Episode 3

Published on:

6th Oct 2020

S1E03 - Jesse Brown: Growing Canadaland Through a Deal With the Audience

In this episode, we have an amazing conversation with Jesse Brown, Publisher and host of Canadaland, an independent news site and podcast network supported mainly by its audience. Focusing on Canadian media, news, current affairs and politics, Canadaland and its six shows get over a hundred thousand downloads every week.

Throughout this podcast, we talked about:

  • Crowdfunding and how it grows the Canadaland podcast network
  • Relationship dynamics between journalists and their audiences
  • Pitching new shows and documentaries through membership



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For this episode, the AMA in Supercasters Premium focuses on Canadaland’s crowdfunding month, a big annual revenue driver, reducing churn for memberships and tackling controversial stories. 


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  • 4:58 The birth of Canadaland and addressing media criticism
  • 7:04 What was wrong with the Canadian media
  • 8:21 Getting the first listeners and guests
  • 9:26 The risk for journalists in Canada
  • 12:09 Experimenting with video, reporting and storytelling
  • 14:03 "The audience was so distant and represented by the most extreme people"
  • 15:17 From free to paid: a deal with the audience
  • 18:21 How partnering with the audience influences Canadaland's direction
  • 20:25 "I don't agree with Jesse Brown, but I support Canadaland anyhow"
  • 21:42 The truth is not always something you want to hear
  • 22:45 Keeping a dialogue with the audience: how Jesse Brown does it
  • 26:10 Thunder Bay: Launching new shows and documentaries
  • 27:34 Pitching to the audience for money and support
  • 31:05 Using Supercast to provide more for the audience
  • 34:26 De-Jessefying Canadaland: Letting others take charge
  • 37:51 Accepting investments, and the million-dollar Tiny Foundation investment
  • 38:58 "They have no editorial influence or voting shares."

Premium Timestamps

  • 43:03 How crowdfunding is a big driver of Canadaland's revenue growth
  • 45:36 Total listens as a network and how crowdfunding helps that
  • 49:08 Reducing churns for podcast memberships
  • 50:59 Patreon's flaws and how Supercast helps Canadaland
  • 53:05 Testing out more ideas for premium content
  • 54:34 What drives Jesse Brown to tackle big and controversial stories



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About the Podcast

We interview podcasters about their growth strategies and how they build sustainable, independent businesses that thrive on a strong relationship with their listeners
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Jason Sew Hoy