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The Case for Podcasts

Podcasts have been consistently gaining popularity over the past few years. According to Nielson, the audience compound annual growth rate is twenty percent. Listenership has doubled since 2015, and projected to double again by 2023. In a study conducted in February 2020, Edison Research found that the trend is rising quickest with younger listeners. Podcasts are a growing wealth of shared experience and information and interest doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Podcasts seem to be a way for more and more people to absorb their information, and should not be discounted in the context of a small business.

There is a practical reason for the growth of podcasts. Research suggests that digital audio is not simply used as leisure entertainment such as a book or a movie; it is used to fill the gaps in a listener’s day. A large portion of the population have a consistent schedule in the week and therefore consistent gaps of time to be filled. Podtrac monitors download times over the course of the day and has found that podcasts are primarily downloaded before and during the morning commute, less during lunch hour and the evening commute, and some during weekend mornings. These measurements are very consistent. Podcasts drop perfectly into those spots first because of ease of access through smartphones (there are 3.5B in currently in use in the world), and because unlike radio, users can easily pause and continue the next morning or later in the day. 

Usage during the pandemic has dropped because of a change in routine. According to Podtrac, “Podcast streams and downloads during peak weekday morning commute times were down an average of 23% for the week of April 20-26 compared to the week of March 2-8 across all Podtrac measured podcasts. On Saturday April 25 the peak hour was up 16%, and for Sunday April 26 the peak hour was up 22%.” Many listeners have had their routine disrupted, having either lost their jobs or started working from home. As many were settling into their new routines at the end of April we saw an uptick in weekly download growth and downloads began to increase on the weekends, showing that despite the change in routine listeners were returning to their favourite podcasts. 

As audience numbers go, by comparing the reach of radio advertising to podcast advertising its marketing potential could be overlooked. According the CRTC, “the average weekly number of hours that Canadians 18+ spent listening to traditional radio decreased slightly from 15.2 in 2016 to 15.0 in 2017, while the average weekly number of hours spent listening to streamed audio services grew from 5.2 in 2016 to 7.2 in 2017, a 38% increase.” While noting that ‘streamed audio’ is not limited to podcasts, it is clearly on the rise, but still has a long way to go to catch up to the radio. However, advertising is particularly effective in the context of a podcast. According to the IAB Podcast Playbook, “67 percent of respondents could name an actual product feature or specific promotion mentioned in a podcast ad, and 61 percent of listeners indicated that they purchased a product or service they learned about from a podcast ad.” This statistic is important to understand for anyone starting a podcast or looking to advertise on one. 

Listeners may create a strong attachment simply due to the premise of the medium. Podcasts are by nature conversational and story-driven. Unlike live takes on the radio, there’s no predetermined time limit to the interview or story, which allows for a more natural feel. Listeners form a stronger connection with the host versus other media. In an EW article author Malcolm Gladwell described the medium as emotional: “you’re telling these stories and you hear people’s voices, and you really feel like you have a part of their lives in some way.” The media lends itself to people engaging deeply; according to a 2017 Nielsen study, 80 percent of consumers listen to all or most of the episode. It’s difficult to engage as fully with a live media like radio because it’s impossible to know when your audience will tune in. It’s more difficult for listeners to engage because they will often start part-way through a story, or be distracted and miss parts of it. The engagement a listener has with the podcast can translate to engagement with advertising. 

Podcasts can be a helpful tool for founders in two ways. The obvious benefit is to find interviews with successful business owners and learn from their experience. There is a wealth of podcasts for every field and position. If you have a question about your business you can probably find a podcast that has broached the subject. You can immerse yourself in the stories of other like-minded people with shared experiences and new ideas. However, it can be even more beneficial to start your own podcast within the context of your business. That way you can interact directly with other business leaders and become a story that others can feel a part of, including future clients. 

Here are a few podcasts that might help a founder or investor at any stage of their business:

Local BC podcast offerings: 

Between 2 Term Sheets

“An Alacrity Canada podcast on early-stage tech investment hosted by Owen Matthews. Everyday entrepreneurs around the globe scour the internet for information on how to approach, impress, or instil a sense of confidence in investors that have the potential to help scale their companies to the next level and make their dreams a reality. Between 2 Term Sheets offers listeners an opportunity to hear conversations between investors that often stay private and behind closed doors.”

Host: Owen Mathews – chairman of Alacrity Canada

Recent guests: 

  • Tariq Haddadin – Program Manager at Techstars, 
  • Chris Voss – former FBI hostage negotiator/CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd/co-author of the book “Never Split the Difference”, 
  • Vinny Pujji – Senior Investment Associate at Insight Partners, 
  • Jay Rhind – Partner at Rhino Ventures, 
  • Neha Khera – Partner at 500 Startups, 
  • Saba Mohebpour – CEO at Spocket, 
  • Margaret Wu – Vice President at Georgian Partners, 
  • Jason Kryski – CEO at Strawhouse


  • Advice to entrepreneurs, mistakes to avoid, 
  • Canada’s venture scene, 
  • The best way to succeed in any negotiation, 
  • What growth investors look for in a pitch, 
  • How to avoid the classic partner pitch, fundraising advice, advice on how to make venture capitalists take notice and the experience of going from entrepreneur to investor

Alacrity Canada Cleantech Talks

Alacrity Canada’s Cleantech Talks invites clean technology leaders, thinkers, and sustainability experts to talk about solutions to the global challenges we face today. Our episodes cover how cleantech is making a difference, how science is trying to find answers to our everyday problems, and how we can keep the environment and sustainability in mind – even in business. Alacrity Cleantech Talks discusses the future of water, natural resources, energy and our role in making the world a better place.”

Host: Sonia Motisca – freelance writer, editor, and content creator

Recent guests: 

  • Julie Angus – CEO of Open Ocean Robotics
  • Devesh Bharadwaj CEO of Pani Energy
  • Peter van der Gracht – chairman and co-founder of QuantoTech
  • Sam Samida-Pugh – CEO of Progressive Fusion Solutions 
  • Sean Bourquin – CEO of First Light Technologies
  • Dr. Joel Rogers – a senior nuclear physicist and Chief Scientist at Progressive Fusion Solutions


  • Sustainable energy in the not-so-distant future
  • The importance of future thinking when it comes to energy, 
  • Getting to know our oceans better
  • Disrupting industries without disrupting systems
  • Operating in the cleantech space as a founder, advisor, and investor

The Turbulent Marketing Podcast

Jetstream accelerates growth through effective digital marketing strategy and execution. Their podcast features industry experts about the ups and downs of marketing.

Host: Mike Williams – director of Jetstream and facilitator at Alacrity Canada 

Recent guests: 

  • Ross Dunn – CEO of Stepforth, 
  • Julia Stead – CMO of Allocadia, 
  • Mark Raffan – President of Content Callout, 
  • Eric Dyck – CMO/CGO of Afferent, 
  • Rob Cooper – Founder/Strategic Director of PlusROI, 
  • Chris Burdge – President of Bwest


  • Searching for Personalized Results, 
  • Navigating Clients & Maximizing Your Team Output, 
  • The Science Behind ROI, 
  • Reflecting on Turbulence, 
  • Bringing the Social to Media, 
  • Leading Your Business with Content Marketing


20Mile is a place where you come to learn about startup life, entrepreneurship, challenges faced by founders and how balance & discipline are key to a startup’s survival. Their podcast features interviews with local tech founders.”

Host: Mike Williams – director of Jetstream and facilitator at Alacrity Canada

Recent guests: 

  • Will Fraser – CEO and Co-founder of Saasquatch, 
  • Humaira Ahmed – CEO & Founder of Locelle, 
  • Leif Baradoy – CEO & Co-founder at Giftbit & Lightrail, 
  • Connor Tobin – CIO and Co-founder of eBuyNow, 
  • Charles Lavigne – CEO & Co-founder of LlamaZOO, 
  • Jose Albis -Chief Revenue Officer and Co-founder of Moduurn, Amber Simpson – CEO & Co-founder of Covault, 
  • Todd Hooge – CEO and Co-founder of Metamend, 
  • Brandon Wright – Founder and CEO of BRNKL, 
  • Jason Morehouse – CEO & Co-founder of Checkfront


  • Opening Doors Through Sheer Passion, 
  • It’s All About Grit and Suffering, 
  • Strong Ties In a Remote Business, 
  • How Game Design & VR/AR Help The Natural Resources Industry, Creativity Allows You to Adapt to Your Constraints, 
  • Earning Your Place in a New Space,
  • It’s All About Relationships, 
  • Learning By Doing, 
  • Building Lasting Connections Through Games, 
  • Executing Your March Forward

Echosec Fireside Chat, Founder Q & A, and Team Q & A

Echosec is an industry-leading location intelligence platform. Combining social media posts with geographic data, Echosec collects real-time, user-driven information which supports industries ranging from retail, hospitality, journalism and security. Designed to narrow searches and get rapid results, Echosec detects keywords and image content, and delivers high-priority alerts to your team. Instead of checking ten different social networks for the data you need, Echosec gives you the whole social conversation, all in one place.”

Host: Ariel White – Media Coordinator at Echosec Systems Ltd.

Recent guests: 

  • Micah Clark – Program Director at Moonshot CVE, 
  • Tom Meehan – CSO and CISO at Controltek USA,
  • Karl Swannie – CEO at Echosec Systems Ltd.


  • Niche Online Communities, 
  • Best Practices and Tools For Retail Asset Protection, 
  • Cybersecurity, 
  • Dark Web, 
  • Retail asset protection, 
  • What OSINT tools is Echosec using, 
  • What can you say to an investor that will guarantee a NO?, 
  • Privacy Risks For Remote Work Employees

The Discovery Pod

“The Discovery Pod features conversations with leaders in the non-profit/social sector. Former CEO Douglas Nelson talks with CEOs, Board Chairs, Founders and other senior leaders about how they got started in the sector, how they work with their boards, and what remains to be done. As Managing Director of The Discovery Group, a philanthropy and governance consulting firm based in Vancouver, BC., Doug understands the complexity of leading organizations and institutions and the challenges of aligning governance and philanthropic performance. Doug has been called a ‘fundraising phenom’ by the Vancouver Sun and ‘a true innovator for a sector that can do so much more.’ Learn from the brightest and the best in the industry so you can accomplish what is most important by tuning in to The Discovery Pod today.”

Host: Douglas Nelson 

Recent guests: 

  • Joanne Bath – CEO of Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, Kristy James – CEO of Burnaby Hospital Foundation, 
  • Mark Gifford – CEO of the Real Estate Foundation of BC, 
  • Sandra Richardson – CEO of Victoria Foundation, 
  • Michael McKnight – CEO of the United Way of the Lower Mainland, Angela Chapman – CEO of the Vancouver General Hospital & UBC Hospital Foundation, 
  • Kristy Kerr – Executive Director of the BC Center for Disease Control Foundation for Public Health


  • How the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation responded to the pandemic,
  • Burnaby Hospital Foundation’s launch of an unprecedented emergency response, 
  • Critical importance of community engagement in directing an organization, 
  • Attaining sustainability in relation to issues such as inequality and climate change, 
  • Raising funds for the community’s COVID-19 response, 
  • What the post-pandemic world would be like for the social profit sector, 
  • Raising funds on a global scale


Marketing Focused: 

Perpetual Traffic

“Perpetual Traffic is a weekly podcast produced by DigitalMarketer and hosted by Ralph Burns (Tier 11) and Amanda Powell (DigitalMarketer). The duo shares cutting-edge strategies on acquiring leads and sales for your business through paid traffic. So, whether you’re a media buying expert or you’ve yet to create your first Facebook or Instagram ad, you’ll discover actionable strategies that can be applied today. Perpetual Traffic combines the paid traffic strategies developed at DigitalMarketer with the real-life agency experience of Tier 11. Listen to real stories of business owners and how they overcame struggles with digital marketing and online advertising. Learn how to make Facebook advertising, Instagram advertising, YouTube advertising, Twitter advertising, Google AdWords advertising, LinkedIn advertising, (and more) work for your business.”

Hosts: Ralph Burns – CEO of Tier 11, and Amanda Powell – director of marketing at DigitalMarketer

Recent guests: 

  • Ryan McKenzie – co-founder of Tru Earth, 
  • Rich Schefren – President and CEO of Strategic Profits, 
  • Travis Chambers – founder of D2C Ad Agency Chamber Media, 
  • Aja Frost – Head of Content SEO at Hubspot,  
  • Matt Wolfe – host of The Hustle & Flowchart Podcast


  • Leveraging Micro-Influencers, 
  • Why Done Is Better Than Perfect, 
  • How Travis Chambers Created YouTube’s #1 Ad of the Decade, 
  • The three step process of targeting, creative, and offers that create ads that crush it on YouTube, 
  • Strategy to publish blog posts that actually drive traffic, 
  • How to be on point with your Facebook and Instagram messaging, Keys to success as a media buyer, 
  • Turning your podcast into a profitable content marketing strategy

Duct Tape Marketing

“For over a decade John Jantsch has interviewed thought leaders, experts, and authors. Subscribe today and hear some of today’s most influential marketers and entrepreneurs share their stories and secrets.”

Host: John Jantsch – writer, speaker, and marketing consultant who specializes in assisting small businesses. Author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine, and The Commitment Engine.

Recent guests: 

  • Ramon Ray –  keynote speaker/event host/best selling author/entrepreneur, 
  • Kim Beasley – author of The Creative Introverted Entrepreneur, 
  • Jake Thompson – CEO of Compete Every Day, 
  • Sergio Alcocer founded Rest of the World agency, 
  • Liam Austin – co-founder of Entrepreneurs HQ, 
  • Emily Heyward – Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer at Red Antler


  • Succeeding by building a community and a strong personal brand, 
  • Building a business as an introvert, 
  • Embracing a competitors mindset to grow your business, how to Embracing a more diverse approach to marketing, 
  • Getting the best out of your virtual meetings, 
  • Bringing in-person events online, 
  • Building a brand people love

Investor Focused:

Masters in Business

Bloomberg Opinion columnist Barry Ritholtz looks at the people and ideas that shape markets, investing and business. He is also the chairman and chief investment officer at Ritholtz Wealth Management.”

What investors can expect to learn: “So much, if you pay attention: Everybody has a different approach, but some consistent themes come up again and again: the importance having a process versus focusing on outcomes, being aware of your own biases, understanding the impact of costs, why you should develop an expertise, continually educate yourself, read widely and deeply, and recognize the role of luck in, well, everything.” 

Host: Barry Ritholtz – Bloomberg Opinion columnist 

Recent guests: 

  • Jeremy Siegel – Russell E. Palmer professor of finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and senior investment strategy adviser at WisdomTree Asset Management, 
  • Luke Ellis – CEO of Man Group, the world’s largest listed hedge fund, David Rosenberg – chief economist and strategist of Rosenberg Research & Associates Inc, 
  • Jonathan Miller – president and CEO of the real-estate appraisal and consulting firm Miller Samuel


  • The stock market and COVID-19, 
  • Hedge fund business, 
  • The power of intelligent leadership, 
  • Emergency policy decisions, 
  • WFH’s impact on the economy, 
  • Real estate after the coronavirus, 
  • Fear and investment, 
  • Financial fraud

The Investor’s Podcast Network

“The Investor’s Podcast Network is an exclusive business podcast network. Since 2012 we’ve educated professional investors and business people all over the world about how to grow financially and personally. Our main show ‘We Study Billionaires’ is the largest stocks investing podcast show in the world.”

  • We Study Billionaires, hosted by Preston Pysh and Stig Brodersen
  • Millennial Investing is hosted by Robert Leonard
  • The Good Life is hosted by Sean Murray
  • Real Estate Investing is hosted by Robert Leonard

Recent guests: 

  • Arif Karim – senior investment analyst from Ensemble Capital Management, 
  • Sam Morris – founder of Zen Warrior Training, 
  • Ellis Hammond –  real estate investor, 
  • Anthony Pompliano – American entrepreneur, investor, and host of The Pomp Podcast (formerly Off The Chain)


  • Bitcoin, 
  • COVID-19, 
  • Macroeconomics for beginners, 
  • Financial freedom, 
  • How to think like an emperor, 
  • Getting started in rentals & flips, 
  • Life lessons from legendary investors, 
  • Wealth and happiness, 
  • Day trading for a living, 
  • Simplifying financial plans

To explore more of our content, visit the Alacrity Canada Blog page where you’ll see Alacrity’s podcast on early-stage tech investment Between 2 Term Sheets, and our cleantech podcast series, Cleantech Talks. Follow us: @alacritycanada on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram for the latest in tech news, and information about upcoming events.

Alacrity Canada is a venture builder that supports driven entrepreneurs. We help create thriving companies & connect them to our global network of expert investors & mentors.

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