John Branca Attorney for Entertainers

When most people think of entertainers, their minds almost always go to comedians, actors and actresses, and singers. The entertainment industry actually contains tons of different sectors of entertainment, and it can even include things like modeling, visual arts, and radio. Many people still turn to the radio during their commutes, but podcasts have seen a definite rise in popularity over the last decade. Do podcasters need an entertainment lawyer? Learn more below. 

What Are Podcasts?

By now, most people have at least heard of podcasts and even dabbled in a few. For those who haven’t yet heard of podcasts or listened to one, podcasts are spoken audio files that one can download and listen to on the go. Podcasts originally got their name from a combination of the term “iPod” and “broadcast”, and they are a lot like talk radio that people can listen to on their phones or mobile devices. 

How Do Podcasts Make Money?

Podcasts are either free to listen to, or they are a part of a paid audio entertainment network. As a result, podcasts that are free for users to listen to often make money by playing commercials throughout the show. 

Podcasts that require a paid subscription can still make money through sponsorships, but hosts and teams may also be under a contract with the entertainment network as a way to make a more steady income.

Finally, some podcasts are entirely donation-based, so listeners send small or large donations in to keep their favorite podcasts running. 

Do Podcasters Need an Entertainment Attorney?

Typically, small or indie podcasts can get by for a while without recruiting the help of an entertainment attorney. Even still, it may be helpful to consult with one as you create your podcast idea, cover art, and topics that you plan to cover, as they can help you steer clear of unlawful topics that can result in a lawsuit. 

Podcasts that have grown a fanbase and have paid sponsors are more likely to benefit from an entertainment lawyer who can negotiate the terms of sponsorship on their client’s behalf. They can also work to bring a legal merchandising enterprise to fruition, allowing podcasters to sell merchandise to their listeners as another income stream. 

Some podcasters produce and release their own shows, while others go through a podcasting network. Those who host a show through a podcasting network may need help negotiating a fair contract, which is where an entertainment attorney can prove immensely helpful from the beginning.

Not every podcaster needs an entertainment attorney, but it’s always a good idea to consult someone with legal expertise before signing a contract or selling merchandise.