You, Too, Can Be a Guest On a Popular Podcast – For $50,000
Some podcast guests are shelling out tens of thousands for exposure to a popular show's audience.
When it comes to podcasts, there's no shortage of options — or listeners. Recent data from Insider Intelligence projects that there will be about 424.2 million podcast listeners worldwide for the year 2022, accounting for 20.3% of internet users.
While podcasting has been around for almost two decades, it has become increasingly popular over the last 10 years. As the number of habitual listeners continued to increase, variety became endless, and hefty investments from companies like Spotify exponentially broadened the medium's accessibility.
Now, some of the most popular shows garner thousands of listeners each episode, which offers guests an invaluable press opportunity — and means some podcasters are charging a steep price for an interview spot.
Dave Asprey, host of the biohacking podcast, The Human Upgrade, charges guests an average of $50,000, Bloomberg reported. However, he told the outlet that only about 1% of his episodes feature guests who paid for the privilege, and he upholds strict criteria for who is qualified.
"Appearance fees make sense in only certain circumstances," Asprey told Bloomberg. "It has to be a weird confluence of a true expert who's doing something new and interesting. I would take as many as I can get that meet my standards."
At the end of every episode, Asprey discloses to listeners that the podcast may feature guests that have "direct or indirect" financial interest in products and services mentioned on the show — but not all hosts share the same level of honesty when it comes to paid guests.
Michael Bosstick and Lauryn Evarts Bosstick, hosts of Dear Media's The Skinny Confidential Him and Her Podcast, charge about $20,000 to $40,000 per interview, with the acknowledgment that the guest must be relevant to the show's audience.
In one case, when Lauren interviewed Robert Slovak, the co-founder of supplement and mineral company, Water and Wellness, she gushed about how she was "blown away" by the "importance" of minerals, and went on to say she turned her whole family onto them. However, the episode failed to disclose Slovak's investment in being a paid guest — until Bloomberg reached out to Lauren and Michael in July. When they reached out for comment, Michael retroactively recorded disclosures and added them to old episodes.
Still, the pay-for-play practice isn't all bad, under certain circumstances. John Lee Dumas, host of Entrepreneurs on Fire, argues that paid guests are often invested and prepared to "play" in a way that is inherently efficient. "Like, they prepared for the interview. They showed up on time. They delivered massive value. They had great giveaways and calls to action for my audience," Dumas told Bloomberg.
Dumas concludes each episode with: "Today's value bomb content was brought to you by …"
Related: How to Grow a Loyal Podcast Audience
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