial and even news-based podcasts.
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