Branded Podcasts

Exploring Podcast Agency Secrets & Insights

Last updated on: 
August 2, 2023

A detailed summary of Quill and CoHost’s latest State of Podcast Agencies 2023 Report – learn everything about the latest trends, industry secrets, and key takeaways from the world of podcast agencies!

Companies and brands are under pressure to constantly keep their content marketing fresh and innovative in order to continue to connect with their audience and foster meaningful engagement. 

Podcasts are a powerful tool that helps organizations do just that – relate with their consumers, increase reach, and ultimately drive revenue. Given this, there has been an exponential rise of branded podcasts and as a result, podcast agencies have led the way in this realm of content marketing.

The Quill and CoHost team decided to produce “The State of Podcast Agencies 2023 Report” which seeks to better understand the agency landscape. The report covers the constraints and opportunities facing podcast agencies and their clients.

To ensure the results covered ground, our team surveyed 46 leading podcast agencies that we identified and selected via a number of resources including podcast agency websites, podcast agency lists, cold outreach, and our networks. 

So, let’s dive in and uncover the key takeaways from our research and better understand the world of podcast agencies!

1. Agency resourcing is the biggest challenge 

The report discovered that even though podcast agencies are small in size, they have to manage many tools throughout client journeys, and as a result, resourcing is their biggest pain point. Almost half (44.68%) of podcast agencies stated that resources like people, time, and budgets are their biggest constraints. This was followed by just over 36% saying lead generation was their biggest hurdle. 

biggest constraints on podcast agencies

Resourcing issues make sense given over 78% of podcast agencies have less than 10 employees on average (podcast agencies tend to be considered small businesses due to their limited number of employees) and use an average of 7 tools throughout a client podcasts journey. This is a high number, especially when podcast agencies have such few employees. 

number of employees at podcast agencies

Limited resourcing creates a multitude of issues – everything from delays, slowing down the production process, wasted time, increased costs, impact on content quality, increased room for error, and time taken away from strategic thinking for clients and ultimately growing the agency. 

These issues impact the agency’s long-term reputation; therefore, solutions are needed to save time and increase efficiency. These solutions may come in the form of investing in tools and software that help automate and streamline workflows and implementing standards and benchmarks for project management and client communication.

2. A single tool doesn’t cut it for podcast agencies 

The report found that on average, agencies are using 2 hosting platforms, 2 types of recording software, and three extra podcast tools for clients. It begs the question: why?

Why are agencies having to turn to multiple different tools to get the job done? There needs to be an all-in-one solution for agencies to rely on and that doesn’t currently exist in the market – which in turn means there is a lack of efficiency across the board. 

This makes things difficult given our first finding that agencies are already struggling with resourcing and time management. 

3. Agencies can’t quit the download metric

The report found that downloads are still the most popular metric podcast agencies are using to measure client success (despite there being many different ways to measure success). In fact, a whopping 86% of agencies are using downloads as their main metric for measuring and reporting success. 

how podcast agencies measure success

But downloads are not the most reliable metric since it’s not indicative of unique reach and doesn’t give a sense of true audience engagement and loyalty. 

Downloads are essentially being used as a proxy since it can be challenging and extremely costly to report on more meaningful and valuable metrics. This shines a light on the need for better metrics within the podcast industry to measure performance and ROI.

4. Growth and reporting issues are holding clients back 

According to the survey, audience growth and measuring ROI are the two biggest challenges to podcast agencies’ client’s success – with just over 37% of respondents sayings it’s a massive bottleneck. 

how podcast agencies measure success

Building and maintaining a loyal audience is critical for any podcast, but this can be especially challenging for branded podcasts since there’s a tricky dance between producing compelling content and coming across as too sales-y or promotional. 

Agencies desperately need better tools and tactics to drive growth for their clients’ shows and they need the tooling – like tracking links and deeper audience insights – to understand the impact of podcasting on marketing objectives. 

Until this is solved, there will always be clients that can’t continue to invest in podcasts when they’re unable to see the return. 

5. Word-of-mouth marketing is still king for agency acquisition

Even though social media is the most popular tactic to scale a podcast agency, it’s no surprise that word of mouth and referrals are the most common ways podcast agencies are getting new customers (over 70%!). 

how podcast agencies acquire customers

We all know there is nothing like a glowing review from a family, friend, or professional contact that is satisfied and happy with the service and quality of work. If someone knows you had a great first-hand experience, they’re more likely to jump on board and work with you!  

6. The ROI Revolution in podcasts 

The need for better podcast data to measure ROI is the leading trend that almost 30% of podcast agencies predict in the next few years. This comes as no surprise as we know that measuring ROI is the second biggest constraint agency clients are experiencing. 

the biggest podcast trends in the next five years

In summary, as podcasts continue to grow in demand, agencies must find ways to save time and costs and stay efficient in order to keep up with demand (and keep growing!). From adapting to emerging technologies to forecasting trends and the future of the industry, podcast agencies have demonstrated their smarts, tenacity, and adaptability within the audio space.

But as the market becomes increasingly competitive and more brands adapt audio into their content strategies in new and innovative ways, podcast agencies must continue to explore ways to save themselves time and money, increase efficiency, and stay relevant so they can stay one step ahead! 

To access the full report, head over to the home of our State of Podcast Agencies report or get in touch with our team who would be happy to help.

Quill Marketing Team

Driven storytellers

A team of experienced podcasters that are looking to equip brands with the necessary resources, knowledge, and insights to create a successful branded podcast.



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Monthly Storage


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