Audio Unions Are In It For Every Podcaster


PodMov Daily: Friday, July 15

Episode 682: Week Download Complete

Audio Unions Are In It For Every Podcaster

Initiatives like the WGA Audio Alliance have likely impacted the career of someone you know. How, exactly? Elena Fernández Collins of Simplecast spoke with organizers about their goals, which extend far beyond individual podcast companies. For every equitable contract, a tide lifts small boats across the industry. 

“The most common, tired refrain within podcasting is that it’s the ‘Wild Wild West’ of entertainment media,” Fernández Collins says. “While this means there is opportunity for creative solutions and experimentation, it also means the people most likely to be hurt by this are freelance creators.”

The Gimlet Union, podcasting’s first major bargaining unit, organized under the Writers Guild of America, East in 2019. Today, it’s home to the WGA Audio Alliance and unions at The Ringer, Parcast, and iHeart. With billions being poured into podcasting, more creators than ever are able to build the careers they deserve.

This may all seem far away, but don’t assume podcast unions have nothing to offer you directly. Say you pitch an idea to a production company and they’re interested. Free resources like this (not just for audio fiction) explain contract types, copyright, and questions to ask. Knowledge is power, and creators may have more than they realize.

In film, TV, and other media industries, much is effectively set in stone. An independent producer signing their first contract can expect to be stuck with a shady deal. After all, it’s been that way for a long time. In podcasting, a living wage doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. For that, thank an organizer.

Five weeks to go, friends. Unfamiliar with the delightful Scam Goddess? This great writeup from Vulture has you covered. Laci was also a guest on Normal Gossip, another show we can’t recommend enough. Join us! 

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

Here's what else is going on:

  • House blend: “Mixing Narrative Audio 101” from Dustlight Productions is coming up on July 27. Arwen Nicks and Valentino Rivera will lead a course on basic mixing in Pro Tools, including iZotope for VO tracks, the importance of stems, and how to fix bad tape. $75 registration; assistance available.
  • Screen time: SiriusXM and its adtech platform AdsWizz are introducing cookie-free targeting for podcasts. Marketers will be able to target audiences based on their TV and streaming consumption, gaming habits, and life stages. The tool will roll out across SiriusXM, Pandora, and Stitcher later this year.
  • In flux: Remember to roll with the changes in podcasting. Dan Misener offers a few wise lessons to mark his time at Pacific Content. “The best advice, tools, and strategies from last year likely won’t work today. Don’t get hung up trying to replicate what worked well for somebody else in the past.”

Don't miss an episode of The Daily

Share With a Friend

About the Author


Join the Movement