If you edit podcasts for a living, you know that the most “omg-hurry-up-I-have-other-projects-to-get-done” part of the work is the final listen. You’ve edited everything, engineered it to your heart’s content, and now you need to listen to it once more to make sure you didn’t miss anything. This is 100% a necessary process, you must QA your work. If you don’t QA it, your client has to, and if your client has to, well… aren’t they paying you to do that? Necessary as it is, it still eats up about an hour of your time.
Your hourly rate decreases exponentially for every hour spent delivering on a fixed-rate product.
If you charge $100 per 60-minute podcast episode, and you’re a normatively-skilled editor, you’re spending about 2-hours on the episode all in. Downloading the files, dragging them into the DAW, settling into your chair, getting a drink of water, tweaking all the plugins, etc. Even if it’s only 1.5hrs worth of actual work, it’s eating up 2-hours of your time.
And now you’ve got a 45-minute finished product that’s ready to go to the client.
You have some options here, each with varying risks and results:
Option #1 : Just send it to the client. It’s done.
If you go this route and you haven’t missed anything, it’s all good. You’re awesome. But if there’s a miss, it generally manifests like this:
Monday at 1pm: you send the file to the client.
Tuesday at 8am: they listen to it and they find two things that need to be fixed.
Tuesday at 3pm: they send you an email with those two edits noted so you can fix them.
Tuesday at 6pm: You open the session and make the edits. You would have done it sooner but you were working on other projects all day and couldn’t prioritize this client.
Tuesday at 7pm: You deliver the edited version to the client.
“60 minutes! No way! It’d be like 20-minutes maybe!”
Okay, let’s think it through.
The edits might take 20-minutes, but what about the bounce? A 45-minute episode with two speakers and a reasonable number of plugins running is going to take 20-minutes to bounce. Now consider the time spent communicating with the client (via email or phone) on both ends of this “fixing.” You don’t think of that as “time spent editing” but it is. In the end, maybe it’s only 45-minutes, but that really shoots the heck out of an hour, doesn’t it? Not only that, but now you’re stressed out from working late, the client is stressed out because the release date might be at risk of compromise, or maybe a pre-release process is being held up (prepping audiograms, creating youtube videos, etc).
You were making $50/hr before. Now you’re making $33. You’ve also shown the client that you either didn’t listen to the episode when you were done, OR you did and you missed the edit anyway. This calls your competency into question.
Option #2 : Listen to it at 2x speed and fix anything you find.
Okay. Not a bad plan really, and pretty economical. Still keeps you from your next project for another 22-minutes. And if you need to make edits, well you’re probably looking at another 30-minutes because you’ve still gotta bounce everything again after the fix. So here you are, again, spending 40-ish minutes of your time on the QA and your hourly rate is taking a hit — as is your availability.
Option #3 : Listen to it at 1x speed and don’t cut corners.
This is the way, my friends — good ole fashion wholesome QA. But it’s going to eat an hour+edit+bounce time. So your two hours is now a minimum 3 and a max 4-hours. Now you’re making $25/hr (gross, not net!).
And that’s it. Those are your options. At least, they were your options until today.
Today I’d like to introduce Option #4: PodPerfectQA
We’ve launched PodPerfectQA to help Podcast Editors get more quickly onto the next project so they can recoup some of the revenue lost during the QA process. We QA the audio for you, provide notes and edit points you can import into your session and quickly find and make edits.
If you’re going to lose time in QA anyway, why not at least make yourself profitable during that hour AND save face with the client by ensuring what you deliver is right?
Our service costs $30 for recordings <60-minutes in length.
Yes, this is an expense that effects your hourly, BUT while we’re listening, you’re working — thus reducing your revenue loss by 50%.
50%!? You better show me some math!
Let’s assume you charge $100 per podcast episode and you finish episodes in 2-hours. So you’re making $50/hr. Now you have to QA.
Let’s further assume the playback for this episode is 45-minutes and you discover no errors.
That 45-minutes costs you about $30, but that’s not all it costs you.
That 45-minutes prevents you from starting the next project for 45-minutes — so it’s actually cost you $30 in time and $30 in unrealized productivity.
Simply: If you listen, you’ve lost $60. If we listen, you’ve only lost $30. The 50% reduction in lost revenue comes from you not losing $30 twice.
That’s what PodPerfectQA is actually about.
And if it sounds like something that could help you spend more time working and less time losing money, you can try it out at PodPerfectQA.com.