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Naming rights: Can you use someone else’s podcast name?

Amber Daines | 24 February, 2023

While blogs and written posts are still valuable (hey, this is what I am doing here), the growth of podcasts remains the future for anyone serious about online marketing, establishing a brand, or imparting their knowledge.

People are increasingly time-poor – it’s just easier to listen to something when you’re on the treadmill at the gym, cooking dinner, preparing school lunches, or even driving in the car between meetings.

So, I encourage everyone to consider including a podcast in their medium to long-term plans.

And the best way to start is to listen to a few – see what works for you as a listener and make notes.

A podcast name is exclusive, right?

You will often come across podcasts with the same or very similar names. Unfortunately, no legal restrictions with trademarks and no exclusivity like domain names on the web exist.

This happened to me – my podcast name is the ‘Politics of Everything‘… and I had to learn the hard way. It’s disappointing and frankly disheartening when you’ve taken the time to choose a name that encapsulates your brand and your selected topics, only to find that it is already taken. 

But if you’re new to podcasting and don’t yet have much of a following, it doesn’t make sense to compete with established shows – of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but you’re best to consider something else.

What if my name is already taken?

There are other vital implications to having a unique name, too – when you’re setting up a podcast with the intent to grow your audience, ideally, you want all your platforms – website, social, and podcast all to have the same name, or a version of that name, so that they’re recognisable, and linked. Otherwise, this can confuse your audience and make you harder to find in search engines.

If you’ve never had a podcast but have a registered domain name and social media to match, you must be prepared for this scenario. If your name is taken, you must decide whether you’re proceeding or returning to the drawing board.

Of course, if you want to, you can contact the owners of the competing podcasts to see if they’re willing to sell the name, although, be warned, this can drive up the price. But statistics from Apple, released at the end of 2022, show that only about 18 percent of podcasts on the Apple platform are active. So, it might be worth a go.

On the other hand, if you have to rethink your name completely, don’t think of it as a ‘bad’ thing. It can be an opportunity. At the very least, it will stimulate creativity and even spur you to tweak or update your brand and logo.

Choosing a name

When choosing a name, consider the brand characteristics you want to promote and reinforce.

Consider describing these values, tone, and ‘character.’

Check synonyms, definitions, and antonyms, and play around with alliteration.

These activities can help you develop something unique and relevant to who you are and what you’re podcasting. Above all, think about your content and what your audience wants to hear. Ensure your name is relevant; otherwise, you’ll never appear in a keyword search, which is vital for attracting traffic to your podcast as you grow.

You’ll learn all the basics of getting started, including what equipment you’ll need to produce quality sound (without breaking your budget).

We’ll help you develop a strategy, plan the first few episodes, and give you some excellent presentation tips. We’ll also show you how to edit and publish your podcast, how to market your podcast, grow your audience, and much more.

It’s something that should be on your list this year. Podcasts are becoming more popular, and the more confident and polished you are from the get-go, the quicker you’ll be on the pathway to success.

Want to launch a podcast in 4 weeks? Join my online course ‘Podcast Idea to Launch’ in 4 weeks.

Book a time to discuss with me for more information or help podcasting successfully as part of your marketing, PR, and communications.