Did you know there are now four podcasting networks based in Milwaukee? Much like Florida, it seems, Milwaukee is a breeding ground for new podcasters. Tomorrow the first ever Podcast Festival is being held with over 25 vendors, teaching sessions, live podcasts and an iHeartRadio sponsored contest that will result in one podcaster getting promoted on the radio. To find out why Wisconsin is witnessing this podcast boom, we reached out to Wisconsin Podcast Association CEO Allison Phillips.
PBJ: How and why did the Wisconsin Podcast Association get started?
Allison Phillips: I worked for the Academy Arts of Sciences (Emmy Awards) and really enjoyed how their awards and association was ran. When I started a Podcast Network, I wanted to branch out for networking and utilize a board for award program. I saw the world of Podcasting exploding and there was a need for a place for podcasters to not only network but be celebrated in their achievements.
PBJ: Who was behind launching the association?
Allison Phillips: I am the CEO of Wisconsin Podcast Association, and there is a board of trustees that collaborate on the festival and awards!
PBJ: How many podcasts are in the state of Wisconsin and how have they grown over the years?
Allison Phillips: It is hard to estimate what the total number of podcasts are WI based, however we have over 800 members and that is growing daily!
PBJ: What is the goal of the organization?
Allison Phillips: To bring podcasters together, share information and unite podcasters in their own growth and achievements.
PBJ: Are you finding that podcasters are trying to make money, make a living at podcasting?
Allison Phillips: Yes, that is the ultimate goal and I believe that with this festival providing educational opportunities through our breakout sessions, offering recording and editing services directly at the festival and getting the chance to see other podcasters in action that we are aiding in podcasters taking their earning potential into their own hands to move that needle faster.
PBJ: What are your thoughts on how the podcasting industry has and is growing?
Allison Phillips: Two years ago we started the network and no one knew how to podcast, what it was, where to listen or the growth potential it has for their business/company. Now it is everywhere, I see new ones pop every almost daily and I think businesses are seeing the possibilities of advertising and marketing that is affordable especially for small businesses.
PBJ: Why do you think people are getting into podcasting?
Allison Phillips: It is a quick return, it is affordable, accessible, and you can listen anywhere. People can listen in their cars, traveling. There is no end to the accessibility, you don’t have to devote a great deal of time to each episode or season. Businesses can use it as their advertising and marketing which is cutting those costs and budgets and allowing them to reach a broader market.
PBJ Talk about tomorrow’s festival.
Allison Phillips: It is an all-day event with over 25 vendors, we have 8 breakout sessions, 8 live broadcasts, an award show, food, drinks, on the spot recording booth, photo shoot for head shots and all your favorite WI Podcasters!
PBJ: Why did you decide to launch a festival?
Allison Phillips: There is a festival in WI for everything, with Podcasting growing to be one of the biggest media platforms of the last couple years, and there is so many podcasters in WI, why not a place that they can go, hang out, network, drink, celebrate and enjoy other people who love podcasts, create podcasts and are interested in them.
PBJ: What can people expect from the festival?
Allison Phillips: To have fun, learn something, find a new podcast to listen to and maybe start podcasting themselves!
Check out the WPA Festival site HERE.