Starting out as concert promoters in their parents’ basement, the Hurst brothers, Elliott and Sandy hired a drummer from one of their bands to build their first audience-facing website in 1998. While promoting concerts across Canada and the U.S., in 2003 the Hursts developed a digital publishing model for their website, which grew into the industry’s leading music social network for independent artists. After a few years of digital agency build and design, that webmaster, Sanford Liu, joined the Hursts to launch an interactive division of its business dedicated to targeted music promotions in digital (and remains with the company today as CTO).
In 2009, the team came to the realization that the tiny niche segment of “indie artists” couldn’t scale their digital publishing business, so they pivoted. The team knew if they could harness their experience in social media dynamics, audience-facing platforms, and live event engagement, and give it to someone with greater reach and brand awareness, the results would be potentially game-changing. That someone turned out to be Radio. The team white-labeled their social network to drive Radio promotions via social engagement. The results lead the team to their “aha” moment: traditional broadcasters needed help making the transition to reaching and entertaining their audiences in digital. In 2012 the team declared their mission to lead Radio to thrive in the digital era, and launched SoCast, Radio’s Digital Platform.
Today SoCast successfully support partners internationally in North America, Europe, and Africa.
A serial entrepreneur, Elliott has a diverse background in music, film, digital publishing, and social media. Earlier in his career, Elliott conceptualized and launched various start-up digital companies in the distance education, social networking, and fundraising industries. More than 20 years later, this diverse background, combined with his understanding of the broadcast radio and television industry, lead to the creation of SoCast. Securing investment and strategic partners and initial clients, development of business and product vision, and talent acquisition all fell within the entrepreneurs wheelhouse. Today, Elliott's role at SoCast is to drive business development, strategic planning, and company culture.
Sandy is an expert in audience growth and engagement. His strengths lie in his analysis, strategic management and the ability to drive decisions through data intelligence. Throughout his 20-year career in the entertainment industry and 10-years in digital marketing, Sandy had been the common denominator in the launch of countless digital campaigns for some of Canada’s largest media companies. As the company’s COO, Sandy has successfully developed and executed global growth strategies and partnerships that have helped SoCast expand into multi-national markets.
Combining a passion for media and technology, Sanford specializes in creating web and mobile products that seamlessly integrate social technology. His work on notable accounts such as Nike and Molson have earned him accolades from Marketing Magazine, Applied Arts Magazine, ADCC Directions, and the London International Awards. With over 20 years experience in the interactive space, Sanford is an expert in software development and social media. A graduate of the University of Toronto, he holds an Honors Bachelor for Computer Science specializing in information systems.