4 Things You Need to Know When Managing Podcast Contracts and IPs


Podcasting is poised to become a $94.88 billion industry by 2028 [1]. and is recognized as yielding significant ROI from advertising dollars on popular shows. If podcast rights are among your library of assets, your team faces multiple tracking elements, such as monitoring contract requirements and intellectual properties (IPs). As you have probably discovered, using traditional spreadsheets doesn’t cut it. The scope can quickly become overwhelming and too complex to manage without a solid strategy and support tools that outpace simple online documents.

Strategies and Tools to Manage Podcast Contracts and IPs

So, how can you stay on top of any applicable royalties, talent contracts, and intellectual property (IP)? How can you find new ways to monetize your podcast library? And how can you protect your enterprise from legal headaches and reputational damage due to accusations of copyright infringement?

As you develop and evolve your podcast management plan, consider the following:

1. Get to Know the Ins and Outs of Talent Contracts 

Understanding the complexity and nuances of podcast contracts is crucial since podcasters work with work-for-hire talent, such as professionals who write, edit, mix sound, etc. 

That makes it crucial that you develop a standard podcast talent contract template that takes into account: 

  • Talent retention rights to materials such as bios, headshots, and logos.
  • Talent permissions granting podcast producers permission to use names, images, likeness, voices, etc.
  • A detailed paragraph regarding IP ownership that accounts for the contribution of a guest talent becoming the property of the podcast. 

2. Tracking Royalties

Royalty obligations for podcasts are complicated, to say the least. While basic podcasts that start as a podcast do not have royalties per se, things become more complicated when a show comes from or moves to a traditional broadcast platform. Royalty questions can be very murky, particularly when moving content obtained during a broadcast platform to a podcast.

If your podcast programs host top musicians and bands, you want to understand how to track royalties by securing direct licenses from songwriters, composers, and performers. If the rights go beyond a guest’s scope, you can work with publishing or record companies to ensure compliance. 

Each time audience members download the digital content, it generates rights under copyright law, redirecting distribution and reproduction rights back to the copyright holders. However, today, you might need to acquire additional permission for public performance rights. 

3. Managing IP Rights 

The traditional concept of IP was associated with books, inventions, and televised media. Now podcast productions can involve significant IP assets. The best way to stay on top of IP rights is to understand what is available and necessary for coverage for each of your podcast productions, including: 

  • Copyrighted creative content such as a podcast’s jingle, episodes, and live streams.
  • Trade secrets between internal podcast team members discussing specific processes and strategies for a podcast's success. 
  • Trademarked names, taglines, logos, or podcast episode titles. 

4. Establish and Adhere to Best Practices 

The top best practice is to understand the preceding tips and maintain compliance. Podcasting best practices also include maintaining a regular schedule focused on contracts and IPs and following through on complying with all agreements, IPs, and legal obligations to maintain trust, reliability, and integrity among your podcast productions and their past and future guests. 

How FilmTrack Helps You Track Podcast Data

FilmTrack helps media companies overcome the challenges in tracking podcast contracts and IPs, primarily due to how configurable our rights management platform is. Our solution not only lets you manage rights and avails for all the media in your library, it can be configured for your exact use cases. Want to see how it all works? Schedule a demo - we'd love to show you!

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1. https://www.insiderintelligence.com/insights/the-podcast-industry-report-statistics/

FilmTrack's Contracts & Availabilities Manager

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