How Much Does Podcast Editing Cost?

by | Start a Podcast

Editing an hour-long episode recorded to a reasonable standard you’d be looking to pay between $80 and $500.

On Fiverr, you may pay less, perhaps $50, but check out credentials. That’s because the competitive element of the platform pushes prices down, often unprofessionally. You get what you pay for, in general.

We do top notch quality podcast editing, you can check our prices here.

On the other hand, you can self-edit completely free of charge using audio software such as GarageBand or Audacity.

But for outsourcing costs, let’s dive deeper.

Related: Podcast Starter Kit

How Much Does Podcast Editing Cost, and Why Does it Vary?

The costs that are constant stem from three parts of the editing process that take unavoidable time:

  • listening to your recording
  • editing it
  • re-listening to check everything is pristine and ready to output as an MP3.

The big difference to cost after that depends on the quality of what you give the editor to work with. Gold dust? Or bronze scrapings?

That’s an exaggeration – but there’s a serious point here. Because one factor that can push your editing costs skyward is when an editor has to carry out excessive improvement to the track.

For instance, removal of ums, ahs and pauses is normal. But dealing with background noises, distortion, and strong variations of output volume and the like are things you could have sorted out yourself. Instead, though, you’re paying the editor for more hours’ work!

So if that’s the case, it pays (figuratively and literally!) to upgrade your equipment and method of recording, because that’s a one-off cost for you compared to the ongoing cost of paying your editor to upgrade every episode!

However all editing involves several stages in that “middle portion” we mentioned, whatever standard of recording you present to the editor.

These middle editing stages include the time-consuming phases of

  • stitching together and condensing your material, omitting unwanted bits
  • mixing the tracks together, improving and coordinating volume settings
  • mastering the mix for top audio quality

These are lengthy processes and editors have various ways of working out how they will charge you. So let’s look at that now.

How Do Editors Decide on Podcast Editing Costs?

microphone podcast editing screen

A good podcast editor can save you money in the long run

Some editors charge by the hour because this allows for variations in the length of the episode and the amount of editing needed. It’s fair to them and to you.

Other editors set a fixed fee that they know from experience will cover both bad recordings and better ones over time and therefore cancel each other out.

Other price variations depend on what you want included in the editing, such as

  • checking overall cohesion
  • writing your show notes,
  • transcribing your episode, or
  • extracting a teaser for the intro or for social media.

How Much Does Podcast Editing Cost with a Subscription Service?

You might be yearning to devote more time to developing brilliant concepts for quality episodes, tracking down amazing guests and spending most of your time on creative aspects of podcasting. So a thought keeps knocking around inside your head: how much would a subscription to a podcast editing service cost? Would it be worth it?

Agency subscriptions are usually higher when you look at the granular costs per episode because they offer a bigger, more complete job. However, taken together their extras can include a huge range of disparate and valuable additions such as

  • help with content planning
  • adding intros and outros for you
  • composing intro and outro music
  • providing cover images
  • choosing quotes for each episode to share on social media
  • adding chapter markers
  • production support, coaching and much more.

Monthly subscription prices for editing services can therefore range between $500 and $2500 per month according to the extras included in the tier and how many episodes you want editing per month.

It’s maybe not right for you to start your podcasting venture with a subscription service. Simple audio outsourcing to a freelance editor can be a good-enough move. But a subscription service might prove cost-effective down the line when

  • your show’s grown to a new level, and
  • finding and curating quality content is even more time-consuming for you than usual.

Always good to daydream and think ahead!

So How Much Does Podcast Editing Cost?

For a one-hour episode, your podcast might need around two-and-a-half hours for a full edit with a freelancer and will cost you upwards of $80 but probably not more than $500, especially if your recording is of a reasonable standard.

Related: PODCAST PROMOTION: The Complete List (2023)

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