During the last 16 months the pandemic changed the way people live.
Looking for ways to be entertained during long periods of isolation became a priority for some while having a voice was important to others.
Combining the two resulted in podcasts currently becoming the fastest growing media platform.
Listening while still on the move seemed to be the way to approach the boredom that comes with pandemic-era alone time.
Now that things are opening up, it seems the popularity of podcasts is still holding steady.
Anyone can listen in and on the flipside anyone can host a podcast, too.
Prince George & District Community Arts Council Arts North Media Studio, located above the Studio 2880 Artisan Gift Shoppe, was born during the pandemic and offers newbies a chance to create.
Arts North offers podcasting and livestreaming opportunities, graphic design, product photography studio, guidance on social media usage, e-commerce and a digital editing suite.
If this all sounds beyond the scope of reality the self-taught local artist specializing in graphic design who came up with the concept, Michael Kast, encourages people to take the leap.
Kast’s Arts North podcast is in its third season where he talks all things art in the city of
“Podcasting provides a platform that is really democratized - I am allowed to exercise my right to freedom of speech and expression and I want to do that in a responsible way - in a way that will allow all different views to be heard and podcasting does that in the macro-sense. I don’t think there should be restrictions to what we say as long as it follows socially acceptable guidelines. So it’s unrestricted and it’s free and anybody can do it. We’re not beholden to anyone so our opinions are unvarnished and from the heart but that does leave the door open to opinions contrary to mine - which is great. And then there are those that are extreme views on both ends of the spectrum that can be damaging if they have a following - we’ve seen that in the last few years.”
There are many aspects of a podcast to be considered.
Some podcasts are looking for sponsorship and get it.
But with that comes a warning from Kast.
“Whoever pays the piper calls the tune,” Kast offers the old adage. “But more power to them. If it helps them and they can still maintain their integrity I’m all for it.”
Kast said he’d love to be able to have the choice to be sponsored or not.
Be mindful of sponsors’ expectations of control where language, topics and opinions might be influenced, he added.
There are corporate-created podcasts that offer something different - a turnkey podcast suitable for a certain brand, company or service that reaches consumers in a less traditional manner from radio or television.
“I’m interested to see how it works,” Kast said. “It’s a niche that needs to be filled and I’m curious about that.”
At Arts North the equipment is state of the art and Kast knows that with companies offering the podcast creating services the quality will be broadcast quality that comes at a price.
Arts North Media Studio can be accessed by any individual, non-profit or business that is a member of the Prince George & District Community Arts Council.
“Podcasts are not this mysterious thing for only the few - the Arts North Studio is for people to come and check out and see if it’s their thing,” Kast said. “It doesn’t cost very much for the equipment - you can start off very simply - and as far as hosting - it’s free.”
The Arts North Media Studio uses Anchor.fm as their podcast host and there’s lots of great local podcasts being produced here in
“This is your opportunity to start a dialogue on whatever is important to you,” Kast said. “If you present it in a way that is entertaining and informative - whether people agree or disagree with you - that’s the goal - and if people get upset - that’s great - let’s talk because starting that dialogue is the goal.”
There are no broadcast standards for podcasts at this time so the podcast is held accountable by the listeners, Kast said.
“Then we’re responsible - we’re accountable - and I’m responsible for what I say,” Kast said.
Membership information and applications are available at https://studio2880.com/gallery-shop/membership-registration/.
Individual membership is $30 per year, groups are $60, and businesses are $75.
Current Arts North and Studio 2880 online platforms include https://www.facebook.com/Studio2880, https://www.facebook.com/ArtsNorthBC, https://www.instagram.com/studio2880/, https://www.instagram.com/arts.north/, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK9gkJj8fjKKrysh3w7tRBA, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsWfQ0VkbTghHLP9SoSmn4Q/featured, https://twitter.com/artsnorth2,