Drive around any city in America, and you’ll surely see record stores and recording studios for music and musicians. You’ll see galleries and painting studios for art and artists. You’ll see bookstores and book club groups meeting in Panera, for books and authors.
But it is rare to run across anything built for podcasters.
Podcasting is still the wild, wild west of the media world, existing almost entirely in earbuds and in basements across America. As a fledgling industry, there have been very few places where podcasts interact with our physical space.
Like most creative endeavors, it’s big names that are the first to venture into the public eye of podcasting. Dave Ramsey built a public recording studio designed for live audiences, and Lore now tours the country having adapted their podcast to the stage.
And just like that, commercial recording studios designed for podcasters are popping up all over the U.S. In Nashville, TN, The Russell, a boutique hotel, offers a podcast studio on premises for local podcasters and hotel guests to use. You can even find a directory of places offering similar services at PodcastRental.com.
The Portland Pod in Greater Portland, Maine, is one such place.
Started in 2018, The Portland Pod is a complete turnkey solution for individuals and companies who/that want to connect with their audience via podcast, but don’t necessarily want the learning curve of recording, editing, and publishing, nor the stress of finding a dedicated space for erecting a soundproof studio. Not only that, but they also offer access to voice-over artists, an in-house composer, video, film, and art creation, and even manage Facebook ads to promote their shows.
Basically, The Portland Pod invites individuals and companies to come in, sit down, deliver their content, and sit back and relax while the finished product is produced and promoted for them.
But the real value of The Portland Pod is in its founder, Tanner Campbell. Tanner is more than a studio owner; he is a veteran podcaster having gained over 90,000 subscribers for his podcasts. Tanner originally spent years as a hobby podcaster while editing other people’s podcasts as a side gig. And then, in 2018, he noted the rising interest in podcasting, and took a big risk: he quit his job, and started The Portland Pod.
Soon, you’ll be able to drive around Greater Portland and, glancing out your window, actually see a sign just like Subway, Game Stop, and Barnes & Nobles for The Portland Pod Podcasting Studio.
Not every commercial space is set up for podcasters to rent studio time, however. Some companies opt to overcome the learning curve, build their own studio, and create podcasts in-house. One of those such companies is in Malibu, California.
Down the street from Zuma Jay Surfboard and the offices of Dunn & Bradstreet on Pacific Coast Highway is a new podcasting company, CurtCo Media. Not to be mistaken as new to media, though, as Bill Curtis, its CEO, spent 30 years building his media presence and knowledge base. Over its lifespan, CurtCo Media published over 70 magazines, including The Robb Report, becoming experts in the craft of delivering content, building paying audiences, and providing value for advertisers.
They also felt their unique skill set would translate to podcasting perfectly.
Even though CurtCo mastered the craft of making content fit the size of a page, a two-page spread, and ¼ page ads for audiences with short attention spans, they’ve always wanted to create longer-form content. Podcasting offers the medium for doing so.
Podcasters regularly consume content that is 20 minutes, 40 minutes, and two hours in length, which is plenty of time for a group of people to sit down and thoroughly discuss a topic behind a mic.
Bill’s experience taught him that the true magic happens when people sit down together in person versus connecting via video phone. So, he talked the audio experts at Yellowtec into building a state-of-the-art oceanside studio that is so much more than a typical studio.
To make his guests comfortable, they have created a complete resort-like atmosphere, offering an upscale experience to clients like Congressmen Ted Lieu, supermodel Jill De Jong, actress Alfre Woodard, and director Gurinder Chadha. And because the host and guests get to be in the same space, their podcasts are truly unique.
Podcast studios like The Portland Pod and CurtCo are still in their infancy nationwide, but someday soon, you’ll begin hearing it… “Sorry, I have to leave early; I have an appointment at the podcasting studio.”
August 2020 Issue