You’ve heard it time and time again by now, but it’s worth repeating: the future is female. Although the workforce is still riddled with inequality, women continue to make steady progress in male-dominated industries like tech, computer science and finance.
The podcasting world is no different. In recent years, studies have shown that men have been dominating the podcast landscape, but women are quickly catching up and making a big impact in the industry.
While podcasts continue to gain traction as a top medium for news, entertainment and marketing tactics, women are riding the wave by launching successful businesses of their own including podcast marketing agencies, podcast networks and podcast production companies. Here are some of the top women-owned podcast companies operating in the space and why you should check them out:
She Podcasts’ vision is to support and nurture female-led podcasts and to encourage knowledge sharing without excessive promotion. Through various channels such as their podcast, group coaching, workshops, webinars and other educational materials, the company’s founders, Elsie and Jessica hope to grow the number of successful woman-hosted podcasts, to give voice to the millions of messages that need to be shared with the world.
Focused on building a platform for women in the entertainment realm, EARIOS is a podcast network dedicated to creating intelligent, engaging and diverse content for listeners everywhere. The network’s powerhouse team includes writer and filmmaker Priyanka Mattoo, actor, writer and producer Amanda Lund and actor, writer and producer, Maria Blasucci. Some of the hit shows on their roster include Web Crawlers, Foxy Browns and Filling the Void.
Earbuds Podcast Collective shares a weekly podcast newsletter to its community of listeners, curating a diverse list of content from all corners of the audio landscape. The collective also brings like-minded creatives together through a weekly podcast and regular networking events.
The founder of the collective, Arielle Nissenblatt, says the idea first came to her while she was sitting in traffic in LA. She realized that podcasts were making her commute infinitely more bearable, and she knew she had to make her mark on the industry.
“When I moved to Los Angeles in 2016, I was stuck in traffic ALL THE TIME and found that the only thing keeping me sane was listening to podcasts,” she says. “But not just listening—it was the constant discovery of new information, new worlds, meeting new people, and hearing new sounds that kept me excited to be in the car.”
Blown away by the podcasts she was listening to and craving more, Arielle began asking her friends for their recommendations. Thus, the EarBuds newsletter was born, which shares five podcasts episodes on a theme, each week curated by a different person who could be anywhere in the world.
By giving subscribers a menu of podcasts every week to choose from, the newsletter exposes listeners to new shows they may have never discovered otherwise. Arielle believes podcasting represents an amazing opportunity for both podcasters and listeners to stretch their creative skills, explore new ideas and be more active while they consume content.
Podetize is one of the largest podcast production companies in the world, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The company’s founder and CEO, Tracy Hazzard, says Podetize came as a natural next step in their team’s evolution as other podcasters came to them for advice on how to make their podcast as successful as their first show, WTFFF?! on 3D Printing.
“Our production business came from other podcasters asking us how we were making our podcast so bingeable and so successful,” Tracy says. “When we shared all the different things we did, video to audio to blog to social share, they literally shoved their credit card so we could do it all for them.”
Recognizing a gap in the market for podcast hosting and advertising systems for business podcasters, the Podetize team set to work creating their own patent pending hosting feed. As a result, Podetize fills the gap from producing to thriving as a business podcaster today.
“The true business benefit to podcasting lies in the actual podcasting—recording interviews, topics, and connecting with guests and your audience,” Tracy says. “The production details or coordinating the production is a waste of a business owners’ time and talent.”
Similar to Tracy, Rachael King’s passion for podcasting blossomed out of a long morning commute. Her appetite for great shows grew stronger, and eventually she and a friend started a podcast of their own called The Shepod.
Fast forward to 2017, Rachael had launched her own communications firm, and she quickly realized branded podcasts were becoming more and more in demand among her clients. Recognizing that podcasting was going to be the next big frontier for content marketing like digital video, social media or blogging, she merged her agency experience with her passion for audio storytelling and launched Pod People in January 2018.
With two main service offerings: full-service production and a staffing arm, which they call “matchmaking,” Pod People has built a community of thousands of the world’s most talented audio professionals and can quickly identify the right contractor for any audio project based on their skills, subject matter expertise, rates and availability. They work with clients like Wondery, Spotify and more to staff up their teams for various projects, saving them countless hours on hiring, vetting, interviewing and negotiating.
“Before starting Pod People, I worked for countless startups in the ‘gig economy,’ and I’ve seen (and experienced) the struggles of freelancer life firsthand,” Rachael says. “So one of our missions as a company is to make sure each job has a defined scope of work and a fair rate attached to it, AND that a diverse group of candidates is presented for every role (especially when the subject matter of a show specifically calls for a certain lived experience!). And our clients feel good working with us because of that—it’s really the best of both worlds.”
Rachael believes the most wonderful thing about podcasting is that working with a relatively low budget, brands and podcasters can have complete creative control over their finished product. She loves how accessible the medium is, especially when compared with filmmaking, which gives creators much more flexibility and freedom.
Lindsay Tjepkema’s passion for podcasting began while she was working at Emarsys, a global SaaS/MarTech platform as their VP of Brand and Content. After reviewing how the company’s content strategy was performing among their customers and audience, they saw an opportunity to create more meaningful, and more human, connections with them, which is why the company launched Marketer + Machine.
“As we created and launched Marketer + Machine, I quickly realized that podcasting technology wasn’t created to serve the needs of the average marketer, but rather for the needs of influencers and hobbyists where the use case for podcasting is completely different than that of a B2B marketing team,” Lindsay says. “So that’s when I decided to step away from my role at Emarsys, brought on my two co-founders, Zachary Ballenger and Adam Patarino, and set out and create a platform designed specifically for marketers to put rich conversations (podcasts) at the foundation of their marketing strategies.”
They created Casted, a platform which makes it possible for B2B marketers to harness the power of podcasting and video content to create rich, meaningful content and amplify it to their audiences in ways that establish and strengthen relationships, all while driving business growth. Lindsay believes the power of video and audio podcasting has presented an opportunity for B2B marketers to personally reach their target audiences in a more meaningful way.
“It’s too often that we see exhausted B2B marketers pushing out endless amounts of content that they just aren’t excited about because of SEO expectations, but there’s a simpler solution that not only puts humans over algorithms, but creates content that both your audience and content marketers would rather indulge in,” Lindsay says.
The Wave Podcasting is all about helping women build successful podcasts on their terms. Founded by Lauren Popish, the Wave supports female podcasters by helping them grow their audience, share their message and get paid, because women supporting women is a beautiful thing. The company also recently launched the first podcast editing service for women by women, Swell Podcasting.
Lauren says she first got into podcasting while looking for a cost-effective medium to build her personal brand.
“With under one million podcasts on Apple in 2018, I felt podcasting would be an authentic way to build an organic audience,” she says. “I also wanted to practice my speaking skills and podcasting felt like an easy and safe way to do that.”
After podcasting for about a year, Lauren realized the world of podcasting was much more than just another brand-building tool.
“Podcasting was empowering me to be a braver, more confident speaker. It was also allowing me to have intimate conversations with people I admired,” she says. “It was clear that fear of technology and imposter syndrome, which are more prevalent in podcasting than other marketing mediums, were affecting women disproportionately and keeping them from realizing the potential of podcasting. I wanted to change that by creating a new kind of podcast educational platform built especially for women.”
By providing community, educational resources, and production services, the Wave helps lower the barrier for women to start and grow podcasts. Lauren believes podcasting promotes authenticity and originality in a way that other content mediums can’t.
“You can hire someone else to write articles for your blog or create graphics for your Instagram, but no one else can tell your story with your voice,” she says. “I think of a podcaster’s voice like a fingerprint—it is completely unique to you.”
LWC Studios is a digital and audio production studio that’s “erasing the margins” to make things easier for brands and podcasters. They offer a complete suite of production services from concept to publication including digital audio production for clients like Our Body Politic, Marvel’s Voices and the Globe and Mail.
Juleyka Lantigua launched the company after 20 years working in traditional media. She was intrigued by the richness of audio storytelling that was unencumbered by traditional radio formats.
“As a storyteller my entire career, podcasting represented a new language for creating narratives, developing characters, and expanding the ways we take in and create meaning,” she says.
Juleyka believes that above all, the central opportunity and the underlying premise of podcasting is connection.
“Connection to new ideas, to inspiring people, to different worldviews, to parts of yourself you don't get to express all the time,” she says. “Connection is the oxygen that breathes life into podcasting.”
Launched in early 2020, Quill has already worked with some of the largest corporations in North America like TD Bank, CIBC and PwC to bring their corporate branded podcasts to life. The powerhouse entrepreneur behind the company, Fatima Zaidi, recognized the impending growth of the podcasting medium early on, and used this foresight to capitalize on the boom.
“As a consumer I was hooked and only in a matter of time I understood that just like you had a phone number for your business in the 1980s, a website in the 1990s, social media and an app in 2000s I strongly believe that most companies have their own podcast or be advertising on them in the next five to 10 years,” Fatima says.
Having run a marketing agency for years, Fatima was quick to notice the trend towards podcasting as a branded medium, and launched Quill as a way of offering podcasting services as a product. She noticed that although anyone could technically start a podcast, there were still scant resources and support available for companies hoping to get started with the medium.
“Because of this, many podcast hosts enthusiastically launch with a great idea but are soon overwhelmed by the technical aspects of production and post-production,” Fatima says. “Quill has made entry into podcasting more streamlined and has become the go-to platform for help throughout a podcaster’s journey.”
Empowered by the hard facts and incredible statistics surrounding the podcasting world, Fatima is highly enthusiastic about the opportunities the medium presents to companies.
“The level of engagement in podcasting is my favourite statistic,” she says. “93% of people who start an episode end up listening to the entire episode, whereas a 30 minute video only has a 12% completion rate. The medium itself presents an incredible opportunity since it’s a format that isn’t traditionally available to other advertisers!”
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