“When are you launching your podcasts?” It’s no longer a matter of “if,” but “when, how many, and are you monetizing them?” With 4.1 billion downloads last year, almost 50 million weekly listeners, and by far the highest CPMs in digital, podcasts are on everyone’s radar. Once the realm of stand-up comedians and hobbyists, now content creators and businesses as varied as playwrights, journalists, television networks, magazines, design firms, authors, and music venues are getting behind the mic and are increasingly finding the need for legal support.
The lawyers at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP (CDAS) are deeply knowledgeable in the expanding world of personal audio on demand and their clients represent over 25% market share of the podcasting industry. The firm advises the world’s largest pure-play podcast network, audio dramatists, perennial top ten shows, popular hosts, app developers, production companies, podcast cooperatives, directors, sound designers, producers, and the Brooklyn Podcast Festival, on now from November 14-19.
“Many of us at the firm were fans first.” said Lindsay W. Bowen, a leader in the firm’s podcast practice. Lindsay added podcasting to his practice by attending local meetups with colleagues, and then expanding to national conferences and festivals. “It is a small enough world that you can learn the business and the language from the industry leaders themselves. People were happy to talk about what legal issues came up the most, because no one else had ever asked.”
When Design Observer’s Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand teamed with Yale University’s School of Management to produce their influential podcast “The Design of Business | The Business of Design,” they called their lawyers for help negotiating major sponsorships for the podcast. “Michael and Jessica were reassured because we had already done a large number of deals in the space,” said partner Josh Sessler.
Jim Carden, CEO of City Farm Presents, notes that when he first met a CDAS partner, “he pointed out that our venue The Bell House was already a ‘name brand’ for live podcasts, like the Blue Note for jazz, and asked if we had thought about a festival. As a matter of fact, we had just started to plan the first-annual Brooklyn Podcast Festival.” After a lot of hard work, and IP advice from CDAS, the festival launched this week. Schedules and tickets are available at www.bkpodfest.com.