Everything You Need To Know About a Podcast Co-host Agreement

Written by Wesley Henderson

February 6, 2023

You must be excited to get started on your podcast now that you’ve decided to bring a co-host on board. However, before you start recording, it’s important to have a podcast co-host agreement in place to ensure a smooth podcast collaboration.

At a glance, this legal document outlines the rights and responsibilities of each podcast host, including their roles and duties. Essentially, establishing these terms beforehand helps to protect the podcast hosts in the event of a future disagreement.

However, there is more to a podcast co-host agreement than setting expectations. Here’s a closer look at this legal document, who needs one, and why you should invest in one before you debut as a podcasting duo.

What Is a Podcast Co-host Agreement?

When podcasting partners decide to team up and collaborate, a podcast co-host agreement is a document that outlines each podcast host’s rights and responsibilities. It’s a legally binding contract that both podcast hosts should sign. Here are some common obligations that the agreement can outline.

Creative Development

Who is in charge of writing your show scripts? Will you have a director in charge of podcast production? Whose job is it to edit the podcast recordings? Your agreement must name whoever will handle these duties.

Production

Production involves setting up podcast equipment, handling audio files, and scheduling podcast episodes. You need to decide who will be responsible for piecing the podcast series together, so your audience can stream it. You may also want to assign someone to handle finding guests for certain episodes of the show.

Marketing

Will podcast hosts be responsible for podcast promotion? Are there any creative assets such as podcast artwork and podcast intros that need creation? You have to decide who will be in charge of the marketing side of your show, which may include sponsorships and paid ads.

Licensing

Podcasts need legal licenses before you can distribute them on platforms like Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Your agreement must determine who will oversee the tasks associated with podcast licensing and distribution.

Compensation

It’s important to establish how much each podcast host makes and how they get the money or specific services they must meet to get compensation. Each party must detail these terms in the agreement, including calculation methods and frequency of payments.

Finances

Your podcast co-host agreement must include a clause that defines the podcast hosts’ financial management responsibilities. For example, who will pay for the podcast equipment or podcast hosting fees? Who will be in charge of podcast accounting and filing podcast taxes? How will you distribute the show’s revenue?

Conflict Resolution

Just like any business that involves more than one person, you may encounter disputes as you record and launch episodes for your podcast. Your agreement should state how all associated hosts must handle future podcasting disputes and how they can resolve any disagreements without compromising the podcast series.

Ownership Rights

Your podcast co-host agreement should also address who owns the podcast and who holds certain rights over it. It must clarify if podcast hosts are podcast owners and who gets podcast ownership if the hosts decide to part ways.

Legal Matters

If your podcast finds itself in legal trouble, you must assign someone to handle the situation. The agreement can state who will respond to the legal issues and how podcast owners should respond.

Who Needs a Podcast Co-host Agreement?

Anyone who makes a podcast with an official partner should invest in a co-host agreement before they start recording. Regardless of the relationship the co-hosts have, it’s essential to have an agreement that clarifies everyone’s responsibilities and rights.

You may think that you can do without this legal document because you will run the podcast with friends or family members. However, consider that your co-host is also your business partner — with your show being the business.

As such, you must expect professional responsibilities surrounding your show, which will require a clear podcasting agreement. A podcast co-host agreement will protect the hosts, so they can focus on creating content without worrying about disputes or any legal issues.

For example, if you plan to record with guests, you will need an agreement that details who will find these speakers and how you will compensate them.

Suppose your show is about running a small business and you invite an industry professional. That guest is likely to have terms and conditions for agreeing to appear on your show. As such, your co-host agreement will ensure that everyone involved will be happy going into the recording sessions throughout the release of the podcast episodes.

Why You Should Invest in a Podcast Co-host Agreement

Having a podcast co-host agreement offers a range of benefits when you venture into the world of podcasting. In essence, you can enjoy the process of hosting a podcast without worrying too much about the technicalities and legalities. Since you already established them at the beginning, and everyone involved agrees to them, you can focus on hosting the show you have been meaning to share with the world.

One of the most important functions of a podcast co-host agreement is how it helps you avoid potential disputes while protecting your show’s interests. You will determine how you will address disagreements and navigate podcast ownership in advance. This binding document contains your ground rules, which you must honor as partners.

It’s essential to invest in a podcast co-host agreement, so you can freely podcast and forget about podcasting disputes and other legal matters. A podcast co-host agreement should clarify all the responsibilities and rights of podcast owners. While that task may seem overwhelming when you’re just beginning, you can rest assured that the legal document you invest in contains several templates that you can customize according to your preferences.

Since they are legal documents, be sure to get a co-host agreement that a lawyer drafted. At Drafted Legal, we designed a podcast co-host agreement template bundle including everything that you need to launch your career as a professional podcaster. It includes:

  • Guest release form
  • Advertiser agreement form
  • Affiliate agreement form
  • Disclaimer language form
  • Independent contractor agreement form
  • Insider tips

Your podcast will be your business, so you must treat it as such. This document is essential in legalizing your operations and protecting your copyright in case your show’s success opens opportunities for management changes. Consider looking into our specialized legal templates for podcasters.

Get Started: Customize Your Podcast Co-host Agreement With This Template

A podcast co-host agreement is an essential document to include when you’re podcasting with partners. This legal document will set the ground rules and protect both owners and guests. It establishes the obligations of everyone involved and determines their compensation.

In terms of finances, the document also sets how you will manage your podcast’s earnings. These may come from the guests you have over, advertisements, and sponsorship deals that you obtain throughout your career. Your agreement will also assign who handles these duties.

Our legal experts at Drafted Legal created several templates and included them in a bundle for podcast co-hosts to establish a legal agreement for their show. You can tailor the terms according to your unique needs and ensure that everyone involved is happy with them. Download Drafted Legal’s podcasting template here.

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