Your Network Checklist: The Do’s and Don’ts of Starting Your Own Podcast Company
Some of you out there may be toying with the idea of starting your own podcast company, but have no idea where to begin.
Well, it’s always good to start with a plan (obviously) and this network checklist is a good place to start.
Content and Contracts
Tackling an amazing content strategy is one of the most important things to think about when it comes to your company, but it can also be the most daunting.
It’s very easy to say we are going to make podcasts for anyone, and everyone, but it’s not something that can be done effectively.
Shows with unfocused content with too many target audiences and episodes about nothing won’t have a real chance in growing their following, or your company.
Instead, really find out which space of the podcast industry is the best fit for you to fill.
For instance, here at Jam Street Media we have really found our niche in the true crime genre. We have been able to consistently build and maintain the audience of Deep Cover: The Real Donnie Brasco with great, focused storytelling. Likewise for Appalachian Mysteria, which currently sits in Apple’s top 100 for documentary podcast.
Starting out with a few shows that have strong content and a loyal fan base can help anchor your network, and help you focus on other things when it comes to content.
Things like production and sound quality. No matter what the content is, if it doesn’t sound good nobody will listen past the first two minutes.
You also have to think about if the content is something the advertisers want. Like it or not, advertisers are one of the biggest ways for your network to make money.
Of course, this is a business so it is equally as important to think about contracts.
Who owns the RSS feed, who has the derivative rights, and how the revenue going to be split are things you will have to think about before your launch date.
It is however important to not over promise anything when signing, and to severely manage everyone's expectations.
Understand while the podcast industry is booming, very few still turn a profit and become full time gigs.
Don’t quit your day job is essentially what we are saying.
Sales. What is there to say about sales other than make a plan for making money.
Picking an RSS feed provider who does dynamic ad insertion, and that is right for you will push you further in the long run.
It’s important to understand CPMs, fill rates and how many downloads it takes to actually make money. A standard in the industry to really get your podcast noticed in the sales process is around 30k a week per show.
Lastly, an asset to have for your company is finding someone to do outside sales that has experience selling podcasts.
The final item on the checklist is promotion.
Like the cliche goes, “You got to spend money to make money.” No words are more true when it comes to promotion.
You can expect to spend money. So, it’s important to map out exactly how far you want that money to go for each platform that you use.
Promoting your shows is a 24/7 task, so fully understanding who your audiences are will help you reach them in the most effective way possible. Also, providing your followers with consistent, detailed content that is tailored to each platform will help keep your engagement up.
Finding hosts who have a nice sized social media presence can’t hurt anything either.
With all of this in mind, is this something you want to do?
If the answer is still yes, just remember this:
Your content needs to be great, and have potential
Contracts, while tedious, are important and it’s critical to get them right
Pick the right partners to help you make money
You can succeed without a good promotion plan
This post is based on the presentation given by Matty Staudt, President of Jam Street, at Podcast 2021 titled Starting a Network.