Podcast Production

How to Start a Podcast Production Company

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Love podcasts? Want to help other people start and run their own? Then you need to know how to start a podcast production company.

In this article, we walk you through the entire process to start your own podcast production company, whether you intend to be a solo producer or build your own production team. 

What is a Podcast Production Company?

“Production” can mean a lot of things, but it usually refers to the organization that manages the podcast: launching the show, editing and publishing episodes, booking guests, and managing the podcast team. It may also be a part of the overall content strategy and episode planning. 

Generally, a podcast production company does not play a role in promoting the show and each episode. That’s often handled by a different person or organization. However, there are some production companies that play a role in marketing.

Why Would Someone Hire a Podcast Production Company?

Podcast production companies handle the tedious and time-consuming details of running a show. They allow creators to focus on what they’re best at – creating content and engaging with their audience. 

In a general new business, you may consider a business plan consultant or another generic professional, but a podcast production company is far better suited for your needs. 

If you’re thinking of starting a production company, keep in mind that your job will be to take as much work off the creator’s plate as possible. The less they have to do, they are more likely to continue creating content and paying for your services.

How to Start a Podcast Production Company

If you want to know how to start a podcast production company, you’re in the right place. Let’s walk through the steps of creating your own production house. 

Step 1: Reverse Engineer Your Success

If you have your own successful podcast, your first step is to consider your own success. Understanding why you had success is key to duplicating it for the podcasters who will hire you.

What made your show successful? Why did people like your content? What processes or workflows did you use to produce your show well? Answering these questions will help you produce your client’s shows. 

Step 2: Set Up Your Business

Next, get your business affairs in order. Here’s a checklist you can run through quickly. 

  • Form a legal entity, usually an LLC or corporation.
  • Get your employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS so you can pay taxes.
  • Register for any state permits, such as your tax ID number. 
  • Apply for any licenses or permits required by your state.
  • Open a business bank account and fund it with some seed money. 
  • Get a business credit card if you think you’ll need credit. 
  • Set up accounting. (Software is fine for the beginning of your business.)
  • Get insurance coverage (if you think you’ll need it). 

Step 3: Define Your Brand

There are a lot of podcast production companies out there. If you want to be successful, you have to do something to stand out. 

Come up with a unique value that only you can provide. Maybe you only work with mom podcasters because you know how to schedule around their busy lives. Maybe you can help with political podcasts because you have government contacts. Or maybe you specialize in long interview-style shows. 

Once you figure out how you’ll add value to your clients, come up with a unique selling proposition. This is a simple sentence you can use to clearly communicate your brand’s value. 

Step 4: Determine Your Scope of Services

Like I mentioned earlier, a podcast producer might do a few or many things to support a show. You’ll need to decide which services you’ll offer. Here’s a list of services that many podcast production companies offer:

  • Content strategy mapping
  • Podcast studio and equipment setup
  • Voiceover intro/outro segments
  • Host training/education
  • Cover image creation
  • Sourcing free or paid music
  • Launch distribution setup
  • Guest scheduling
  • Media hosting and RSS feed setup
  • Pre-launch marketing activities
  • Ongoing episode editing / audio engineering
  • Video production and distribution
  • Social media promotions
  • Email marketing promotions
  • Show notes and transcription creation

Step 5: Determine Your Pricing

You’ll need to decide how much to charge for your services. Most podcast production companies charge on a monthly basis or by the episode. 

If you charge by the episode, you’ll need to put a limit on the number of episodes you’ll handle in the same month. Otherwise you might get a client who sends a new episode every day. 

You may also decide to limit the length of each episode that you’ll edit. Editing a three-hour episode is a lot more work than editing a 30-minute episode. 

How much should you charge? That depends on the value you can provide. Doing the work is one thing, but your experience can add a lot of value as well.

For instance, there are plenty of editors who can remove background noises and adjust volume levels. But if you know how to cut out bad content (without being told), how to adjust timing to make the hosts sound funnier, or how to add tasteful sound effects, you can charge a lot more.

Step 6: Create Your Business Website

Like most businesses, you’ll need a website. All legitimate businesses have them. You’ll need web hosting, a domain, and social media accounts with similar names. 

At this stage of your business, your website can be pretty simple. You only need a basic landing page that explains how you help your clients, how much your services cost, and how to get started.

For inspiration, check out our page for Castos Productions, our own in-house production company. Notice how we show off our successful shows, offer video testimonials as evidence of our work, and offer simple pricing. 

Step 7: Establish a Workflow

Producing a podcast is an ongoing logistical challenge with a lot of moving pieces to manage. It’s your job to ensure the work happens on schedule.

First, decide how you’ll get started when onboarding a new client. Will you send them podcast equipment? Help set up their recording space? Design cover art, submit the RSS feed to listening apps, build their podcast website, and develop a content strategy? 

Next, you need a simple, repeatable workflow that you and the client will use for each episode. Where does the client send their audio file? How long will it take you to edit and publish? If there are any marketing tasks to do, what are your deadlines for those?

Most importantly, who is going to manage each project and make sure all of the pieces come together? Will this be transparent with the client? Who double-checks that everything happens according to the plan?

Step 8: Collect Your Tools

If you’re looking up how to start a podcast production company, you probably have a bit of experience producing shows. You probably have a stack of tools that you like to use. If not, now’s the time to get them in order. 

Generally speaking, here’s what you need to start a podcast production company:

  • Recording software (if you support this part of the process)
  • Editing software for audio engineering
  • Project management app to keep your deliverables organized
  • Asynchronous communication with clients (can be email or a special app)
  • Payment processor to bill your clients
  • Cloud storage for audio files
  • Transcription software (if you offer this service) 

Step 9: Offer Training and Support

As you probably know, it takes time to become a great podcast host. Interviewing skills, audience engagement skills, and even microphone techniques take time to develop. 

As a producer, your expertise is your most valuable asset, and the most powerful thing you can pass on to your clients. So be generous with your advice. If you think you can help the host become more engaging or produce better content, don’t be afraid to jot your notes into an email and let them know.

Step 10: ‍Create an Analysis Process

One of the most impactful services you can offer your podcast clients is to give them information about the performance of their show. For instance, if you could tell your client that a lot of people listened to the episode on Facebook marketing and left positive reviews, your client would know to create more content around that topic. 

Use the analytics provided by the podcast hosting service and the listening platforms (like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.) to offer your clients valuable data. Reduce all of this data to a simple report or spreadsheet you can update monthly. Then show them how they can use that data to meet their goals. 

Start a Podcast Production Company FAQs

We’ve explained how to start a podcast production company, but you may still have some questions. 

What equipment and software do I need to start a podcast production company?

To start a podcast production company, you’ll need essential equipment like microphones, headphones, a digital audio recorder, and a computer. Software requirements include audio editing software like Audacity or Adobe Audition, hosting platforms like Castos, and communication tools like Skype or Zoom for remote interviews.

How can I differentiate my podcast production company from others in the market?

Differentiate your podcast production company by focusing on unique value propositions. Offer specialized services like podcast consulting, customized sound design, or transcription services. Develop a strong brand identity, emphasize excellent customer service, and build relationships with podcasters. Provide a diverse range of packages, cater to different niches, and showcase your portfolio to highlight your expertise and quality.

What are some potential revenue streams for a podcast production company?

A podcast production company can generate revenue through various streams such as:

  • Charging fees for recording, editing, and producing podcasts for clients.
  • Partnering with brands for ad placements or securing sponsorships for podcasts.
  • Offering premium or exclusive content to subscribers for a recurring fee.
  • Providing guidance and training to aspiring podcasters or businesses.
  • Creating and selling branded merchandise related to your company or specific podcasts.
  • Hosting live events, workshops, or webinars related to podcasting.

How do I find and attract clients for my podcast production services?

To find and attract clients for podcast production services, establish an online presence, engage in social media and industry communities, offer a unique value proposition, network at events, leverage referrals, and collaborate with influencers and related service providers to expand your reach. Consistent marketing, expertise, and excellent results are key.

What are the legal considerations when starting a podcast production company?

Legal considerations when starting a podcast production company include business structure registration, contracts for clients, copyright compliance, privacy and data protection, trademarks, and obtaining releases/permissions from guests. Consult a legal professional for jurisdiction-specific requirements.

How do I develop a pricing structure for my podcast production services?

Determine your cost basis (equipment, time, skill, overhead costs). Research market rates for similar services. Consider your target customers’ budget range. Decide on pricing model: hourly, per episode, package deals. Incorporate factors like podcast length, editing complexity, and extra services (show notes, audio enhancements). Adjust rates as necessary based on customer feedback and business growth.

How can I build a team of talented podcast producers and editors?

Identify key roles needed: producer, editor, sound engineer, etc. Write clear job descriptions, emphasizing required skills and experience. Utilize professional networks, social media, job boards to advertise. Use a rigorous interview process to assess skill, creativity, and team fit. Consider freelancers or remote workers for flexibility. Provide ongoing training and encourage a collaborative environment to retain talent.

What are some common challenges faced by podcast production companies and how can I overcome them?

Common challenges include maintaining consistent quality, meeting deadlines, budget constraints, and keeping up with technology. Overcome these by implementing strict quality control measures, creating a well-planned production schedule, budgeting wisely, and investing in updated equipment and software. Building a skilled, dedicated team and fostering strong client relationships are also crucial for overcoming these challenges.

What are some potential growth opportunities for a podcast production company?

  • Expanding into new genres or niches.
  • Offering additional services such as podcast marketing or transcript creation.
  • Collaborating with influential personalities or brands for wider reach.
  • Hosting or sponsoring podcast-related events.
  • Providing training or consultation services for aspiring podcasters.
  • Leveraging the growth of audio platforms and monetizing through premium content, sponsorship, or ads.
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Dennis is a content marketer and web developer with years of experience helping startups and small businesses build their online platforms. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.

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