APM Podcasts: Open Call – FAQ

Update: The window for submissions is now closed. Contact us here with any questions.

Thank you,
The APM Podcasts team

Who can submit an idea?
Anyone can submit a pitch! You don’t need to be a podcast producer, host or journalist. We know that great ideas come from innovative and creative people in any field and with a variety of experiences.

How do I submit an idea?
It’s simple. Just fill out our submission form here.

Can I submit something that I’ve already produced?
Yes, but we’re primarily interested in piloting original ideas. You may already have audio to submit as an example of your work, but all accepted submissions will be developed and refined to best serve the audience and fit within the APM portfolio.

Can I submit multiple podcast pitches?
Yes, one person can submit multiple pitches. That said, please do not submit variations on the same idea, and please self-edit: Only send your best, most complete concepts.

Are there any geographic restrictions to podcast pitches?
No. There are no restrictions on the location of the submitter(s). That said, we are looking for ideas that will connect with a national audience, so if your pitch is very specific to your current location, be sure to consider its relevance for a national audience.

What happens when you submit your podcast pitch?
First of all, thanks for sharing your idea with us! When you submit your pitch to APM, it will be evaluated by our podcast team to determine if it is a good fit for further development by APM. We will contact you with further questions, if we need more information to make a decision. A small number of podcasts pitches will be selected for piloting. Pilots will then be evaluated for potential full season production. We will enter into contract negotiations with you to determine your role in the development and production of a pilot.

What is the timeline?
Pitches will be accepted between January 15, 2019 and February 15, 2019. Submissions will not be accepted after 11:59PM CST on February 15th. We will contact a select number of applicants for further information by March 30th.

Am I giving APM rights to my podcast idea by submitting it?
No! You maintain full ownership of your idea in the submission process. Only if your idea is selected for piloting will APM begin contract negotiations about payment and ownership.

What type of podcast are you looking for?
We are interested in a wide variety of concepts, hosts, styles and structures, but there are a few key traits we’re looking for in each pitch:

  1. Surprise us. Pitch us a show that’s different than what we already make — and different from what’s already out there for podcast listeners.
  2. Clearly define your show concept. You should be able to describe the overall concept of your show in a few sentences or less.
  3. Do more than entertain. We take our public service mission seriously, and look for podcasts that not only engage people, but also provide a deep value to our audience.
  4. Understand who your audience is, and why they’ll listen. Tell us how your show will create a bigger and more diverse podcast audience.
  5. Think long term. Does your concept have multi-season potential?
  6. Take risks. Are you a writer who has never worked in audio? Maybe you’ve been producing news, but want to take on a longer project. Maybe you’ve never worked in media, but have incredible show idea for an audience we’re not serving. Take a chance with us; we’re looking to build strong teams around strong talent. You don’t have to know how to do everything.

What is the selection process?
The APM Podcast team carefully reviews every submission. We’ll look first for the content and audience qualities listed in in the previous question. Pitches that make it to a second round of consideration will also be looked at through the lens of business and production feasibility. If we have further questions about your submission, we will reach out to you for additional information that will help our team make a final decision.

What feedback will I get?
Unfortunately, we will not be able to give feedback on your pitch unless it is selected for pilot production.

How many submissions will be selected to be piloted?
We expect to pilot 3-6 shows.

What happens if my pitch is selected for piloting?
First you cheer, do a happy dance and call your best friend to brag about your awesomeness. Seriously though, if your pitch is selected by our team, we will enter into contract negotiations with you. You will work with APM’s podcast development team to create the pilot episode. After the pilot is complete, it will be considered for a full season.

Is there compensation?
Yes. We will enter into contract negotiations with you that will include competitive financial compensation if your idea is selected for pilot production.

What is APM providing if my pitch is selected?
If your idea is selected for a full season, APM will provide production resources and funding, marketing and PR support, underwriting/sales and membership opportunities as APM will determine. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate, cross-promote and learn from other APM Podcast teams. Pilot production is conditioned upon successful negotiations and a signed contract.

Will you have a submission period every year?
This is our first open call for submissions and an experiment for us. If we’re successful in finding new ideas and talent, then we will expect to repeat the process in 2020.

Is this a competition?
No, it is not a competition. We are looking for new ideas, new partners and talent, and will enter into contract negotiations with anyone whose submission is selected for piloting.

I have episode/topic ideas for an existing APM podcast. Can I submit that?
Thanks for listening to APM’s shows! Many of our programs do accept episode submissions. Visit the show’s website or find it at apmpodcasts.org

Do you have other questions? Ask here.