Teaming Up For Your Podcast? Make Sure To Use A Contribution Contract

Nov 21, 2023

Podcast contributions from a creator that your fans know and love can be a great way to liven up your podcast. They can add a perspective that you might not be able to provide on your own, bring in new listeners, and it can be a great chance to boost an artist or creator that you really enjoy. 

Whether your contributor only comes on once or becomes a frequent fixture on your podcast, podcast contributions are ultimately a business relationship. That’s why it’s important to have a podcast contribution contract. Fortunately, Garcia-Zamor is here to help.

What Is a Podcast Contribution Contract?

A podcast contribution contract is an agreement between the podcaster and the contributor laying out the scope of the contribution, as well as any responsibility on the podcaster’s end. The rights to any audio or extra digital content will also be laid out.

A podcast contribution contract is a good way to ensure that the working relationship goes smoothly. It allows both parties to understand their rights and responsibilities and helps to navigate any conflict. That way, you can walk away on good terms and may even be willing to work with each other again.

Types of Podcast Contributions

What exactly is a podcast contribution? Well, there are a few different kinds. Your contract may need to be different depending on the type of contribution you’re looking for.

One type of contribution is bringing a guest on to your podcast. They might be a guest host or an interview subject, for instance. A podcast about publishing might bring on an author to talk about their process of getting published, such as in the podcast First Draft with Sarah Enni. A podcast that is more of a radio drama may bring on actors to play certain roles, such as in Monstrous Agonies by HR Owen. 

Another way to contribute to a podcast is by providing music. Sometimes podcasters will bring musicians on to provide live music for their episode, or they might acquire the rights to play a certain recording as a theme song. Popular podcast drama Welcome to Nightvale often played music from a variety of artists halfway through the episode. 

Then there are podcast contributions that don’t actually occur on the podcast. Some podcasts have blogs or Patreons that users can go to for more content. Podcasters may collaborate with artists, writers, or other contributors to provide digital content on these platforms. 

Regardless of the type of podcast contribution, it’s important to have a podcast contribution contract drawn up before you bring any contributors on board. You may even ask us to create  a podcast contribution contract before you launch your first episode. That way, you’re always prepared. 

What Does a Podcast Contribution Contract Cover?

The podcast contribution contract primarily covers the ownership of and/or license rights in intellectual property rights to the podcast as they relate to both the podcaster and the contributor. For digital content, such as content provided for patreon members, the contract might include the type of content provided, such as the downloadable content provided in the membership.

While you may have a draft of what goes into your contribution contract, it may be a good idea to ensure the protection of your intellectual property through trademarks depending on the type of branding and content that you are providing.