How to Develop, Package, and Sell Your Podcast and Make it a Hit

Hosted by Mark Ramsey

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Mark Ramsey

Webinar hosted by: Mark Ramsey

Podcast Creator and Audio Storyteller (Wondery's INSIDE JAWS, THE UNDER COVERS WITH ED O'NEIL)

Mark Ramsey is the creator, writer, and host of several imaginative, top-ranked podcasts for Wondery including INSIDE STAR WARS, INSIDE PSYCHO, INSIDE THE EXORCIST, and INSIDE JAWS. He wrote and directed POPS! THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF JAZZ LEGEND LOUIS ARMSTRONG starring Reno Wilson (MIKE AND MOLLY, GOOD GIRLS), and THE UNDERCOVERS, hosted by Ed O'Neill (Modern Family). Mark is currently co-producing the upcoming podcast AFTERSHOCK, a full cast fiction audio thriller just acquired by iHeartMedia and starring Sarah Wayne Callies (THE WALKING DEAD, COLONY), David Harbour (STRANGER THINGS), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (THE WALKING DEAD). He is also writing and narrating a podcast adaptation ofTHE LAST STONE, a true crime story from New York Times best-selling author Mark Bowden (BLACK HAWK DOWN) and is developing a podcast version of William Kotzwinkle’s classic THE FAN MAN, starring David Arquette (SCREAM). Mark's deep experience in the podcast space and the success he has found through his career has given him the knowledge and understanding of what it takes to make a podcast hit, and he's going to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

In a short period of time, the world of podcasts has exploded and become an industry to be reckoned with. Over 100 million Americans listen to podcasts on at least a monthly basis, and individual shows can have millions of fans. We’re not just talking about nonfiction works like THE DAILY or SERIAL; fiction podcasts are also having a moment as more writers are turning to the audio medium to tell incredible stories. An art form in its own right, podcasts have also become a proving ground for stories to be adapted for television or movies. Shows like HOMECOMING, DIRTY JOHN, and LIMETOWN would never have been greenlit or aired if they didn’t first find success and a fan base in podcast form. Now with many more podcast adaptations like CRIMETOWN, THE BRIGHT SESSIONS and ALICE ISN’T DEAD currently in development, this route is becoming much more common and achievable. Yet before you can score that rich TV deal you first need a podcast HIT, but what does that actually take?

Podcasts are easy to make - too easy. That’s partly why there are so many podcasts out there right now. Yet very few of these are actually going to be noticed by executives and transformed into the next big TV series. It turns out to stand out you need more than a great concept and some fancy audio equipment. For a podcast to really pick up steam it needs to be packaged similar to a film or TV series. It usually needs producing partners, it needs banner names and talent, and it needs a distributor or network that is willing to pick it up. So what do you need to do know before you write that first word or produce that first .wav file? How can you put the odds in your favor and still enjoy the ride? 

Mark Ramsey is the creator, writer, and host of several imaginative, top-ranked podcasts for Wondery including INSIDE STAR WARS, INSIDE PSYCHO, INSIDE THE EXORCIST, and INSIDE JAWS. He wrote and directed POPS! THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF JAZZ LEGEND LOUIS ARMSTRONG starring Reno Wilson (MIKE AND MOLLY, GOOD GIRLS), and THE UNDERCOVERS, hosted by Ed O'Neill (Modern Family). Mark is currently co-producing the upcoming podcast AFTERSHOCK, a full cast fiction audio thriller just acquired by iHeartMedia and starring Sarah Wayne Callies (THE WALKING DEAD, COLONY), David Harbour (STRANGER THINGS), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (THE WALKING DEAD). He is also writing and narrating a podcast adaptation of THE LAST STONE, a true crime story from New York Times best-selling author Mark Bowden (BLACK HAWK DOWN) and is developing a podcast version of William Kotzwinkle’s classic THE FAN MAN, starring David Arquette (SCREAM). Mark's deep experience in the podcast space and the success he has found through his career has given him the knowledge and understanding of what it takes to make a podcast hit, and he's going to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community.

Mark will lay out how to properly develop and package your podcast in order for it to hopefully get picked up by a podcast network and serve as IP for future opportunities. He’ll delve into what the podcast landscape looks like and what it takes for a podcast to become a hit. He’ll share the 4 main ways you can increase your odds for discovery and discuss the need for getting a podcast distributor on board. He’ll also go over how best to bring name actors on board and get them excited on your project. Mark will then teach you how to nail your pitch to networks and podcast distributors, what sort of pitch documents you should prepare and how to communicate your show to get executives on board. Mark will even provide case studies of real pitch documents he’s created for his own shows and go through what about them worked and didn’t. Finally, Mark will discuss the path from hit podcast to IP and what next steps can be.

 

Making a podcast hit means more than a great concept or script. Mark will walk you through what you actually need to do to give your show the platform it needs to find success.

What You'll Learn

  • An Introduction
    • Mark’s story – how he and his partner helped create the Wondery Sound
    • Tools Not Rules
    • Important definitions
      • Commercial podcasts
      • Vanitycasts
      • B2Bcasts
      • Vaporcasts
  • What Is a Hit Podcast?
    • And the 3 biggest obstacles to make your own podcast a hit
  • How to Make Your Podcast Great
  • How to Make Your Podcast Unique
  • The 4 Main Ways You Can Increase Your Odds for Discovery
  • The Importance of a Podcast Distributor
    • Main networks currently out there
  • How Can You Get a Distributor for Your Show?
    • Making your pitch attractive to influential distributors
    • Popular vs. good
    • What makes a show easier to sell to advertisers
  • What’s a Good Concept for a Podcast?
  • Let’s Talk Numbers – What Actually Constitutes Success?
  • How Can You Get Your Podcast HEARD?
    • Mark’s experience with WGE
    • Being on a network vs. independent distribution
    • Is it important to have representation?
    • Coming in with an existing audience
    • The power of an existing media platform
    • Episode drops and other strategies
    • Leveraging existing
  • Approaching Actors and Influencers
    • How to find the talent that will want to get on board
    • Using social media
  • Nailing the Pitch to Networks and Distributors
    • Putting together your One Sheet / Pitch Deck
    • Tips to best communicate your show
  • Pitch Document Case Studies
    • Mark will show multiple pitch documents he has created, why he made the choices he made, and how the documents helped (or hurt) his shows getting picked up
  • The Path from Podcast to Marketable IP
  • Mark’s 5 Biggest Takeaways
  • Q&A with Mark

About Your Instructor

Mark Ramsey is the creator, writer, and host of several imaginative, top-ranked podcasts for Wondery including INSIDE STAR WARS, INSIDE PSYCHO, INSIDE THE EXORCIST, and INSIDE JAWS. He wrote and directed POPS! THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF JAZZ LEGEND LOUIS ARMSTRONG starring Reno Wilson (MIKE AND MOLLY, GOOD GIRLS), and THE UNDERCOVERS, hosted by Ed O'Neill (Modern Family). Mark is currently co-producing the upcoming podcast AFTERSHOCK, a full cast fiction audio thriller just acquired by iHeartMedia and starring Sarah Wayne Callies (THE WALKING DEAD, COLONY), David Harbour (STRANGER THINGS), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (THE WALKING DEAD). He is also writing and narrating a podcast adaptation ofTHE LAST STONE, a true crime story from New York Times best-selling author Mark Bowden (BLACK HAWK DOWN) and is developing a podcast version of William Kotzwinkle’s classic THE FAN MAN, starring David Arquette (SCREAM). Mark's deep experience in the podcast space and the success he has found through his career has given him the knowledge and understanding of what it takes to make a podcast hit, and he's going to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community.

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