Labeling Podcasters: Independent vs. Corporate
Published May 19, 2020
29 min
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    Who has the final say for your podcast?

    In this miniseries, I'll explore the different labels used to describe podcasters and encourage you to own your label with pride!

    An aside before diving in, I never liked the term “procasters” because it made it seem like indie podcasters couldn't be professionals at what they do.

    How are independent and corporate podcasters similar

    Independent (or “indie”) podcasters and corporate podcasters share the same similarities I shared in my previous episode about hobbyist vs. professional podcasters. Here's that list for your convenience.

    * Both can have excellence* Both can have passion* Both can have audiences of any size* Both can “PROFIT”

    So let's jump to what sets them apart!

    What are indie podcasters?

    1. Indie podcasters make their own decisions

    “The buck stops here” for an indie podcaster! They make their own decisions, big and small. They might involve their cohosts, community, or other collaborators. But everything about their podcast is their own to choose.

    2. Indie podcasters are agile

    On a whim, indie podcasters can change technology, launch a donation system, create a new product, redesign their branding, and much more. There's no approval process and usually the only delays are in how much time it takes to implement something, or how long it takes for that delivery to arrive.

    3. Indie podcasters made the podcasting industry

    Don't let anyone mislead you! No broadcast company or executive invented podcasting—it was indies: Dave Winer (who created RSS) and Adam Curry. And the foundations of podcasting are very much “pirate radio.”

    4. Indie podcasters are resourceful

    Indie podcasters are used to working with what they have or very limited resources. They're well-acquainted with recording in a closet or under a blanket, using pantyhose for a pop filter, or hacking things together.

    5. Indie podcasters are the majority

    Of the nearly 1.1 million podcasts at this time, I estimate there are only a couple or few thousand podcasts (under 1%) are hosted by corporate podcasters. The rest are the indies!

    6. Indie podcasters reach the niches

    There's almost no niche too small! You can find a podcast on almost anything and usually hosted by people passionate about and highly experienced in those topics.

    7. Indie podcasters want (and deserve) to be involved in the podcasting industry

    No matter the direction the industry goes, I think no one cares more about it than the independent podcasters. Sometimes, it even seems like podcasting is a way of life to an indie.

    If you're an independent podcaster, please get involved in The Podcast Academy to ensure the indie majority is represented.

    What are corporate podcasters?

    1. Corporate podcasters are subject to external oversight

    “Design by committee” is a phrase that makes almost any designer cringe. Corporate podcasters have committees, executives, corporate interests, sponsors, and even legal regulations often dictating what can and can't be done.

    2. Corporate podcasters move slowly and deliberately

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