This week our VP and #Creatortown host Dan Speerin chatted with T.O. Webfest nominated Never Sleeps Podcast Network Founder Alex Ross about Canada's podcasting scene.
1. Okay Alex, let's start with the inspiration behind NSN. What inspired you to create the Never Sleeps Network?
ALEX ROSS: Never Sleeps Network (NSN) started because of my interest in Toronto and Canadian-based talent. As a graduate of Ryerson's Radio & Television Broadcasting program, and over a decade of working for major broadcasters in Canada, I decided to give it a shot myself. I was freelancing for the same broadcasters anyway, contract-to-contract, and always left productions with nothing personal to show for my hard work - other than a credit. I wanted to run my own network to build something that major broadcasters were overseeing. I was thinking along the lines of, "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." This decision at the time also stemmed from a session I had with my therapist who encouraged me to simply seek out a career that would make me happy.
@heyitstva speaks with host Alex Ross about his initial launch into the podcast scene in 2007. Van Allen talks about the evolution of the podcast path and its big boom in the digital age. (Link in Bio). NeverSleepsNetwork.com . . . #toddvanallen #alexross #podcasting #toronto #canada #comedy #communities #canadiancontent #canadiancomedy #art #audience #ComedyAboveThePub #RNS #RossNeverSleeps #NSN #NeverSleepsNetwork #HaveACup
2. What makes Never Sleeps Network stand out in your opinion?
AR: NSN is Toronto's premier independent podcast network. We are inspired by companies like Nerdist, Earwolf and Gimlet Media who use the talent in their cities to develop their content and brands. We are an agency and not just a podcast network. We are using podcasts as a way to connect our talent to our city, and beyond.
3. What's a typical week in the life of the Never Sleeps Network?
AR: Typical? I open my doors each week to some of the best and upcoming talent in the country. I manage my interns and our social media presence. I break bread over dinner with new faces of Toronto's art scene or I shake hands with the producers of an independent film at their movie premiere downtown. No week looks the same for an entrepreneur.
4. You're also a podcaster so tell us about your show.
AR: My show Ross Never Sleeps (RNS) is named after my idol Neil Young, and his album, Rust Never Sleeps. Artists like Neil Young create raw and uninhibited content just as much as they produce that of others. RNS is my opportunity to showcase my personal talent while featuring the artists and entrepreneurs who intrigue me. When I first fell in love with talk radio and hosts like Howard Stern, I recognized how his approach was unlike anyone else's in the industry. I have been working in this field since high school; my success is built on rising above mediocrity and helping others. I just want to learn everything about anyone who isn't me!
5. If somebody out there was thinking about starting a podcast what's your tip?
AR: Find a topic or concept that will keep you stimulated and ride the wave until everyone catches on.
6. What are some of your favourite Toronto podcasts?
AR: My favourite podcast has to be Chris Locke's show, Utopia To Me?. Chris is a well-liked guy in the city's comedy scene and a natural, making his jokes seem effortless. The concept of his podcast is simple - What's your utopia? I could listen to him talk with his guests for hours making it seem somewhat melodic. Otherwise, call me biased, but I enjoy NSN's content and the hosts that we produce, and I look forward to our weekly show launches.
Check out Ross Never Sleeps and the rest of Alex's talented roster at www.neversleepsnetwork.com.
If you want to find out even more about Alex and his podcasting adventures, he's this week's guest on our #Creatortown podcast! Check it out Thursday!