Over the past several years, podcasts have become a popular and varied content format in their own right, but one trend that’s becoming increasingly prevalent is the growth of podcasts not just as a channel for storytelling, but as a proving ground for developing new properties which can then be adapted to other formats. Streaming services, film studios and TV networks have all begun turning to podcasts in search of their next hit.
From The Ricky Gervais Show to Dr. Death, an increasing number of podcasts are being optioned and adapted – which is why intellectual property ownership is so important for podcasters and production houses to consider. In this week’s episode, Rhianna Dhillon and Adam Shepherd talk to Kimberly Jung, CEO and co-founder of Blanchard House, a production company and self-styled ‘IP incubator’, about why IP management is such a core part of the company’s strategy, and how podcasters can take the best care of their own IP.
Make sure you have a lawyer present
“Before we [Blanchard House] sign anything, the negotiation process is what I do with our lawyers,” said Jung. “So if any creatives out there are thinking about negotiating contracts on your own, don't do it. Go get a lawyer!
“You need to have a lawyer who knows and understands all the ins and outs of the clauses for the negotiation.”
Think about the multiple ways that your podcast IP can expand
“Blanchard House definitely optimises itself to present IP as part of the IP funnel for TV and film, and when we started the company, that was part of the vision and the mission,” said Jung. “When you think about reading a script that's in written form – let's say it's from a book or it's from an article versus hearing a podcast – I think it's really obvious that hearing a podcast allows a writer or a TV producer to be able to visualise and understand the story much better than it does the other way around. So I think podcasts are pretty unique in that.”
Understand when you need to give in to outside help
“I think writers and journalists and producers, when they find a story, they're doing the bulk of the work; they are creating the IP,” said Jung. “The IP first belongs to them, first and foremost.
“The way you think about it is... in any other way that the IP can be turned into or can live into a different medium and take wings elsewhere, how much of it can you do versus how much of it do you need someone else's help on, and how badly do you need that help?”