TORONTO — 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.
Facebook's series was released Jan. 13 through the Apple, Google, Stitcher and Spotify podcast platforms.
"They wanted to make a show for a business audience," Pacific Content co-founder Steve Pratt said in an interview.
"One of the episodes has (somebody with) a very small, local hamburger business getting to meet the CEO of McDonald's and finding they have a lot in common, and can learn from each other about how their businesses work."
This type of commissioned content aims to build a sponsor's brand by attracting an audience, Pratt said.
"It has to be a really, really great show that truly is original and not a piece of marketing," he added.
"We bring a lot of expertise in terms of trying to translate brand strategy into audio shows that are great listens."
Rogers didn't disclose how much it's paying for Pacific Content but did say it will complement the Frequency Podcast Network that it launched last year.
“Podcasting is a big part of the future of audio. We quickly identified its immense potential and are being aggressive in this space,” Julie Adam, Rogers Radio senior vice-president, said in a statement.
Pratt said almost all of Pacific Content's employees will remain, although one co-founder will leave to open a restaurant.
Asked about Pacific Content's pay scales, Pratt said wouldn't disclose amounts but said they were "better than average."
"Our team is the most important thing we have in the whole company and our culture is a huge part of the reason that the company works. And we want to make sure that everybody is feeling very well compensated for the work they do."
However, he said, Rogers will also help Pacific Content with its strong sales organization.
"Right now most of our clients are in the States, so being able to work with Rogers to make this happen for Canadian brands is something we're really excited about."
Rogers Communications Inc. owns one of Canada's largest media businesses, which includes 56 radio stations, 29 local TV stations, the Sportsnet specialty TV channels and the Toronto Blue Jays major league baseball team.
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David Paddon, The Canadian Press