Quebecor Solutions met with Marc-André Laporte, Marketing Director at Quebecor's NumériQ Division, to learn more about QUB Radio.
Where does the name QUB radio come from?
For me, the name represents the project’s multidimensional aspect. Initially, a cube is a solid with depth, and that really represents the digital brand we launched. Now, the way we spell QUB is bold, unusual and is esthetically strong. It quickly makes a link between Québec and Québecor. Within the company, some people were wondering if pronouncing the name would be problematic, but it didn’t turn out that way. As time goes on, the comments we receive are more and more positive.
How did the project come to be?
The digital radio project was a request by management, but it quickly evolved to include audio series. If we were going to have a bold project, we decided to might as well develop podcasts as well. In fact, we have the feeling that this is a very important market to be conquered in Québec. Now that the offer is starting to become interesting, we want to be the leader and over the next few years, we want to continue to create, broadcast and distribute francophone series. We put together a super team and are very proud to already have created four podcasts that have been nominated for the Canadian Podcast Awards 2019. We also want to work with other partners and therefore become an essential showcase for Québécois creators.
The NumériQ department is a digital expertise centre, but we also work on developing new audiences. Radio is an integral part of this. Its format is completely different: we are a national and not a local radio; we offer neither traffic nor weather reports… That breaks the traditional radio standards that have been the same for years. Our radio hosts love that they are doing something different!
The podcast aspect also fascinates me; it’s allowed me to notice how much local talent we have! The format is already very popular in the United States; it’s feasible, it works. With QUB, we want to implant the model here. We are developing series that are close to Quebecers. We have already started to cover numerous themes, from money to politics, and sports… Many amazing surprises are expected in 2019, such as 8 new series at the beginning of the year.
Who is QUB radio for?
The target audience is very diverse. The daily programming is dynamic, solid and varied. We speak to everyone, not just the traditional talk-radio audience! Bianca Longpré is a strong voice among mothers; Geneviève Pettersen and Vanessa Destiné, who host the radio show Les Effrontées, tackle subjects that speak to millennials; two of our hosts are based in Québec City to talk about political problems, etc. And the podcasts allow us to touch upon even more niche targets; the public varies with each series. We give ourselves the right to be bold with the types of subjects we approach and that is what allows us to speak with people of all ages.
Our contents touch upon different fields of interest such as video games, music and money, but also the judicial world. We exploit niches, so we are able to reach out to people who enjoy this kind of format, even though they currently only consume American or English-speaking content. It allows us to reach those that listen to talk radio and to make them discover, on one unique application, something different that corresponds to a certain desire. This is a new format that they will eventually adopt. I’m positive this will all happen very soon!
From an advertising point of view, what do you offer advertisers?
We completely improve the advertising format that is used in radio. First of all, because we are national, but also because with Web, we are able to access much more data on listeners. For example, with our podcasts, we can get very precise, very segmented targets. In traditional purchases, this allows us to carry out programmatic, contrary to what regular radio offers. This means that we can make per-segment purchases. Furthermore, with the rebroadcast of radio segments and podcasts, the advertising integration is refreshed at all times: an ad heard on the first day a podcast is uploaded will not be the same as what is heard two months later, for the same episode.
We are very creative with advertising content. We are open to making different types of integration, whether at the positioning or storytelling level; we can completely transform the way we do things.
What can we expect for 2019?
Even more relevant content, partnerships, an increased influence and meetings with the audience. Our technological positioning is important. We work on a daily basis on the user experience, in order to stay up to date with a constantly changing technology. Furthermore, we understand that we currently have a technological responsibility towards Quebecers. That is always the case when it comes to bold, new projects.