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Can you choose a podcast name that already exists?

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Can you choose a podcast name that already exists?

Is there room for more than one podcast with the same name?

So, you’ve been waiting for your brain to come up with the perfect name for your podcast.  And now it has you realise there’s a show out there already with the same name.  Booooo!

Can you pretend you didn’t see it and release your show anyway? Or do you need to come up with a different podcast name?

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Why you don’t want your podcast to have the same name as another show

The simple reason is it’s confusing.

If you tell people about the show you want them to be able to find it if they’re googling or searching in their podcast app.

If there are multiple podcasts with the same name you’re not only competing with other podcasters for SEO but once a potential listener finds your show it can be hard to work out which one is yours.

Of course, if you’ve got your face on the logo that can make things easier but it assumes people know what you look like, which they often won’t.

That means you’ve set up a bunch of hoops for someone to jump through before they can get to your podcast.

When people lose interest so quickly online the more difficult you make it the more likely they’ll give up the search and you don’t want that.

How to come up with a great podcast name

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Does that mean you can’t name your show the same as another podcast?

Podcast names don’t work the same as domain names so technically you can have multiple podcasts out there with the same name but it’s not a smart strategy if you want to grow your audience.

If there are multiple podcasts with identical names you’re not only making it confusing and competing on search you’re making it less likely you’ll be able to get the domain name and social media handles associated with your podcast.

Ideally, as you’re building your show brand you want to have ownership of those platforms so it might be worth changing your name slightly so you can own it online.

Do you need a website for your podcast?

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What about if a show exists with the same name but it’s no longer producing episodes?

Again, the best-case scenario is to have a show name no one else has but if you find another show with the same name that’s podfaded out this might be a situation where having the same name is ok.

It depends on a lot of factors like how long ago the podcast stopped producing episodes and how popular it was at the time.

It’s also worth contacting the creator to see if they’ve got plans to bring it back because if they do decide to reignite the show you’ll have competition on your hands.

If your competitor has gone to podsleep and they’ve got access to the domain name and social handles it’s worth asking if they’d be open to transferring them across to you.

Just be mindful that when someone finds out you’re interested in buying a domain name the price usually goes up significantly so that can sometimes motivate you to come up with something else.

How to avoid podfade

Read

What if you have to go back to the drawing board?

Sometimes these creative roadblocks can feel like a pain in the butt at the time but can actually lead to creative improvements.

If your brain’s come up with one great creative idea I guarantee it’s capable of coming up with more and sometimes these moments are exactly what you need to think outside the box.

Start playing around with synonym websites to see if there’s a different way to say the same thing and you might find you end up with a show name that’s even better than the original.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

6 Comments
  1. J.L. says:

    Hi Rachel! I’ve had a podcast for 10 months now but upon searching for it in Spotify I came across another podcast of the same name that was started just a month ago. Looks like neither of us filed trademarks for the title yet – any advice on how to proceed?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Juliya, Without a trademark there’s not much you can do but it’s not the end of the world. You’re in a better position because you’ve had time to build up your audience and your search engine ranking if you’ve been utilising SEO. If you search through podcast apps, this isn’t an uncommon thing. There are plenty of shows that have the same name. Obviously it’d be great if once you got a name no one else could use it but when this happens it doesn’t mean it’ll have a massive impact on your show. Sometimes podcasts can have the same name but be appealing to very different niches. In this case, it should make little difference because you’re appealing to completely different audiences. If they’re doing very similar content and they’ve got the same name it’s probably worth sending a courtesy letter saying you’ve had the name and concept for 10 months but legally you can’t force them to remove it. You just need to continue creating a high-quality show and promoting it as best you can and remember there’s enough podcast pie for everyone! Hope that helps, Rach.

  2. Ave says:

    Hey Rachel! I just launched episode 0 of my podcast, which is a history podcast. I hadn’t found another podcast with the same name, but I just took a quick search with the name again… and I guess there’s a book series of historical novels that also uses the same name. Do you think this is problematic, since my show is in a different media format than the book series? I am planning on starting a Patreon to go with the podcast soon.

    1. rcorbett says:

      I think that’s fine, Ave. Not sure whether they’d have a trademark or anything on the name which you could check but if I’m looking to name a show I’ll just look around in podcast directories, rather than looking to other mediums. Rach

  3. Lee says:

    I’m just about to launch my podcast Curiosity Cake but had this exact problem. I initially wanted to call it Brain Cake. I had the domains I wanted for it etc, had artwork and music done, built the website. Then discovered someone was using it. The frustrating thing was they just aren’t very good and will probably give up in time, but obviously that doesn’t help me now.
    They were also doing something very different to me and I really didn’t want that associated with what I was doing. If prospective guests saw their show and thought it was mine they would run a mile. So you also want to make sure you think about the reputation of your show in terms of attracting the right audience and guests.

    In the end I used the need to change the name to rethink. Could I think of a name that better described what my podcast was? Getting curiosity into the title seems to be a good fit for me as that’s the whole point of the podcast. So a problem can also be an opportunity.

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Lee! Thanks for sharing your experience. This kind of thing can often feel like the end of the world at the time but it can also be a great opportunity. Congrats on your show. Rach

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