Aug 3, 2022 - Economy

Podcast guests pay big bucks to be interviewed

Illustration of a microphone on top of a stack of dollars.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Some podcast guests are paying upwards of $50,000 to be interviewed on a show, according to a new Bloomberg report.

Why it matters: The practice appears to be popular among business, cryptocurrency and wellness genres with few listeners actually aware of it.

  • The lack of specific disclosures of paid appearances can only further erode trust in media and content.

How it works: Podcasters like Dave Asprey of "The Human Upgrade" told Bloomberg about 1% of his episodes feature paying guests who on average pay him $50,000 per appearance.

  • Lifestyle podcast "The Skinny Confidential Him and Her," charges $20,000 to $40,000 an interview.
  • The "Entrepreneurs on Fire" podcast currently charges $3,500 for an appearance.
  • Podcasters pay guests too. Boxer Manny Pacquiao for example charges $15,000 for an appearance.

The rationale: Podcasters practicing this business model tell Bloomberg that the payments serve as a filtering tool or as a substitute for traditional sponsored ad costs.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Sara Fischer and Tim Baysinger: The podcast industry — similarly to the influencer industry on social media — is taking advantage of a gap in oversight when it comes to how companies and individuals accept paid promotion.

  • There are clearer definitions for sponsored posts, ads and paid contributors on traditional mediums like newspapers, television shows and display ads.
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