Why I Sold My Podcast Company… To A Literary Agency.

Before we dive into why I sold my podcast company to a literary agency, let me paint a picture.

It’s early 2020 and no one truly understands how big the global pandemic of COVID-19 is going to become. I have developed a podcast network — primarily focused in the religious genre of content — that is reaching roughly 75,000 unique listeners a month. Because of the strength of that network, my small production company is now being booked to produce larger independent shows. In 2019 our podcasts received just shy of 4,000,000 total downloads. In 2020 our independent podcast production requests were sky-rocketing, in part because of the virus-triggered lockdowns and in part because of executing good work the year prior. We were on trajectory to double our project workload in 2020 and I began to realize just what I had on my hands:

A Big Problem.

For those of you who read about entrepreneurship (or listen to a few podcasts about it), you are fully aware of the moment in the entrepreneurial journey I was facing as founder: Scaling Ourselves Directly To A Painful Death. This was me in June 2020 — growing so fast that the systems allowing our small production group to run Converge Podcast Network and a handful of independent shows successfully were the very things causing us to fail at real and sustainable growth. There was major opportunity ahead of us but the keys to unlocking the growth didn’t seem to be in my portfolio.

Liz gave me the confidence to believe in myself.

Whitney gave me the confidence to believe in myself and the content business.

Clint gave me the confidence to believe in myself, the content business, and a future as industry leader.

This is your formal introduction to Terra Firma. We build podcasts built to last.

We have ambitions to solve 3 major problems inside of podcasting and audio through Terra Firma:

Problem #1: Sustainability

As of the writing of this article (April 2021) there are over 2 million podcasts and over 45 million individual episodes. The first problem we are solving is sustainability. Out of the 2 million podcasts+, it is estimated that only 36% have produced more than 10 episodes. And roughly 520,000 of the 2,000,000 have produced 10 episodes and at least one produced episode in the past year (26%).

Anyone can launch a podcast. Only a few can keep it going.

Only a tiny percentage — Steve Goldstein suggests that it is possible single-digit percentage — can sustainably podcast.

Problem #2: Progressive Monetization

The second problem we are solving is creating progressive monetization models. Very few podcasters are “full-time” podcasters. In fact, that number is so small that I can’t think of a true and pure example as I write this. When our team thinks about what makes a podcaster successful we can’t help thinking about the progressive monetization that utilizes advertising, productization, and subscription models to build the strongest custom formula for each podcaster we work with.

Terra Firma helps develop marketing and monetization strategies that create a firm foundation for sustainable growth.

Problem #3: Bigger Than Audio

The third problem we are solving is dismantling the walls that separate the book publishing world and the podcast publishing world. Because we are now a part of the Content Capital family, we have access to a set of resources and people that are the best in the business at book development. This year we will be opening up pathways to bring authors into podcasting and podcasters into authorship.

President, Terra Firma™ | creating podcasts and audiobooks with a speciality in working with the world’s smartest people.