Are you confused about podcast networks and how they work? Think of them as a TV network, like NBC, where the network is the umbrella company that hosts a variety of TV shows. Podcast networks are the same: umbrella companies that host individual podcasts.
An example of this is the podcast Office Ladies, which is hosted by the network Earwolf. You don’t have to be part of a network to create and produce your own podcast, but it does come with some perks. Keep reading for everything you need to know!
What do Podcast Networks do?
Each podcast network is different, but they generally handle the production, marketing, and sponsorship deals for your podcast. Being part of an established network can also lend credibility to your podcast and increase your listenership.
Depending on the size and capabilities of the network, their services will vary. For instance, larger networks may do all of the editing for you, whereas others will simply offer help as needed.
Most networks will secure advertisers and sponsorships for you and take a cut of the revenue. They also have more marketing bandwidth than you might have on your own. Have you ever seen a trailer for a new podcast pop up on the channel of one of your favorite podcasts? That’s because the podcasts share the same network, and the network is using an established show to market a new show.
Podcast Network Options and Differences
Again, not all podcast networks are created equally. They will vary in their involvement, pay structure, charges, and other factors. If you’re considering joining a podcast network, make sure you read all the fine print and have a clear understanding of what your contract entails.
One important thing to pay attention to is where a podcast network hosts its podcasts. Are they on all podcast players, or do they have an exclusivity deal with a certain one, like Spotify?
Some podcast networks, like Ossa Collective, use membership programs and are actually podcaster and listener-owned. Other networks, like Health Podcasts, specialize in one niche.
Most podcast networks want to secure advertisements for you so that they make money, but not all are like that. If you aren’t interested in ads and sponsorships, you can find a network that has a different pay structure and doesn’t require advertisements.
Should You Join a Podcast Network?
Joining a podcast network offers a ton of perks, but it’s not for everyone or every podcast. If you love having full creative control of your show, you may not enjoy the oversight of a network.
However, if you want to focus on hosting your show and leave things like marketing, ads, and production to someone else, a network can take those responsibilities off your plate. Plus, they have the influence and pull to get your podcast out to more listeners.
Whether or not a podcasting network is right for you, make sure you’re on our newsletter to learn about podcasting opportunities and education each week!