Cabin Radio's Great Big Q&A – September 2018 update
We know people have a lot of questions about Cabin Radio, so we tried to put together a list that would answer just about every question.
If you still have questions after reading everything on this page, get in touch and we'll do our best to get you an answer!
What is Cabin Radio?
We are a team of people creating an online radio station, Facebook page, and website to give Northwest Territories residents an alternative choice for music, news and entertainment.
We started off with Facebook and Instagram. Now we have a website and our online radio station launched in March 2018, streaming 24-7 with exactly the same stuff as a commercial FM radio station. You can listen anywhere in the NWT (or the world) and you get live radio with great music and chat all day, plus specialist shows each evening made by community members.
If you're a local business, you can advertise with us online, through our social channels or on the air just like you would any other commercial radio station. Your money stays in the North – we are independent, northern owned and operated, and committed to reinvesting into fellow northern businesses at every chance we get. Contact us for more information.
Obtaining an FM licence takes much more time and money, but we know people are excited for that and we're working on it.
Who's behind this?
Our day-to-day team of staff and volunteers includes Andrew Goodwin, Scott Letkeman, Shannon Moore, Sarah Pruys, Adam Vivian, Jesse Wheeler, and Ollie Williams. We're proud to have a team of around 15 to 20 occasional volunteers working alongside us to create Cabin Radio.
You may hear some familiar voices on our station. Ollie is a former BBC broadcaster who has also worked for CJCD and CBC in the Northwest Territories. Jesse and Scott both worked for CJCD, and our volunteer crew includes people who've worked for CBC and APTN.
How are you paying for it?
We're investing our own cash, plus we're grateful to the Business Development Bank of Canada for their support through a development loan. We'd like to give a big shout-out to our advertisers, whose support makes a big difference, and thank you to everyone who buys our merch! (Want to check out the merch? Get in touch.)
When did this start?
Our company officially formed in late 2016. We acquired premises in September 2017, our first studio became operational in January 2018, and we launched our live radio stream in March 2018.
Why did you decide to do this?
We think there's room in the Northwest Territories for an independently owned and operated commercial radio station, produced by northerners, for northerners, that does some things differently. There's a CBC story here and an EDGE North story here where Ollie goes into more detail about our vision.
How do I listen to Cabin Radio?
You can listen to us online via this website (bookmark it!) and through your phone by searching your app store for "Cabin Radio".
When will you be on FM?
Acquiring an FM licence is a lengthy process. We are excited to have started that journey and we will post updates as we go, but we don't expect it to be this year. For now, find us online or through your phone instead!
What FM frequency will you have?
We're working toward an FM licence but this is some way off, and we don't yet have a designated frequency or callsign.
Can I listen to you anywhere?
Yes! Through our live stream online, you can listen to us anywhere that you can get on the internet – whether that's in the NWT, elsewhere in Canada, or anywhere in the world.
Where are your studios?
On Franklin Avenue (aka 50th Avenue) in Yellowknife, directly opposite Harley's. Our address is PO Box 2545, 5007 50th Avenue, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2P8.
How many studios do you have?
We operate two studios. Our programming from 7am till 6pm each weekday comes from Studio 1, which is our main live-broadcast studio. Programming on weekday evenings and some weekend programming comes from Studio 2, which is designated for the taping of pre-recorded shows.
Will you have studios outside Yellowknife?
We don't have immediate plans to build studios in other communities, but we do have excellent relationships with a number of community radio stations across the Northwest Territories. We have begun work with some stations to help them with hardware, software and training, and our ultimate aim is to work with those community stations to provide a better listening experience for people all over the NWT.
What kind of shows do you broadcast?
From 7am till 6pm each weekday, we sound like a mainstream commercial radio station with a twist. You'll hear a wide variety of rock and pop music from the last 50 years, but you'll also be introduced to new Canadian music each day and we are proud to play northern artists, too.
We carry newscasts throughout each weekday and our morning show, from 7am till 9am, pairs music with interviews and chat featuring a wide range of guests.
From 6pm each weekday evening, we broadcast specialist programming produced by NWT residents with our professional support. These shows vary widely in theme, from music shows focusing on genres like jazz, dance, hip-hop or classical, through to talk shows about local and national sports, northern living, and other interests and passions.
Can I have my own show?
We're here to help volunteer hosts develop their own shows and bring new voices and sounds to the NWT. Read this page about starting out with Cabin Radio. We'll be excited to hear from you!
Can I get your shows as podcasts?
We produce podcasts from as many shows as we can. There are rights issues regarding the way music is used in podcasts which affect our ability to podcast music shows – we're working on that – but our ambition is to make as many of our shows available on-demand as possible.
What's the music like?
During each weekday, we play a mix of rock and pop that blends classic hits with lesser-known tracks and the best, new Canadian music – alongside supporting northern artists, too. The aim is to provide you with music that gets you through your workday but never sounds the same as it did yesterday, or the day before. We understand that real variety means constantly refreshing our playlist and surprising you occasionally, while still playing tracks that get you turning up the volume to hits you love.
In the evenings, when our specialist shows take over, all bets are off. We're always excited to see – and hear – what our hosts select.
We are committed to playing northern artists and are working on a system to pay an increased royalties figure to northern musicians for each track we play.
Is this going to burn up all my data and make me pay millions in overages?
No. Streaming audio does use data – roughly 50MB to 80MB per hour that you listen. However, that's a tiny fraction of the data used by video streaming services like Netflix (up to 3GB or even 4GB per hour).
Even listening to Cabin Radio all day, every day, for a month, would keep you well within all but Northwestel's very lightest home internet package. (We have to send the same amount of data in the other direction to provide you with our stream, and we're too poor to be paying overage charges, so trust us on this.)
Data charges are not the same in all NWT communities so it's still your responsibility to know your package and stay within it, but we're excited that data will only get cheaper as time goes on. Unlimited internet packages are already available to many NWT residents, taking all the worry out of how you watch and listen online.
What do I get on your website?
Daily news updates following stories across the NWT, the link to our live stream, updates from our show teams with insights, track listings and stories from life at the station itself, our best videos, commercials from the northern businesses who support us, and podcasts and clips from our shows.
What does your news cover?
Our newsroom is small enough that it's better described as a news wardrobe, so initially our focus will be primarily Yellowknife news augmented by as many stories from other communities as we're able to cover. We are committed to become a genuine, independent newsroom for the NWT as a whole as soon as we can. Please feel free to send story tips and ideas our way.
We set our journalism standards high and expect all our reporting to be accurate, fair, and set in an appropriate context to help readers' understanding. When reporting on serious topics with consequences, we believe in a clear distinction between opinion and journalism. When we're wrong, we publish full corrections as quickly as we can – setting out both what was inaccurate in the original journalism and what should have been published. Contact us with any errors.
What Cabin Radio merchandise is available?
We have tees, hoodies, towels, fanny packs, sunglasses, beer cosies, tanks, toques, and caps available at present. Check out our store page or contact us directly.
How do I buy merchandise from you?
If you're in Yellowknife, contact us to arrange an appointment and you can browse our collection in-person at our studios. If you're outside Yellowknife, send us a message and we'll get you hooked up with what you need!
What payment forms do you accept?
Cash and major credit cards.
Are you a community radio station?
No. We're a for-profit company building a commercial radio station that'll be designed, owned and operated in the North. We're proud to support northern communities, but community radio is traditionally a term used to mean a non-profit.
How do you make money?
We sell commercials – advertising on our website, social media, live stream and podcasts. We are effectively a commercial radio station and rely on the support of other local businesses for our income. We believe that as a northern broadcaster, we have a responsibility to keep as much money in the North as we can – we're committed to investing as much revenue as possible back into fellow northern businesses.
How many staff do you have?
We currently have two part-time staff members. Everyone else building Cabin Radio is a volunteer, including most of the owners! We're privileged to enjoy help from many local volunteers who are committed to helping our idea succeed, and we're very grateful for their support.
Although we're currently volunteer-driven, our long-term aim is to become an employer that offers a living wage and a supportive, engaging working environment to northern broadcasters.
Can I advertise with you?
Absolutely. (We would love that.)
Cabin Radio blends a commercial radio station, a smart and funny Facebook page and a strong online news presence into one, which means we connect with NWT residents in many different ways. We reach a wide range of communities and demographics and offer you lots of different options as a client, ranging from partnering up on our hit social video shows like the Pet Project, through to ads alongside our news stories and ads in our radio live stream. We have show sponsorships and podcast sponsorships available too, if you'd like to associate your brand with a show you particularly love or that targets the people you want to reach.
To talk about all of these options in more detail, send us an email and we'll be in touch. Thanks for your interest.