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Uncovering the hidden costs of podcast production pricing

Tristan Pelligrino
Co-owner Motion
Table of contents

Are you thinking of launching a podcast for your company? If so, pricing is probably on your mind. And if you’re on a small, scrappy marketing team, you’re probably trying to figure out what to do with in-house resources. Or, you’re evaluating whether a podcast agency could be the right fit for your budget.

When launching a podcast for your company, it’s typical to collaborate with a podcast production agency to help your team develop a sustainable show. An agency can help you build a podcast business plan, conduct audience research, develop a podcast strategy, and produce episodes consistently.

But before you decide whether you’re outsourcing podcast production, it’s important to understand pricing.

Not all agencies are created equally. And not every podcast production agency is the right fit for your team and budget.

At Motion, we specifically help B2B tech companies launch podcasts. And we have a ton of conversations with marketers evaluating the pricing of a podcast production company.

So in this blog post, we decided to address all of the typical questions we get and help you understand the different elements involved with the entire podcasting process — before you select a podcast agency.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we’ll cover:

“Podcasting is hard. It’s even harder to create a great show.
Justin Brown
Co-founder Motion

The core elements of podcast production pricing: Understanding the costs of creating a high-quality show

If you want to create an estimated cost for your company’s show, there are a lot of factors to consider. It’s not just about buying good-quality equipment and recording podcast episodes. Many elements are involved in creating great content that helps your ideal customers.

In this section, we’ll cover the core elements of outsourcing production — before working with an agency.

Pre-production costs

Pre-production is the phase of podcast production that happens before any recording or podcast editing takes place. Unfortunately, when we speak with marketing teams on a tight budget, this is the area where they look to save money first.

But pre-production involves research, planning, and scripting. These activities are a crucial part of the process and this phase helps you build a foundation for your company’s show.

The pre-production process involves creating a theme statement, identifying topics, researching those topics, selecting a podcast format, crafting an episode structure, and scripting episodes. The costs associated with pre-production include time spent researching, developing episode outlines, and writing scripts.

Equipment costs

The cost of equipment is one of the most obvious factors to consider when pricing out a podcast production. If you want your company’s show to come across as a professional production, you must get at least a solid podcast microphone, camera, and recording platform.

The level of equipment you need depends on the type of show you want to produce. For example, if you plan to record in a studio, you will need studio microphones, headphones, mixing consoles, and recording software.

If you plan to record remotely, you’ll want to get a subscription to a remote podcast recording platform. And you’ll need to get a quality camera for video podcasts.

Post-production costs

Post-production is where a production team (or a podcast editing service) puts everything together. After the raw footage is captured, the audio is edited, mixed, and mastered to create a finished product.

This process involves editing out any unwanted sounds, adding sound effects or music, and ensuring consistent sound levels throughout the episode.

But your company’s podcast is more than just audio. At Motion, we believe podcasts can power your entire content marketing strategy.

When you produce a video podcast, the post-production phase also includes video editing, graphic design, promotional images, and cover art for each episode.

To get a sense of the total cost of post-production, make sure to include time spent editing and mixing, as well as the cost of editing software and other tools.

Podcast hosting and distribution costs

Once you’ve produced a podcast, you need a place to host it so that it’s available for listeners to download.

A podcast host like Buzzsprout, Captivate, Castos, or others charge a monthly fee based on the storage and bandwidth your show requires. But once you have your audio file on one of these platforms, it automatically gets distributed to directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Podcast hosting fees are very minimal when considered against other phases of business podcasting.

Marketing and promotion costs

Creating a high-quality podcast is just the first step. You also need to attract listeners and grow your audience with podcast marketing.

Despite what some gurus will tell you, it’s hard to create a podcast and grow it organically. Organizations must develop an effective podcast marketing strategy to ensure the content reaches ideal customers.

podcast distribution strategy includes social media promotion, paid advertising, and influencer outreach. These costs can vary widely depending on the scope and scale of your marketing efforts.

Understanding these core elements of podcast production pricing is essential to make informed decisions about what type of podcast you want to create and how to spend money. As with most marketing projects, it’s about balancing quality, cost, and speed.

How to analyze podcast agency pricing: Factors to consider when choosing the right partner

When it comes to podcast production pricing, not all agencies are created equal. It’s important to understand the factors involved in pricing different podcast agencies so that you can choose the right partner for your team and budget.

In this section, we’ll discuss the key factors to consider when analyzing the pricing of different podcast agencies.

Podcast agency experience and reputation

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a podcast agency is the agency’s experience and reputation. To get a sense of how it’ll feel to work with the agency, here are a couple of things to do:

  • Check out the company’s LinkedIn profile page and see how they share information about podcasting
  • Review the social media profiles of the agency’s leadership team and get a sense of how they think about the podcasting industry
  • Does the agency run its own show? Check the company’s website to see if they drink their own kool-aid
  • Check to see if the company has published case studies or podcast episodes with customers
  • Evaluate the company’s work and get an understanding of its podcast editing services (check for things like sound design, audio editing, video editing, podcast cover art design, and show notes)
  • Pinpoint the types of podcast formats they produce (interview-based, narrative shows, solo episodes)

If you’re putting your company’s brand on the line, you want to work with an agency with a track record of producing high-quality shows and helping clients achieve their podcasting goals.

Team size and expertise

The size and expertise of an agency’s team can also impact podcast prices. A larger agency with a team of experts may charge more than a smaller agency with fewer team members.

However, a larger team may also be able to provide more services or podcast producers with more expertise. Consider your specific needs and the level of support you require when choosing an agency.

Level of customization

The level of customization you require for your podcast can also impact pricing. Some agencies offer a few options and productize their production services.

On the other hand, other agencies offer a broader range of services, including pre-production, recording, post-production, and marketing.

The more customized services you require, the more you can expect to pay.

Turnaround time

The time it takes to produce a podcast can also impact pricing. Some agencies may offer expedited services for an additional fee. And some agencies might not even guarantee a turnaround time at all (at Motion, we turn around all assets for our customers’ podcast episodes in 7 business days).

If you have a tight timeline or require a fast turnaround, discuss this with potential agencies to understand their pricing and whether it’s feasible to meet your needs.

Project scope and scale

The scope and scale of your podcast project can also impact pricing.

If you plan to produce weekly episodes with multiple hosts and guests, you can expect to pay more than if you plan to produce a monthly solo show. Consider the length of each episode, the frequency of episodes, and the number of hosts and guests you plan to feature.

Add-on services

Some podcast agencies may go beyond traditional editing services. When evaluating podcast agencies, understand other types of content such as transcription, show notes, or social media management.

These services can add value to your podcast, but they may also come with additional costs. Discuss any add-on services with potential agencies and understand how they impact pricing.

When analyzing the pricing of different podcast agencies, it’s important to consider all these factors to ensure you’re making an informed decision. In the next section, we’ll discuss the different types of podcast production services and the range of costs associated with each.

A breakdown of podcast production services: How much should you expect to pay?

Podcast production services come in many shapes and sizes, and the costs can vary widely depending on your needs and budget. In this section, we’ll break down the different types of podcast production services and the range of costs you can expect.

Podcast editing and post-production services

Podcast editing services are essential to producing a high-quality podcast. The basic level of podcast editing includes removing unwanted sounds, adjusting background noise, adding sound effects or music, and ensuring consistent sound levels throughout the episode.

The cost for audio-only editing and post-production services can range from $125 to $300 per episode, depending on the complexity and length of the episode.

If your organization elects to produce a video podcast as well, you can expect to pay $500 – $1,000 per episode for the full audio and full-length video.

Full-service podcast production

Full-service podcast production includes pre-production, recording, post-production, and development of repurposed assets (show notes, podcast trailer videos, video clips, promotional images, and more).

This is the most comprehensive type of podcast production service and can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 per episode, depending on the level of customization and the scope and scale of the project.

At Motion, our pricing is very transparent. We offer podcast packages for monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly shows. The range for full-service podcast production is between $1,500 to $2,500 per episode — depending on how frequently you plan to release new episodes.

“Podcasting is hard. It’s even harder to create a
Justin Brown
Co-founder Motion

How to price podcast production services: Finding the right balance between quality and cost

As you can see, pricing podcast production services can be complex and depends on a variety of factors. Understanding the core elements of podcast production pricing, the factors to consider when analyzing the pricing of different podcast agencies, and the range of costs associated with different types of podcast production services can help you make an informed decision about which services are right for your company.

When pricing podcast production services, finding the right balance between quality and cost is key. While it’s important to keep costs under control, producing a high-quality show that engages your audience and delivers your message effectively is equally important. 

By working with a reputable and experienced podcast agency, you can ensure that you get the best value for your money and produce a podcast that aligns with your business goals.

At Motion, we specialize in helping B2B tech companies launch podcasts. We understand the nuances of pricing and work with our clients to deliver a straightforward podcast production package or develop customized plans that meet their unique needs and budget. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your existing podcast to the next level, we can help.

Written by Tristan Pelligrino

Tristan Pelligrino is the Co-Founder of Motion. He’s a serial entrepreneur who started his career as a consultant with large IT companies such as PwC, IBM and Oracle. After getting his MBA, he started and grew one of the fastest video production companies in the country – which was listed on the Inc. 5000. Tristan now enjoys leading the content marketing strategies of some of the most innovative B2B technology companies in the country. You can find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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