Podcasting Q&A

Podcast Networks: Are they valuable? When should you start or join one?

June 15, 2020 Buzzsprout
Podcasting Q&A
Podcast Networks: Are they valuable? When should you start or join one?
Chapters
00:00:15
"When should you join a network?"
00:00:44
Pro #1: Easier access to sponsors
00:01:24
Pro #2: Faster audience growth
00:02:02
Con #1: Less creative control
00:02:54
Con #2: You may lose ownership
00:04:07
How to create your own network
Podcasting Q&A
Podcast Networks: Are they valuable? When should you start or join one?
Jun 15, 2020
Buzzsprout

Jonathan from Halfwits & Failed Crits asks, "My question is about podcast networks. When should you start one, join one, or should you avoid them?"

TL;DR
Many of today's most popular podcasts are a part of podcast networks. These networks pool together groups of shows for better access to sponsors, faster growth, and better exposure. They can be an excellent option for independent podcasters, but there are a couple of things to be aware of before signing on the dotted line.

Pro #1: Easier access to sponsors. The truth is, unless you're getting upwards of 50,000 downloads per episode, you're not going to get much interest from sponsors. But when you bundle your show together along with a dozen others, now you can negotiate based on your collective downloads across the entire network.

Pro #2: You may grow faster. One of the fastest ways to grow your podcast audience is by being a guest on other podcasts. Being a part of a podcast network means you'll be able to consistently land guest spots on multiple podcasts, exposing their listeners to your podcast and vice versa.

Con #1: You will lose some creative control. When you join a podcast network, they will likely have the last word on what you can and can't discuss. If you cover explicit content or care about which sponsors you promote to your listeners, make sure you'll be a good fit for what the network is already doing.

Con #2: You may lose ownership of your podcast. In addition to switching to your network's preferred podcast hosting platform, you may have to sign away the rights to your podcast to join the network. That means if you decide to leave the network at some point in the future, you can't take your podcast with you. Make sure to read the fine print.

How to create your own podcast network:

  • Find a group of podcasts that appeal to similar audiences
  • Create an "informal" podcast network where you promote each other
  • Negotiate with sponsors using the collective sum of your podcast audiences


Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Jonathan from Halfwits & Failed Crits asks, "My question is about podcast networks. When should you start one, join one, or should you avoid them?"

TL;DR
Many of today's most popular podcasts are a part of podcast networks. These networks pool together groups of shows for better access to sponsors, faster growth, and better exposure. They can be an excellent option for independent podcasters, but there are a couple of things to be aware of before signing on the dotted line.

Pro #1: Easier access to sponsors. The truth is, unless you're getting upwards of 50,000 downloads per episode, you're not going to get much interest from sponsors. But when you bundle your show together along with a dozen others, now you can negotiate based on your collective downloads across the entire network.

Pro #2: You may grow faster. One of the fastest ways to grow your podcast audience is by being a guest on other podcasts. Being a part of a podcast network means you'll be able to consistently land guest spots on multiple podcasts, exposing their listeners to your podcast and vice versa.

Con #1: You will lose some creative control. When you join a podcast network, they will likely have the last word on what you can and can't discuss. If you cover explicit content or care about which sponsors you promote to your listeners, make sure you'll be a good fit for what the network is already doing.

Con #2: You may lose ownership of your podcast. In addition to switching to your network's preferred podcast hosting platform, you may have to sign away the rights to your podcast to join the network. That means if you decide to leave the network at some point in the future, you can't take your podcast with you. Make sure to read the fine print.

How to create your own podcast network:

  • Find a group of podcasts that appeal to similar audiences
  • Create an "informal" podcast network where you promote each other
  • Negotiate with sponsors using the collective sum of your podcast audiences


Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

Gilon :

In today's episode, we'll cover the pros and cons of joining or starting a podcast network. Welcome to Podcasting Q&A, where you learn the best tips and strategies to launch grow and monetize your show. This week's question comes from Jonathan.

Jonathan :

Hey, my name is Jonathan from Halfwits and Failed Crits. My question is about podcast networks. When should you start one? Join one, or should you avoid them? Thanks.

Gilon :

Thanks so much for your question, Jonathan. So many of today's most popular podcasts are actually part of podcast networks. Some examples would be wondering Airwolf, radio topia and podcast one. So on this episode, we're going to talk about the pros and cons of joining or starting a podcast network. Pro number one: easier access to sponsors. So many advertisers prefer the CPM monetization model, which basically means they're looking for shows that have large numbers significant number of downloads, what networks will do will bundle their shows together to negotiate better rates. To attract larger, better sponsors. So let's say that you've got a show that gets less than 5000 downloads a week, that may not pique the interest of a large sponsor. However, if you join a podcast network that has about 20, shows and gets a million listens and downloads over the course of a week, that now gets the attention of a large sponsor. By joining that network, you now have access to that sponsor. Pro number two is that your podcast may grow faster. So with podcast networks, cross promotion is happening kind of constantly, you're going on the other shows as a guest, their hosts are coming onto your show as a guest. And when that happens, the audiences get exposed to you also, as your new episodes and new seasons are coming out. Those are being promoted on the other shows. This works really nicely as almost like a built in marketing tool. One way to really make this work for your podcast is to pick a network whose audience is very, very similar to yours. That way when cross promotion is happening, they're likely to check out your podcast, like it, subscribe to it and then share it with their friends. Alright, so let's talk about some of the things you need to be mindful of when you're considering joining a podcast network. The first thing, first con, you're going to give up some creative control, you are going to have to run the ads that the network wants you to run. So you may not really love purple mattresses and think they're amazing. But if that's the ad network wants you to run, you're definitely gonna have to talk about them. Like they're the bee's knees and you love your purple mattress. The second thing you need to be mindful of is that the network gets to decide what you talk about and don't talk about. So if you've got a podcast where there's occasionally some explicit content that you guys talk about, but you join the family friendly Podcast Network, there will definitely be some limitations and restrictions on the kind of content that you can bring to your podcast. Once you join that network. You'll want to be mindful that you find a podcast network that's a good fit for you one that fits the content needs and styles as well as the advertisements that you're interested in bringing to your audience. Con number two, some podcast networks take ownership of your show. So you want to be sure You read the fine print on the front end to find out that if and when you want to leave you can and to you can take your show with you. We all spend crazy amounts of time building up our podcasts, we invest our heart and soul into it we record and closets. And it would just be a shame if you join a podcast network. Take that amazing thing that you built with your blood, sweat and tears and can't leave with it at the very least a podcasting network may ask that you switch over to their preferred podcast hosting platform. This means that if you host through Buzzsprout, and you love everything about Buzzsprout, but they host all their shows through pod bean, they're gonna ask that you switch over. So you're just going to want to be mindful that you check out the terms and conditions to see if switching your hosting platform is something that they're going to ask you to do. So should you join a podcast network? Well, if you want to grow your audience, make a little money on side and you're willing to give up some creative control. podcast networks can definitely help you get closer to your goals but if maintaining creative control is mostly important to you and you're willing to be a little bit more patient to grow your audience and make money, then maybe you want to stay more independent. Now, if you want some of the benefits of a podcast network without giving up creative control, you can actually start your own informal Podcast Network. Here's how you do that if you can pull together podcasters with similar audiences where we talk about similar subject matters. You guys can cross promote on each other's podcasts, you can guest star on each other's podcasts. You can also negotiate as a collective with potential sponsors to maintain creative control while also enjoying some of the benefits of having a podcast network. Thank you for sending us your question, Jonathan. If you all have a question that you would like us to answer on a future episode of the podcast, please just go to speak pipe comm slash Buzzsprout or you can click the link in the show notes and leave us a brief audio message Podcasting Q&A is available in both video and audio formats. So if you like watching video, definitely Subscribe to Buzzsprout YouTube channel and if you prefer podcasts, you can find Podcasting Q&A and you Your favorite podcasting app and please leave us a review on pod chaser to let us know how we can make the show even better for you. So that's it for today. Thank you for listening and as always keep podcasting

"When should you join a network?"
Pro #1: Easier access to sponsors
Pro #2: Faster audience growth
Con #1: Less creative control
Con #2: You may lose ownership
How to create your own network