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11 Things to Know Before Partnering With a Podcast Production Company

11 Things to Know Before Partnering With a Podcast Production Company

Discover 11 questions to ask before teaming up with a podcast production company. From scripting and editing to marketing and distribution, ensure you're picking the right agency for your podcast.
By
Tianna Marinucci
March 7, 2024
Contents

CoHost’s State of Podcast Agencies Report found that podcast agencies use an average of 7 tools throughout the client journey – that’s no small lift.

Immediately, it begs the question of “why?” 

Well, put simply: Successful podcasts require expertise and the right tools to make an impact. 

From scriptwriters and producers to audio engineers and marketers, creating a branded podcast is no easy feat. 

With all that said, however, podcasts (when done well) yield great returns. Whether your goal is lead generation, brand awareness, building relationships, or connecting with your audience, podcasts can help you get there.

To help save their team valuable time and money, many brands opt to outsource their series to podcast production companies. These agencies come with expert teams of sound engineers, editors, marketers, and more who will handle all aspects from ideation to distribution and depending on the agency, growth.

Think of these companies as partners throughout your podcast journey that will set you up for success and provide ongoing audio expertise and support as your show grows.

But it’s hard to figure out what you should look for when choosing a podcast production company. As you can probably already tell, a lot goes into producing a quality podcast.

 So, in this blog, we break down what to look for in a perfect match.

1. Do they prioritize podcast strategy?

Like any other piece of content, producing a quality podcast needs a good strategy behind it. Any qualified podcast production company should offer a comprehensive strategic plan so that everyone is aligned on the vision and next steps. 

For example, Quill specializes in building an effective podcast strategy that drives results. We work with you to develop a captivating show to stand out with your target audience and hit your brand's goals.

This strategic plan should cover several aspects of your show, including a defined listener persona, an understanding of brand, tone, and voice, a clear POV, and a list of the potential opportunities you plan to leverage with your podcast – whether this be sponsorships, advertising, cross-promotion, or high-profile guest appearances.  

2. Do they challenge ideas and bring new ones to the table?

While it may not always be fun to hear, constructive criticism and alternative ways of thinking are essential to the pre-production phase. 

Once there is a well-thought-out strategy in place, your production company will work with you to develop podcast concepts. More often than not, you and your team already have a specific idea you want to bring to life. While that’s great (and even encouraged), a quality production company’s job is to make suggestions that would help you refine and improve your initial concept. 

For example, there’s often time the temptation to make your series broader in an attempt to relate to everyone, but in reality, when you attempt to relate to everyone, you relate to no one. That’s why your podcast production company will work alongside your team to refine your initial idea about “how to invest” into something more niche – like “financial planning for retirement.”

The right partners will be willing to challenge or refine the client’s ideas to turn your vision into a compelling series that engages and captivates your target audience.

3. Do they help you identify your ideal listener persona?

Creating a compelling show idea is great and all, but what’s the use if it never reaches the right people?

A good podcast production company knows the importance of defining your ideal audience, so you can best position your show to get in front of the right people. 

This stage is a lot like creating a buyer persona except this time it’s who do you want listening to your podcast?

The more specific the better. You want to paint a detailed snapshot of who your listeners are in their everyday lives so you can relate to them on a personal level. That way, they will have a positive association with your brand and will be more likely to become engaged listeners. But don’t worry if that sounds like a heavy lift, your podcast production agency will guide you through it.

Quill Tip: We use CoHost’s Advanced Audience Demographics to get your listener profile. Data, like age, household income, social media habits, and family members, helps us to paint a detailed picture of who your audience is and verify that you’re reaching the right listeners. 

4. Do they help you train your host and source guests?

While anyone can technically host a podcast, learning how to be a great, engaging host is challenging. No one should understand this more than your podcast production company, which will help you source or train your host. 

We recommend that brands use a voice from within their company as their host to boost awareness and showcase expertise. After all, who is a better voice for your brand than a member of leadership? 

Because this person is (likely) not an experienced podcast host, your podcast production company should help give them some training about how to speak clearly, pace themselves accordingly, and feel comfortable behind the mic.

Even if you’re not sourcing a host, you’ll likely be sourcing podcast guests. While you can probably think of a few people you’d love to feature on your brand’s podcast, sourcing quality guests isn’t the easiest process; however, it does offer quite the reward.

Rephonic found that on average, podcasts with guests get more listeners and more followers on social media. Adding guests to your show not only offers versatile perspectives, but also enhances credibility, builds industry relationships, and increases reach.

As a general rule, branded podcast hosts and guests should:

  • Provide value to your listeners via expertise or experience
  • Have an interesting and engaging story to tell 
  • Fit into your podcast’s niche
  • Be trustworthy and credible
  • Be comfortable and confident in interviews 
  • Be passionate about the material you’re covering

While that may seem like a hefty list, podcast production companies will be able to help you source guests and train your host to tick off all these boxes.

5. Do they expect you to record the audio/video?

Depending on what exactly you’re looking for from a podcast production company, your agency should be assisting in the audio/video recording process. For full-service podcast companies, this is most definitely a service offering that you should be searching for. 

Depending on the company, some recordings may be done in-studio and others may be done remotely through platforms like Riverside.fm (our personal favorite!). Regardless of the setup, the podcast production company should be handling the technical lift, the software subscription, and giving you step-by-step instructions for the small portion you need to cover. 

At Quill, whether you need studio-quality recordings or remote interviews, our audio recording services ensure crystal-clear sound and a seamless recording experience. We also offer specialized Video Podcast Services which include scripting, editing, recording, distribution, and more.

Quill Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about what remote recording software is available to help you create a professional, clear recording from anywhere, check out our blog. 

6. Do they provide podcast equipment? 

Some podcast companies either have an in-person studio or are partners with studios but this is becoming increasingly rare. Although it’s exciting to sit down in a podcast studio, it does limit the number of guests that you can have on your show, increases time commitments, and can get pricey. 

Today, most agencies are fully remote. If yours is, then they should be sending you the equipment or at least the information you need to purchase the equipment to use in your home or office. This also includes a breakdown of how to set everything up!  

Quill Tip: If you want to stay ahead of the game, check out some of our audio engineer-approved recording equipment suitable for all budgets

7. Do they outsource project management?

Podcasting takes a village – well, lots of team members.

A qualified podcast agency will have exceptional project management skills. They should provide clear timelines and budgets, so you know what to expect and when. Budgets need to be built around your podcast’s unique needs such as custom music, remote or in-studio recording, length of episodes, etc. 

A show that has a strong project manager is key as it keeps things on track and allows you to be consistent. It’s also a point of contact so you always know who to go to with questions or concerns. 

8. Do they have post-production capabilities?

No matter how good of a host you are or how well-spoken your guests are, editing will be your best friend in the post-production phase. And who better to handle that than a podcast production company equipped with editors and audio engineers?

It’s smart to find a podcast production company that has solid skills for post-production – everything from editing out pauses and feedback to recording intros and outros. Podcast agencies should make this process as seamless as possible, so you can be confident that come release day, your show is sounding crystal clear and professional.

9. Do they expect you to distribute your show?

Once your podcast is publish-ready, you’ll need to distribute it across all major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music

Your podcast production company should be able to assist in making sure that your show is formatted correctly and distributed across these big players and the lesser-known listening apps as well, like Pocket Casts and Podcast Addict

Typically, agencies will have podcast hosting platforms that they recommend you use or it’s just a cost within your overall price structure. Either way, once the episode is produced, your agency should manage the process from there. 

For example, Quill’s custom-built distribution platform, CoHost, ensures your podcast is available on all major platforms, expanding your reach and increasing visibility

10. Do they help promote your podcast?

Podcast marketing is key to getting in front of your ideal listeners, but effective podcast marketing isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. 

There are plenty of promotion strategies that will help you get your podcast in front of your target audience and your production company should be well-versed in all. Think social media, email marketing, podcast landing pages, show pages on listening apps, PR, blogs, cross-promotion, live events – the list goes on. 

Before hiring a podcast production company, make sure they present a case study that outlines how they will grow your show and get you in front of the ideal listeners you outlined at the start. This service isn’t as popular with all production companies but if you’re looking for assistance on the growth side, it’s definitely an attribute to look for. 

Quill offers dedicated Podcast Marketing Services that help drive lasting audience growth. We offer a variety of tactics designed to generate sustainable, tangible results, including:

  • Custom audience growth strategy: Receive a customized audience growth strategy with KPIs and goals so you know exactly how we’ll drive podcast growth.
  • In-depth analytics reports: Receive an in-depth analytics report with actionable insights and takeaways.
  • ‍Tailored guest media kits: Our team will provide each of your guests with custom media kits with all the assets they’ll need to share their episode.
  • Podcast advertising campaigns: We’ll strategize, build, launch, optimize, and measure your paid podcast advertising campaigns through audio-centric platforms.

11. Do they provide you with podcast analytics?

All of these efforts should come together to create an impactful podcast, but how do you know if you’re meeting your specific goals?

Ultimately, only the data can tell you. 

Once your podcast goes live, your agency should be able to make sense of podcast data and use it to:

Remember, If your show isn’t where you want it to be right off the bat – don’t worry. Podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint. 

However, data like consumption rates, drop-off rates, and unique listeners will provide valuable information that a podcast agency will use to inform creative or directional shifts to get you closer to your end goals.

Quill Tip: Podcast analytics aren’t always the most straightforward, so being aware of the industry jargon and understanding what metrics mean is critical for telling the story behind your data. To help the data make sense, CoHost put together an Ultimate Podcast Analytics Dictionary

A winning podcast production company partnership

A branded podcast is a big investment and one you should not take lightly. If you’re ready to get into the audio space, partnering with the right podcast production company is a crucial step to creating a podcast that resonates with your ideal listeners and that your brand can be proud of.

That’s why we suggest taking the time to hire an agency that not only understands your vision and brand but also has all the capabilities to make your show a success. 

If you’re interested in a complete list of podcast production agencies alongside their specialties, check out our complete roundup.

Remember, an exceptional agency should be your guide, partner, and expert consultant through every single step of this process. And if you’re looking for one that will be in your corner, get in touch with the team at Quill

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Branded Podcasts

11 Things to Know Before Partnering With a Podcast Production Company

Last updated on: 
March 7, 2024

Discover 11 questions to ask before teaming up with a podcast production company. From scripting and editing to marketing and distribution, ensure you're picking the right agency for your podcast.

CoHost’s State of Podcast Agencies Report found that podcast agencies use an average of 7 tools throughout the client journey – that’s no small lift.

Immediately, it begs the question of “why?” 

Well, put simply: Successful podcasts require expertise and the right tools to make an impact. 

From scriptwriters and producers to audio engineers and marketers, creating a branded podcast is no easy feat. 

With all that said, however, podcasts (when done well) yield great returns. Whether your goal is lead generation, brand awareness, building relationships, or connecting with your audience, podcasts can help you get there.

To help save their team valuable time and money, many brands opt to outsource their series to podcast production companies. These agencies come with expert teams of sound engineers, editors, marketers, and more who will handle all aspects from ideation to distribution and depending on the agency, growth.

Think of these companies as partners throughout your podcast journey that will set you up for success and provide ongoing audio expertise and support as your show grows.

But it’s hard to figure out what you should look for when choosing a podcast production company. As you can probably already tell, a lot goes into producing a quality podcast.

 So, in this blog, we break down what to look for in a perfect match.

1. Do they prioritize podcast strategy?

Like any other piece of content, producing a quality podcast needs a good strategy behind it. Any qualified podcast production company should offer a comprehensive strategic plan so that everyone is aligned on the vision and next steps. 

For example, Quill specializes in building an effective podcast strategy that drives results. We work with you to develop a captivating show to stand out with your target audience and hit your brand's goals.

This strategic plan should cover several aspects of your show, including a defined listener persona, an understanding of brand, tone, and voice, a clear POV, and a list of the potential opportunities you plan to leverage with your podcast – whether this be sponsorships, advertising, cross-promotion, or high-profile guest appearances.  

2. Do they challenge ideas and bring new ones to the table?

While it may not always be fun to hear, constructive criticism and alternative ways of thinking are essential to the pre-production phase. 

Once there is a well-thought-out strategy in place, your production company will work with you to develop podcast concepts. More often than not, you and your team already have a specific idea you want to bring to life. While that’s great (and even encouraged), a quality production company’s job is to make suggestions that would help you refine and improve your initial concept. 

For example, there’s often time the temptation to make your series broader in an attempt to relate to everyone, but in reality, when you attempt to relate to everyone, you relate to no one. That’s why your podcast production company will work alongside your team to refine your initial idea about “how to invest” into something more niche – like “financial planning for retirement.”

The right partners will be willing to challenge or refine the client’s ideas to turn your vision into a compelling series that engages and captivates your target audience.

3. Do they help you identify your ideal listener persona?

Creating a compelling show idea is great and all, but what’s the use if it never reaches the right people?

A good podcast production company knows the importance of defining your ideal audience, so you can best position your show to get in front of the right people. 

This stage is a lot like creating a buyer persona except this time it’s who do you want listening to your podcast?

The more specific the better. You want to paint a detailed snapshot of who your listeners are in their everyday lives so you can relate to them on a personal level. That way, they will have a positive association with your brand and will be more likely to become engaged listeners. But don’t worry if that sounds like a heavy lift, your podcast production agency will guide you through it.

Quill Tip: We use CoHost’s Advanced Audience Demographics to get your listener profile. Data, like age, household income, social media habits, and family members, helps us to paint a detailed picture of who your audience is and verify that you’re reaching the right listeners. 

4. Do they help you train your host and source guests?

While anyone can technically host a podcast, learning how to be a great, engaging host is challenging. No one should understand this more than your podcast production company, which will help you source or train your host. 

We recommend that brands use a voice from within their company as their host to boost awareness and showcase expertise. After all, who is a better voice for your brand than a member of leadership? 

Because this person is (likely) not an experienced podcast host, your podcast production company should help give them some training about how to speak clearly, pace themselves accordingly, and feel comfortable behind the mic.

Even if you’re not sourcing a host, you’ll likely be sourcing podcast guests. While you can probably think of a few people you’d love to feature on your brand’s podcast, sourcing quality guests isn’t the easiest process; however, it does offer quite the reward.

Rephonic found that on average, podcasts with guests get more listeners and more followers on social media. Adding guests to your show not only offers versatile perspectives, but also enhances credibility, builds industry relationships, and increases reach.

As a general rule, branded podcast hosts and guests should:

  • Provide value to your listeners via expertise or experience
  • Have an interesting and engaging story to tell 
  • Fit into your podcast’s niche
  • Be trustworthy and credible
  • Be comfortable and confident in interviews 
  • Be passionate about the material you’re covering

While that may seem like a hefty list, podcast production companies will be able to help you source guests and train your host to tick off all these boxes.

5. Do they expect you to record the audio/video?

Depending on what exactly you’re looking for from a podcast production company, your agency should be assisting in the audio/video recording process. For full-service podcast companies, this is most definitely a service offering that you should be searching for. 

Depending on the company, some recordings may be done in-studio and others may be done remotely through platforms like Riverside.fm (our personal favorite!). Regardless of the setup, the podcast production company should be handling the technical lift, the software subscription, and giving you step-by-step instructions for the small portion you need to cover. 

At Quill, whether you need studio-quality recordings or remote interviews, our audio recording services ensure crystal-clear sound and a seamless recording experience. We also offer specialized Video Podcast Services which include scripting, editing, recording, distribution, and more.

Quill Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about what remote recording software is available to help you create a professional, clear recording from anywhere, check out our blog. 

6. Do they provide podcast equipment? 

Some podcast companies either have an in-person studio or are partners with studios but this is becoming increasingly rare. Although it’s exciting to sit down in a podcast studio, it does limit the number of guests that you can have on your show, increases time commitments, and can get pricey. 

Today, most agencies are fully remote. If yours is, then they should be sending you the equipment or at least the information you need to purchase the equipment to use in your home or office. This also includes a breakdown of how to set everything up!  

Quill Tip: If you want to stay ahead of the game, check out some of our audio engineer-approved recording equipment suitable for all budgets

7. Do they outsource project management?

Podcasting takes a village – well, lots of team members.

A qualified podcast agency will have exceptional project management skills. They should provide clear timelines and budgets, so you know what to expect and when. Budgets need to be built around your podcast’s unique needs such as custom music, remote or in-studio recording, length of episodes, etc. 

A show that has a strong project manager is key as it keeps things on track and allows you to be consistent. It’s also a point of contact so you always know who to go to with questions or concerns. 

8. Do they have post-production capabilities?

No matter how good of a host you are or how well-spoken your guests are, editing will be your best friend in the post-production phase. And who better to handle that than a podcast production company equipped with editors and audio engineers?

It’s smart to find a podcast production company that has solid skills for post-production – everything from editing out pauses and feedback to recording intros and outros. Podcast agencies should make this process as seamless as possible, so you can be confident that come release day, your show is sounding crystal clear and professional.

9. Do they expect you to distribute your show?

Once your podcast is publish-ready, you’ll need to distribute it across all major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music

Your podcast production company should be able to assist in making sure that your show is formatted correctly and distributed across these big players and the lesser-known listening apps as well, like Pocket Casts and Podcast Addict

Typically, agencies will have podcast hosting platforms that they recommend you use or it’s just a cost within your overall price structure. Either way, once the episode is produced, your agency should manage the process from there. 

For example, Quill’s custom-built distribution platform, CoHost, ensures your podcast is available on all major platforms, expanding your reach and increasing visibility

10. Do they help promote your podcast?

Podcast marketing is key to getting in front of your ideal listeners, but effective podcast marketing isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. 

There are plenty of promotion strategies that will help you get your podcast in front of your target audience and your production company should be well-versed in all. Think social media, email marketing, podcast landing pages, show pages on listening apps, PR, blogs, cross-promotion, live events – the list goes on. 

Before hiring a podcast production company, make sure they present a case study that outlines how they will grow your show and get you in front of the ideal listeners you outlined at the start. This service isn’t as popular with all production companies but if you’re looking for assistance on the growth side, it’s definitely an attribute to look for. 

Quill offers dedicated Podcast Marketing Services that help drive lasting audience growth. We offer a variety of tactics designed to generate sustainable, tangible results, including:

  • Custom audience growth strategy: Receive a customized audience growth strategy with KPIs and goals so you know exactly how we’ll drive podcast growth.
  • In-depth analytics reports: Receive an in-depth analytics report with actionable insights and takeaways.
  • ‍Tailored guest media kits: Our team will provide each of your guests with custom media kits with all the assets they’ll need to share their episode.
  • Podcast advertising campaigns: We’ll strategize, build, launch, optimize, and measure your paid podcast advertising campaigns through audio-centric platforms.

11. Do they provide you with podcast analytics?

All of these efforts should come together to create an impactful podcast, but how do you know if you’re meeting your specific goals?

Ultimately, only the data can tell you. 

Once your podcast goes live, your agency should be able to make sense of podcast data and use it to:

Remember, If your show isn’t where you want it to be right off the bat – don’t worry. Podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint. 

However, data like consumption rates, drop-off rates, and unique listeners will provide valuable information that a podcast agency will use to inform creative or directional shifts to get you closer to your end goals.

Quill Tip: Podcast analytics aren’t always the most straightforward, so being aware of the industry jargon and understanding what metrics mean is critical for telling the story behind your data. To help the data make sense, CoHost put together an Ultimate Podcast Analytics Dictionary

A winning podcast production company partnership

A branded podcast is a big investment and one you should not take lightly. If you’re ready to get into the audio space, partnering with the right podcast production company is a crucial step to creating a podcast that resonates with your ideal listeners and that your brand can be proud of.

That’s why we suggest taking the time to hire an agency that not only understands your vision and brand but also has all the capabilities to make your show a success. 

If you’re interested in a complete list of podcast production agencies alongside their specialties, check out our complete roundup.

Remember, an exceptional agency should be your guide, partner, and expert consultant through every single step of this process. And if you’re looking for one that will be in your corner, get in touch with the team at Quill

Tianna Marinucci

Content Marketing Specialist

Tianna Marinucci is a content creation and digital marketing specialist. She graduated from McGill University in 2021 and has since worked in a variety of industries from interior design to technology.

After traveling to more than 60 countries and working in three, she is inspired by diverse cultures and motivated by unique experiences.

In her spare time, Tianna loves trying new foods, going to concerts, and learning more about history and socio-economics through books and podcasts.

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!

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