Thursday, August 4, 2022

'Pay For Play' Has Come To The World Of Podcasting

Welcome to the golden era of pay-for-play podcasting, when guests pay handsomely to be interviewed for an entire episode. In exchange, the host gets some revenue, fills out the programming calendar, and might bag a future advertiser, reports Bloomberg.

Determining exactly how widespread the practice is can be tricky. Disclosures, if included at all, might last only a few fleeting seconds in an hourlong interview, and various hosts use different language to describe the nature of such relationships. What percentage of shows accepts payment in exchange for airtime is also difficult to say. According to nearly a dozen interviews with industry sources, it appears the practice is particularly popular among podcasts in the wellness, cryptocurrency, and business arenas, according to Bloomberg.

In an age when social media influencers routinely get paid for mentioning a brand in an Instagram post or YouTube video, this marriage of convenience shouldn’t come as a complete shock. Still, not everyone thinks it’s a good idea. “As someone who’s making money for that type of advertorial content, it should be disclosed,” says Craig Delsack, a New York-based media lawyer. “It’s just good practice and builds trust with the podcaster. It can’t be the Wild West.”

US regulators also agree that consumers might be misled when they don’t know a media mention only occurred in exchange for compensation. A Federal Trade Commission spokesperson says the agency cannot comment on specific situations for this story. “But this is our general guidance: Regardless of the medium in which an advertising or promotional message is disseminated, deception occurs when consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances are misled about its nature or source, and such misleading impression is likely to affect their decisions or conduct regarding the advertised product or the advertising,” says the FTC spokesperson.

Even so, the phenomenon appears to be thriving in podcasting. Online platform Guestio has raised more than $1 million to build a marketplace devoted entirely to brokering paid guest appearances. Travis Chappell, Guestio’s founder and chief executive officer, points out that people often pay public-relations firms to pitch them to podcasts as potential guests. He believes their money is better spent going directly to the podcaster.

Dave Asprey, host of The Human Upgrade, charges guests an average of $50,000 to appear on his biohacking podcast

Since 2020, according to Chappell, Guestio has paid out more than $300,000 to podcasters and guests. In just the past six months, four podcasters on the platform have made more than $20,000 from appearance fees, including one who took in $50,000. Although Chappell hasn’t set a standard price, he suggests podcasters charge $100 to $150 per thousand listeners of their program.

The top-earning show is Entrepreneurs on Fire, a daily program that highlights various businesses. John Lee Dumas, its host and creator, says he mostly receives guest inquiries through his website and currently charges $3,500 for an appearance. Payment serves as a kind of filtering tool.

He includes disclosures regarding sponsor payments at the end of each episode, saying: “Today’s value bomb content was brought to you by …” He doesn’t always charge a fee. For some guests, such as business coach Tony Robbins, Dumas instead takes a commission off any product sold through his affiliate link. In June, according to Dumas’s public monthly income report, he raked in $146,418 in sponsorship revenue; he estimates 20% to 30% came from guest fees.

No comments:

Post a Comment