Last week we announced a new service for you to create podcast content: Playlist Presents. Minnesota Playlist will host and distribute your three to eight episode mini-series and over time collect an archive of behind the scenes conversations.

This week we are opening up requests to produce. You can sign up by filling out this form. As a reminder Minnesota Playlist will be producing on a first come, first served basis, with priority given to groups that have never produced a podcast with us. Additionally, content needs to be focused on the performing arts industry and should reflect the values that have steered Playlist: diversity, inclusion, fair and equitable representation, quality, creativity, and community.

Housekeeping items

With this new endeavor we have tried to cover all the details but know that sometimes things get missed and will make updates regularly. In the meantime, here are some important things to consider:

  • Are you in greater MN and unable to come to a studio in the Twin Cities? No problem. We will work with you to get your podcast recorded and distributed. 

  • If you are selected to produce a podcast you will need to agree to, and submit a signed contract. The short version is that Playlist owns the content you produce (you’ll have full access to the final podcast to share and promote), Playlist can use your content as it sees fit, and we reserve the right to not distribute it if it conflicts with our business objectives.

  • Payment in full is required before we schedule any studio time.

  • Making the most of your podcast

 

Making the most of your podcast

Maybe you’ve been producing podcasts for awhile, or maybe you’ve never done one before. We’ll be working with all levels of experience. Here are some recommendations on how to make the most of a podcast with Playlist. 

Have an outline (but not a script)
Like creating a show, having an understanding of where you want to go ensures that you have a good chance of getting there. Like good improv, being open to what happens makes the show all the better. The same is true of a podcast. Before you submit your form requesting to produce, spend some time talking with your collaborators and put down on paper some of the following:

  • What do we want to discuss? What are some of the questions we want to tackle?

  • Who do we want to discuss these things with: cast and crew? Outside opinions? Audience?

  • What is the theme or topic that we want as a through line in the series?

  • Are the episodes connected, or do they stand on their own?

Keeping enough flexibility to go where the conversation naturally leads you is just as important as covering all your topics. Strike a good balance of preparedness and openness and you’ll end up with a great result.

Have a great host
The host can provide the glue for a really great podcast. They help steer and drive the conversation, work on behalf of the audience to clarify and define the narrative, and keep things fun and moving. 

This isn’t to say you MUST have a host. There are a lot of different types of podcasts out there and we encourage you to be creative if that’s your angle. But if you are going for an interview / conversation style podcast - get a great host. This doesn’t have to be someone from your company or group, you might want to hire out and bring in someone with experience. 

What are you promoting?
Your podcast can be creative, informational, conversational, or all of the above. But beyond the ability to share content what we are providing you is a marketing platform. Therefore, plan to have a clear call to action for your podcast. Do you want people to buy tickets to a show, attend an event, take action, or contact you? Then be prepared to say that. Decide ahead of time where that call to action fits in the podcast and make sure you are consistent with it - include it in every episode in roughly the same spot. 

In the studio
We provide you with eight (8) hours of studio time, broken up as you see fit, and two (2) hours of post production. If you are going to make the most of it you’ll want to follow these guidelines:

  • Be on time. In other words, be early and ready to record when your time starts. 

  • Don’t rush. No one wants to listen to rapid fire speed talk. (Having an outline and clear plan of what the podcast will cover and being on time makes this a lot easier)

  • Have your host do introductions of themselves and the guests. Do this each episode.

  • Consider providing your own music, sound effects, audio clips, etc. Our mix engineer will work with you on where to add those in. Reminder: make sure you have the rights to any audio you provide us, and make sure it is of good quality.

  • Keep it to five and under. More than five people on a podcast (host included) can get messy. Consider breaking up an episode into two halves if the group and content are in relation, or consider multiple episodes.

  • Keep it around 30. We have found that a 30 minute podcast is both full enough and short enough for our listening audience.

  • You can always do a second take. It is ok to redo a section if it gets muddy or something isn’t right. The more you are prepared the less this will happen, and the less likely we’ll have to spend time in post production fixing things.

If you can’t be in our studio you’ll want to make sure you have good recording equipment, and a quiet environment to record in (surprisingly a bathroom works really well). We’ll ask that you send a sample ahead of time before we fully commit to make sure that the quality is right for producing.

We are excited to bring this opportunity to the Minnesota performing arts community. We hope many of you will take advantage of it and create some amazing content. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out.