How much does it cost to edit a podcast? In the end, it depends on what you want from your service provider.
Are you looking for a podcast editor or a podcast manager? If you’re looking for an editor only, are you expecting a bare-bones edit where they take out awkward pauses and “ums”, or do you need someone to comb through your audio tirelessly and edit it to perfection?
Depending on your goals, podcast editing costs will vary. Just like pretty much else in the world, when it comes to podcast editing, you get what you pay for!
So, how much can you expect it to cost to get your podcast episodes edited? Let’s explore that.
What is a typical hourly rate for a podcast editor? How much does it really cost to edit a podcast?
Podcast editors charge anywhere from $15-$100/hr depending on experience and what kind of editing they’ll be doing.
If you’re hiring a freelancer, my advice would be to try out 2-4 of them, giving each of them an episode to edit for you (and paying them to do it, obviously.) Keep the freelancer you like best!
Podcast editing agencies are a great way to get a good deal on podcast editing services if you’re releasing 3-5 episodes per month or more. You can expect to pay anywhere from $400-$1200 per month for all-inclusive podcast editing services from an agency, depending on what type of package you buy.
If you’re looking for a podcast manager rather than a podcast editor, that’s a whole different ball game and usually a different pricing model.
What types of edits does your podcast need?
Depending on your expectations of the podcast editor, how much your podcast will cost to edit is going to vary. Simpler edits will cost less than more complex edits featuring mixing, boosts, and cuts.
Editing for content + basic podcast editing
A simpler podcast editing package would probably include the following:
- Removing weird pauses and dead air
- Getting rid of excessive “ums” and “uhs” – making you sound more confident and on the ball
- Adding intros, outros, and sponsors
- Removing background noise
- ID3 tagging
- Uploading to your host
A more robust package would probably include these things, on top of the ones listed above:
- Boosts and cuts to each speaker’s voice – making the audio sound balanced and the speakers sound better
- More custom modifications to the audio
- Mixing and mastering
- Creating audiograms for you to use on social media or your website
How long does it take to edit a podcast?
To listen to one hour of audio takes one hour. Listening to an hour-long podcast and editing along the way usually takes significantly longer than one hour.
On average, podcast editing tends to take anywhere between 2.5x to 4x the length of the audio.
Your podcast editor can listen to the audio at 1.5x or 2x speed, of course, but if you encourage them to do so, you risk a lower-quality editing job.
If you don’t mind a quicker, rougher editing job then let your podcast editor know beforehand. Otherwise, they will likely be taking longer to comb through your audio and iron out as many imperfections as they can.
Once a good podcast editor has worked with you for a little while, they’ll become more familiar with your preferences, style, and voice. They’ll get faster at what they do and they’ll do a better, more consistent job because the two of you will have had the opportunity to communicate and get on the same page about what you expect from your podcast editor.
Are you actually looking for a podcast manager?
If you want to bring someone onto your team who can be fully dedicated to the podcast and all aspects of editing, promotion, and upkeep of each episode, you’re probably looking at hiring a podcast manager.
A podcast manager is essentially a highly specialized type of virtual assistant who focuses on podcast-related services. This usually includes podcast editing, but can also include any of these things:
- Creating episode artwork
- Uploading episodes
- Creating and scheduling podcast-related social media posts and stories for your podcast’s or business’s social media
- “Launching” each episode by building hype on social media
- Booking guests for your podcast
- Seeking out collaboration and sponsorship opportunities for your podcast
- Transcribing your episodes and/or writing show notes
- Uploading show notes to your website and linking to resources mentioned in the episode
- Creating lead magnets for visitors to your podcast website
- Designing pins for your podcast episode, pinning them on Pinterest, and scheduling them in Tailwind to get pinned automatically on a regular basis
I’m probably forgetting something here, but as you can see, a podcast manager is someone who does pretty much takes everything off your plate except for recording the podcast itself.
Hourly and package rates vary, but you’ll typically pay a podcast manager similarly to how you would pay a podcast editor – you’ll just be paying for quite a few more hours. Usually, podcast managers advertise package-based pricing – you may be able to work out a deal.
How to find a podcast editor or podcast manager for your show
Virtual assistant Facebook groups are a great place to find a podcast manager. Ask the group members for their recommendations and talk to a few of the people who keep getting mentioned.
If you’re looking for an agency, just Google “podcast editing services” and you’ll find tons of podcast editing companies out there ready to tackle your project.
You can also search on freelancer marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr to find freelancers to edit with your podcast.
If you’re hiring someone with the intention of keeping them on your team for a significant amount of time, make sure to do an interview with them before signing a contract or entering a service agreement of any sort.
You want to make sure that that two of you are on the same page about expectations and that you jive well and will be able to communicate regularly without issue. I recommend asking for a trial month (fully-paid, of course) before agreeing to ongoing services – just to make sure you two work well together. This is definitely in the best interest of both parties!
How much does it cost to edit a podcast: Wrapping up
Long story short, there’s a big range when it comes to podcast editing and management services. So, there’s a big range when it comes to podcast editing costs. How much it costs to edit a podcast totally depends on what you want to get done.
Anywhere between $50-$300 per episode is a pretty common range to pay for podcast editing. If you’re monetizing your podcast, paying for premium editing services or investing in high-quality podcast management services is a super-smart move. This will take so much work off of your plate!