Spokane has a new space for the community to “speak and be heard”. Speak Studios, located in the historic Bennett Block, is Spokane’s first member-based professional Podcasting and YouTube studio. Speak offers single session and membership packages for anyone creating a podcast or vlog of their own who needs a space to make it happen. The studio also hosts its own podcast (“Speak Podcast”), interviewing a range of local community members, from business owners and entrepreneurs, to artists and more.
Speak Studios opened in early August and is the brainchild of owner and CEO, Roberto Rodriguez. Hailing from Longview, WA, Rodriguez settled in Spokane after graduating from Eastern Washington University. After working for several years with a local tech company, he decided to turn his knowledge of audio/visual equipment and an interest in podcasting into a project of his own.
Rodriguez opened Speak Studios with the vision of creating a platform that the people of Spokane could use to communicate and connect one another. Although podcasting first started in the mid-2000’s, it has seen a more recent spike in popularity as creatives have caught on to its ability to reach a targeted audience. Especially amid the increased social isolation that has come from the current pandemic, Rodriguez feels podcasting has gained a higher purpose and utility in keeping communities connected.
“We want to be a mouthpiece of the community itself,” says Rodriguez. “Whether that’s a business, a brand, a personality…everybody has a voice and everyone should be allowed to use it.”
Two months in, Speak podcast has created over 20 episodes and is currently releasing three new episodes each week. Rodriguez finds his guests through direct outreach, though as the audience grows he has also been able to utilize community referrals. The diverse range of people and topics that make up the show is something he takes pride in and views as advantageous. “No one’s forced to listen to a specific episode or listen in a certain order. Everybody will have something they can turn to or that they can connect with on a more personal level this way.”
Recent guests have included Indaba Coffee Roasters founder Bobby Enslow, and Kunal Chopra, CEO of the e-commerce company Kaspien, formerly “etailz”.
In the coming months Rodriguez hopes to open a second studio in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Like the current studio in Spokane, he wants to create a podcast that is both of and for the local community. “My passion has always been in providing value to individuals and communities. I believe we can do that through the medium of podcasting.”
The Speak Podcast is free to listen to, and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other podcasting apps. To view a list of recently released episodes, visit here. To be featured as a guest on the podcast or to utilize the Speak Studios space and equipment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at speakpodcasting.com.