This first ever Wisconsin Podcast Festival was recently held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We recently sat down with Allison Phillips, President of Edge Podcast Network and founder of the Wisconsin Podcast Festival to talk about her motivation, the Wisconsin Podcast Festival, and the future of podcasting and audio content creation.
Explain A little About who you are and what you do.
I'm Allison and I am the owner and CEO of EDGE Podcast Network & Wisconsin Podcast Association and now our new endeavor Midwest Podcast Association.
How did the idea of Edge Podcast Network start?
I started EDGE Podcast Network with Wes McKane about two years ago as we were assembling all these incredible shows that I believed could benefit from being in a network and utilizing each other’s platforms and followings to benefit all of our shows as a unit.
When I started the Associations; In my early working years, I worked for the Television Academy Arts of Sciences (Emmy Awards) and really enjoyed how their awards and association was ran. I wanted to branch out for networking and utilize a board for an 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. With the Associations, there is a board of trustees that collaborate on the festival and awards!
What’s been your biggest triumph in starting Edge?
The people and shows on our network are incredible humans, giving back to the community in their own careers and paths. I am very proud to be in such a great company. Seeing the numbers grow in not only the listeners, in sponsors, and people interested in what we are doing.
What’s been your biggest tribulation?
Challenges in the beginning was getting people to believe and listen to podcasts. I wouldn’t say this is a challenge as I think it’s a struggle in all business to keep motivation.
I am always trying to encourage the people and these shows on the network to consistently put out episodes on a regular basis and strive to grow their own brand. I think it is so important that the personalities we have in this network are working on their own future and brand as to achieve their dreams at the same time.
How did you get involved with Koss?
Two of our hosts; DJ Shawna and Ian Bennett are KOSS brand ambassadors and introduced to me Martin Moore (Content Creator for Koss), and we bridge a partnership to use KOSS as our exclusive headphones for our studios. I am so grateful for that introduction and to be working with such a regarded company. We are so impressed with the quality of the product and we are complimented daily on the comfortability and versatility of the design.
Tell us about the first ever WI PODCAST FESTIVAL that was just held.
It was an all-day event with 15 vendors, we had 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. 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.
Why do you think Podcasts have made such a huge comeback?
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.
What do you think people can learn from hosting their own podcast?
That they are either good at it or not. Haha. I think that you can learn a lot about yourself. Some people are a natural and some have to work at it. I think the most important aspect of a successful podcast is using what you are passionate about, use your god given strengths and interests. The podcasts I listen to are usually most interesting because I enjoy listening to the host, regardless of the content.
What do you think people can learn from being a guest on a podcast?
It can help promote your Business, you can use it as advertising and marketing which is cutting those costs and budgets and allowing them to reach a broader market. 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.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I do a bucket list every year since I have turned 40. I have jumped out a plane, learned how to shoot a gun, bought and rode a motorcycle, hiked the 7 worlds of wonder in Hawaii and learned to play guitar.
Where do you see Podcasting going in the next 5-10 years?
I think that radio is a dying art form and it is going to replace that form of media. It is one of the only platforms that there is no FCC or government involvement or censorship. I think the freedom of that has endless possibilities.