In the wake of recent protests, media organizations are facing criticism for the lack of equality for Black employees. Meanwhile, podcast creators are still trying to find a balance between reach, compensation, and ownership for their relatively new medium. That dynamic has led to an imbalance of power within the industry, often at the expense of people of color. Speaking to Kameel Stanley in Nieman Lab, The Nod co-host Brittany Luse expressed her frustration with how many Black creators get the short end of the stick:
“Is it fair to say that the work of Black creatives is consistently undervalued across many industries, if not all industries? I think that it’s fair to say that,” said Luse. “So I think it would be naive of me to think that us being Black had nothing to do with the fact that we don’t own The Nod brand. We don’t own the episodes of our show. We don’t have any claim—zero—of our IP.”
While few creators tied to major platforms like Spotify and iHeartMedia own their IP outright, work on both sides could go a long way to making progress for not just people of color but for everyone. For podcast producers, giving creators partial or full ownership could show they value diverse voices. For creators, IP expert Shaun Spalding offers the following advice: “registering trademarks and copyrights before negotiations begin could also offer creators better protection and leverage.”
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