By David Farrell
BCE Inc., parent of Bell Media, saw Q1 operating revenues rise 2.6% year-to-year to $5.734 billion and net earnings attributable to common shareholders climb 12% to C$740 million (82 cents/share). Adjusted EBITDA grew 6.9% to $2.409 billion. However, Bell Media revenues fell 0.5% to C$745 million, blamed on a dip in advertising revenue; radio advertising revenue continued its downward trend, attributed to "market softness," but the division's adjusted EBITDA increased 26.9% to $C165 million.
Rogers Media is adding to its podcasting business through the acquisition of Pacific Content, an independent production and marketing company formed five years ago by a number of former employees of the CBC.
Pacific Content, which currently employs 22 people based in Vancouver, works with companies and advertisers to attract audiences using audio storytelling techniques.
One of its more recent clients is Facebook, which commissioned Pacific Content to create the "3.5 Degrees" podcast about business leaders and entrepreneurs.
“Podcasting is a big part of the future of audio. We quickly identified its immense potential and are being aggressive in this space,” said Julie Adam, Senior Vice President, Rogers Radio. “The team at Pacific Content is a group of passionate and experienced thought leaders and content creators who are at the forefront of this transformational shift in the media landscape.”
Pacific Content was the first branded content podcast business to launch in the world, in 2015, and today is one of the largest in North America. Based in Vancouver with content creators across the country, Pacific Content works with prominent companies and advertisers to connect their brands to target audiences through high-quality audio storytelling.
“With the rapid evolution of digital audio, especially in the podcast industry, there is an untapped opportunity for our marketers to engage directly with their potential consumers through the art of storytelling – adding value to their specific market or industry, while creating brand relevance,” said Alan Dark, Senior Vice President, Rogers Media Sales.
“We have found an incredibly smart, bold, and collaborative partner in Rogers Media,” said Steve Pratt, Vice President, Pacific Content. “Both Rogers Media and Pacific Content share a strong passion in driving forward the future of both audio and branded content, and we can’t wait to start working together to take advantage of our combined strengths, experience, and creativity.”
With the launch of Frequency Podcast Network last year, combined with today’s acquisition of Pacific Content, Rogers Media continues as a leader in audio content with original and branded podcasts and 56 radio stations across the country. – CBC, Rogers Media
Every Wednesday at 7 p.m. for the last eight years, volunteer hosts at CFRC, Queen’s University’s campus radio station, have broadcast a show for an audience that’s niche, even by community-radio standards: prison inmates and their families.
The show began in 2009 when a group of volunteers at the radio station broadcast live on Prisoners’ Justice Day, August 10. That morphed into a regular weekly broadcast in 2011, though the cast of hosts and producers has evolved over the years. According to the Prison Radio website, the signal reaches eight institutions in the area, including the Cape Vincent Correctional Facility, in upstate New York. – David Rockne Corrigan, TVO