Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Yes, you can make a podcast in-house, but why would you when there are people with years of experience, excellent networks, and a plethora of award-winning podcasts under their belts who can make it for you?
Podcasts require a lot of work and strategy, which means many shows start strong and then lose steam. Eventually ending up on the scrap heap.
As of June 2022, there are 2,461,883 valid podcasts and over 67 million episodes. But the number of active podcasts (podcasts that published a new episode in the last 90 days) is much lower than that. It’s around 500,000. So, the majority of podcasters aren’t posting new episodes. They’ve given up or retired their show.
If you don’t want to end up in this position – and want to create a sustainable, successful show – then a production company will certainly steer you in the right direction.
What is a podcast production company?
These are the people who make your podcast a reality. They will use their skills and expertise to help you develop an idea for your show and an overall strategy. They will be responsible for creating the product, from finding guests, to editing content, to publishing episodes. Often, they will also help with the launch and marketing of your show too.
Are all podcast production companies the same?
Not at all! Although many will share similarities, podcast production companies can really differ when it comes to their individual services. Some may lean more into the marketing and advertising side of podcasting. Some may specialise in branded content or documentaries or multilingual content. The list goes on.
What should I be looking for in a podcast production company?
With so much choice out there it’s worth doing some research and finding a production company that specialises in an area relevant to you. It’s also important that they understand you or your brand – and what you want your podcast to achieve.
The following production companies have made some of the best podcasts published in recent times and will make you a podcast that far exceeds what you first imagined for your show.
Vespucci is creating some very exciting podcasts at the moment, under the leadership of their talented Head of Podcasts Thomas Curry. Keep your ears peeled – I’ve heard they’ve got a great series coming out soon about Hong Kong’s most notorious gangster…
Not only does Vespucci have an exciting range of podcasts, from Hemingway’s Picasso to Killer Book Club, but they also have an audio magazine called Paperless which features episodes like Joy Boy – the story of Gosnell Duncan and the silicone dildo, narrated by Steve Buscemi.
RW are also building an impressive collection of podcasts focused on the environment and sustainability. They worked with Greenpeace on their documentary Unburnable, and more recently with The Global Goals on An Idiot’s Guide to Saving the World.
RW champions diversity and inclusion in the workplace, in their productions, and in the stories they tell. They take extreme pride and care in finding little-told stories and telling them in a way that respects and celebrates the people involved.
3. Audio Always
Audio Always is based in Manchester and they are the creators of one of my favourite audio projects.
The world of audio is not made up purely of podcasts and radio. Baking with Yoto is a great example of using audio to create an interactive experience. Audio Always created five audio recipe cards for kids. You insert a card into a little toy which then talks you through how to make that recipe.
I’m excited to see what else Audio Always does – and to see how audio projects evolve with technology!
I first discovered Storythings through their newsletter Formats Unpacked – the only newsletter I read religiously. Storythings are leading the pack in format development, so every single time they do a talk, I get a ticket.
Storythings recently made How We Got Here for the UK Parliament which is all about how people turn big ideas into laws that shape society. It’s a great series that starts with the story of how we became a nation of animal lovers (…no spoilers, but it wasn’t always that way).
Novel are storytellers at heart, who specialise in investigative and narrative documentary pieces. At Auddy, we worked with them on our true crime series Smoke Screen (in partnership with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) which follows Belinda Walter, a lawyer-turned-spy caught up in the dirty underbelly of South Africa’s tobacco trade.
Novel have a gift for turning complicated, tangled plots into truly gripping stories. Ones that hook you from the start and keep you coming back for more.
Grape is founded by Rachel Barton and it is my go-to for music entertainment. Grape creates radio shows, podcasts, visuals, and incredible event radio. Grape makes the hugely successful Who We Be Talks_, Spotify’s Secret Genius, and many music programmes for the BBC.
7. Falling Tree
Falling Tree crafts features and documentaries for radio stations across the world. They are the makers of Short Cuts – a series of short, experimental documentaries on BBC Radio 4.
Falling Tree has made some of the most creative and beautiful audio documentaries in recent times – A Mother’s Tongue is one of my favourites.
Studio Ochenta is a multilingual podcast company that was founded by Lory Martinez in 2019. In an effort to make great stories accessible to all, Studio Ochenta releases original stories in multiple languages.
The company has expanded from 3 languages to producing in over 20 languages for audiences all around the world! Their true crime series, Caper, is a family-friendly series that travels the world in search of the boldest (and least known) heists. It’s a wonderful example of podcasts acting as an opportunity to learn about different cultures and areas of the world. It’s available in English, Spanish, German and Italian.