March 3, 2024

Podcast Production Companies - How To Choose?

Tom Hunt

You’ve done the hard part…

You’ve decided that you’re going to jump in and create an audio feed of content for your business. It’s a great choice, you’re in front of the herd.

We truly believe that just as every business has a written content feed (e.g. a blog), they will soon also have an audio content feed (e.g. a podcast). And those businesses that act first on this trend, will reap the majority of the benefits.

And now you're faced with the next challenge… which podcast production company to choose?

This post outlines a number of considerations you should make prior to making your selection:

What is a podcast production company?

Let’s first define what we are talking about here.

A podcast production company is a business solely formed and focussed on building podcasts for clients. You could say they fit within the broader niche of content marketing, as they are tasked by a business to create content, that will ultimately market the product of a business or individual. 

Alternatively, the podcast could be the product itself. Where customers would pay a subscription to access the content, this wouldn't fit into the traditional definition of content marketing but you get my point.

In short, a podcast production company is responsible for the creation and growth of a podcast in the service of another business or individual.

Are they are fit for your type of business?

Different podcast production companies do different things… for different types of businesses. Some focus on B2C businesses and some on B2B.

Some leading podcast production companies specialise in an industry, some work in a number of industries.

So before jumping in and choosing an agency, check out their website and speak with their representative to understand if they specialise in a specific type of podcast.

Strategies for generating a return on the podcast investment vary massively between B2B and B2C podcasting. For example, “business to consumer” podcasting is a volume play… the goal is to get the maximum amount of attention possible to then generate an ROI, typically through advertising revenue and sometimes through the sale of the B2C product.

B2B podcasting targets a small audience and should also develop a focus on building relationships with guests.

What podcast production services do they provide?

Different podcast production companies provide various different services, they can range from:

  • Defining the podcasts’ strategy
  • Podcast editing
  • Production audio production
  • Finding guests
  • Prepping guests
  • Visual design
  • Producing transcripts/key takeaways
  • Editing video
  • Distribution to podcast directories
  • Paid promotion of the podcast

Before jumping in, be very clear which of these services the podcast production company will or will not provide so you can prepare in house resources to perform these tasks.

Have you listened to their previous work?

This is massive.

Don’t jump into a podcast production relationship without checking out the work of the chosen podcast production business.

You need to understand if their intro music, editing style and approach to audio content fits with what you are looking to produce. If you can’t stand the music chosen for their previous work, it’s unlikely you will be able to land on music that you both like during the creation of your podcast.

How do they work with clients?

Do they charge per episode or per month? Do they lock you in for a 12-month contract? Are they responsible for the promotion of the podcast?

These are all questions that must be asked before choosing whether to work with a podcast production company or not.

Typically, podcast production agencies will work on a monthly subscription and will agree to produce a certain number of episodes within that subscription. Most of the top podcast production companies will also ask for a three to six-month minimum term on the agreement, though this is sometimes negotiable. 

Growing podcasts can be slow, gruelling work and so the returns normally accrue to the later stages of the project, this is why a podcast production company may ask for a longer commitment than a typically content marketing agency.

How much do they charge for podcast production?

Try to find out how much a podcast production company charges prior to going into lengthy discussions with the agency, as if their rates don’t align with your budget, then you don’t want to waste your time with that agency.

Costs typically start at $250 per episode but can run all the way up to $2,000 per episode depending on the type of content and the tasks which the podcast production agency are responsible for.

For example, if the podcast production business is responsible for determining the complete episode, with multiple guests and then producing and promoting the episode, this would be higher up on the cost spectrum..

If there is a single guest, and the podcast production agency is just responsible for editing, then this would typically be closer to the $250 mark.

Typically, a number of episodes is agreed upon for a monthly subscription.

Have they proved they can get results?

This is a no-brainer. I don’t need to explain why this is important…

You must ask your potential podcast production company for examples of podcasts they have produced, you must listen to that content and then also reach out and ask to speak with the client (if possible!).

You must then also ask the podcast production company what they were trying to achieve for the client with the podcast in question.

  • Were they trying to grow brand awareness?
  • Were they trying to build relationships with guests?
  • Were they trying to generate sponsorship revenue?

You should then ask the client (if possible!) if those goals were met by the podcast production company.

Do they love what they do?

This is the most important point… does this podcast production company LOVE what they do?

If no, then this is a deal breaker, you can’t move forward. Building podcasts are hard, and if your podcasting partner does not love the process of:

  • Defining strategy
  • Finding guests
  • Podcast production
  • Podcast editing
  • Training the host
  • Promoting the podcast

Then you are bound to get a substandard result.

The passion for growth and for the magic of audio content must be there first, within the podcast production company’s team, in order for them to push through the barriers to produce something special.

Of course… here at Fame, we LOVE podcasts and marketing, you can find out more about our podcast production services here.

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