listen-liveOn Air Now


Listen Now

Five Questions: OnDemand, Digital, and Social, with Shaun Friesen

Five Questions

The whole CKUA team has been working hard to get ready for the launch of CKUA OnDemand. A key person for this project, and for all CKUA web projects, is Digital and Social Marketing Coordinator, Shaun Friesen. When we asked Shaun a few questions, he gave us some insight into this project… and also an obscure Kids in the Hall reference.

1) You’re CKUA’s Digital and Social Marketing Coordinator. What does that entail?

I’m one of the team members who helps turn the CKUA radio broadcast into a media-rich digital experience. For example, I post interview previews or captured audio content on social media, and also create webpages to have a digital location for content to be accessible after the broadcast.

Whether it’s the 50/50 raffle, a new Hidden Track episode, the latest episode of Session Stories, the Top 30 chart, Arts and Culture interviews, and of course all things fundraiser, if you see it on a screen, I’ve usually worked on it in some capacity.

2) What is your “CKUA moment”?

I started listening to CKUA around 2007. At the time I was starting to do freelance design work and needed to take on a part-time job to supplement my income. For some zany reason, I decided I’d take on a night shift delivering newspapers. I had CKUA locked-in on my car radio throughout that summer, for sure. That’s when I realized what a lifeline CKUA is. I spent a lot of quality time with Grant and Baba in those late hours, back when the night shifts were live! At one point I was sitting in my car in my driveway at 3am, about to start my shift, contemplating what the heck I was doing with my life, and Baba played Declare Independence by Bjork. I turned it up so loud all my neighbours heard. I’m pretty sure I resigned in the next week or two, and happily spent my nights in bed sleeping, and my days doing independent freelance work.

3) CKUA OnDemand has been a huge project for you and others on the CKUA team. What was the biggest challenge in getting this ready for the public?

The biggest hurdle was probably getting consistent playability across all mobile devices and browsers. Having OnDemand continue to play when an Android user switches to a different app was important, and a tricky one for the team to figure out. As any web designer knows, it’s a challenge to get websites to work consistently across all devices and all browsers. I’m happy to say that CKUA OnDemand does work properly on an Android… and even an iPhone 5!

4) What’s the first CKUA program you’ll listen to using CKUA OnDemand?

Being part of the OnDemand team, I was privileged to be able to do lots of testing along the way, so the first thing I listened to was Get On The Good Foot. I try to tune in to GOTGF every Saturday, though sometimes my Saturday afternoon timing is totally off and I’ve missed it before I know it.

I also went back and listened to a few of Lisa Wilton‘s Thursday album features. Her presentation of The Clash‘s Combat Rock was one I had to listen to a second time (and I think a third time as well). Why a third time? Spotify can only play songs. The platform can’t talk about a song’s meaning, or what makes it good, or where a song sits in the greater cultural landscape.

5) Being an OnDemand “insider,” what would you like listeners to know about CKUA OnDemand?

If you enjoy this service and think it’s valuable to the future of CKUA 1) please share it with friends and family, and 2) please consider tapping the yellow “Donate to CKUA” button to make a donation.

The decision was made to remove all barriers to use this amazing new tool; it’s not a donor perk! Much like the radio broadcast itself, anyone can access it, and we don’t even ask you for your email address to use it, which certainly cannot be said of many other music and social media platforms.

Bonus question: What’s the coolest comment you’ve ever seen in response to a CKUA tweet? (Don’t tell us the meanest!)

When Bruce McCulloch joined us for an interview in 2021, I posted a pic of him as Grivo from the band Death Lurks in 1996’s Brain Candy. I was shocked at the responses, including people sharing animated GIFs and lyrics from the movie. I guess it’s not just me who thinks that actor / character / film / scene / song is totally phenomenal.