So, What Exactly is a Podcast Network?
Podcast networks are a collection of shows connected by a theme or genre, that help monetize podcasts by selling adverts and connecting podcasters with sponsors. Networks also provide a one-stop-shop for podcasters who are looking to work with other podcast hosts and shows.
Even though, the networks usually group podcasts together according to similar topics, some networks are made up of shows of diverse topics linked together through the same advertiser.
When you join a podcast network, you as a podcaster will sign a contract with their advertisers, this, decides how and when adverts appear on your show. The ability to get a deal that benefits you and your podcast depend on the influence you have in the podcasting space, and the amount of traffic you get for your show.
Who Are Podcast Networks For?
Podcast networks are designed for podcasters.
In a network, advertisers will buy ads on a cost per thousand listeners (CPM) basis. Advertisers are looking for popular, interesting, and influential podcasts for advertising. Advertisers generally expect your show to have an average of 50,000 downloads per month for them to begin advertising with you.
If you are a new podcaster, there are small podcast networks you can join, but, just keep in mind that advertisers are looking for podcasts with large fan bases.
What Are The Requirements To Join A Network?
Different podcast networks have different requirements to join. However, in general, most networks will want a method to monitor your podcast traffic in order to improve their marketing and advertising campaigns. They will also likely require you to consistently promote their brands on your show. Further, if you decide to join an ‘ad-revenue sharing program’ you will need to free up slots in your show for the adverts where the general rule is one ad-spot per 15 minutes or they may require you to share a minimum of two ads per episode. In this instance, Many podcasters decide to play one ad at the start and one at the end of the episode as it breaks up the content nicely and doesn’t irritate the audience.
After joining, can an advertiser let you go?
Yes, as long as it isn’t violating any contracts, an advertiser can let you go if they feel the campaign isn’t going great.
Will joining a network cause you, as a podcaster to lose control of your brand?
Losing control of your brand can be avoided easily by putting in some time to research your network and their advertising messages before signing any contracts with them. It’s always best to consider working only with networks and brands that are in line with your brand. For example, if you host a podcast on coffee production that widely promotes fair trade schemes, work with brands that advertise and support fair trade coffee.
What are the most popular podcast networks today?
The following are some networks that host today’s most popular podcasts, the top 1% of all podcasts.
This is one of the largest networks with over 200 supported shows.
Founded in 2014, this is a division of Spotify, which primarily distributes adverts in journalism and entertainment podcasts
This is an American podcast network, launched in 2014 by Hernan Lopez and backed by 20th Century Fox which features over seventy shows of many genres.
This is an LA, USA based network that was originally known as the home of the biggest comedy podcast, but, now has expanded to include shows in many other genres.
Midroll aids in producing, distributing, and monetizing over 300 podcasts. They partner up with over 200 major world brands such as Toyota and T-Mobile to provide adverts.
Most podcasts out there don’t have over 50,000 downloads per month, so, likely chance is you are a podcaster with a small, loyal fan base who would like to benefit from a podcast network. So, here are some networks for small shows
A startup that exists to support small, new podcasts connect with advertisers. Joining this network is completely free!
This network, however, requires a minimum of 2500 downloads per month in order to join it. Here advertisers will view your podcast and send you an offer if they think their ads would work well on your show.
What are the benefits of joining a podcast network?
- Networking opportunities with other podcasters
- Marketing assistance through sponsorships
- Higher revenue received through advertising
- Expansion of your audience due to more exposure
- Can engage in cross-promotion
- You would be joining a team of like-minded podcasters
What are the Cons of joining a network?
- Loss of creative control as some contracts allow advertisers to veto any creativity that doesn’t fall in line with the network and its brand.
- Sharing of ad revenue gained with the network. Further, the amount of money you earn each month will likely be inconsistent.
- Some networks may request full or partial ownership of your show, especially if you are just starting out. Others may ask for specific rights in your show during the length of your contract with them.
- You may have to switch your podcast hosting service as a network like to have all their shows on the same platform.