What Are Podcast Networks And When To Join One

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What Are Podcast Networks And When To Join One

Podcast networks bring great potential to grow and monetize your podcast show. If you wonder when and why you should join one, keep reading!

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By Niall Mackay

What Is A Podcast Network?

A podcast network is a collection of podcast shows available for advertisers through a single company or network to promote products or services.

Think of it as the Amazon of podcasters, where a single company (the podcast network) collects and advertises podcast shows for more listeners. In exchange, advertisers can buy ads on popular podcast episodes.

It is a huge win for everyone! The podcast hosts get more listeners, advertisers can promote their services based on their niche, and finally, the podcast network gets the cut from the exchange. 

Podcast networks also become selective and keep their networks close to a theme. For example, interview podcast.

Why did podcast networks start?

Initially, podcast networks were created in the early 2000s because podcasts had a hard time being searched on search engines, plus podcast directories did not exist yet. 

Now, these networks have grown a lot more and even help podcast shows to improve their production and tweak their content to be more listener-friendly.

podcast network

How Do Podcast Networks Work?​

As mentioned, podcast networks collect podcast shows, sell ads on these shows and take a cut from ad revenue. Podcast networks usually take less than 30% of the ad revenue, and the show receives the remaining 80-70%. 

Advertisers can choose among these types of ads, and here for a podcaster, that means ads would be inserted in between these periods: 

  • Pre-roll ads (before the episode) usually last 20-30 seconds. 
  • Mid-roll ads (in the middle of the episode) typically last 60 seconds. 
  • Post-roll ads (at the end of the episode) usually last 10-20 seconds.

Based on Podchaser’s report, the cost of these pre-mid-and post-roll ads per CPM land between $1000-$3000 on a podcast that generates 100,000 listens.

*CPM = cost per thousand means 1000 impressions on an episode.

That’s a lot of ca$h! So podcast networks can definitely bring your show a lot of value and listenership! 

So how can podcast shows join a podcast network?

How Can You Join A Podcast Network

There are a couple of requirements for your podcast show to join a podcast network.

Generally, to join a podcast network your podcast show should have:

  • 1000 – 5000 downloads per week
  • Minimum 1 episode uploaded per week
  • Be open to cross-promoting other podcast shows on your show

These numbers could sound too high for your show, but mid-tier podcast networks also promote smaller podcast shows. 

What To Consider Before You Join Any Podcast Network?

Joining a podcast network sounds like a great idea. You get to be advertised and gain more exposure to more listeners!

However, I want you to make an objective decision before you join a podcast network, so here are the pros and cons:

Benefits Of Podcast Networks

Marketing

Once you join a podcast network, you find yourself in a marketing team that helps you, and other podcast shows to grow.

These podcast networks have their in-house designers, copywriters, and ad specialists, so you can sit back and let the marketing team take care of your digital marketing presence. 

Cross-Promotion & Network

As the name suggests in podcast NETWORKS, you get to grow your podcasting friends and “colleagues” too and learn from their shows. As part of the podcast network, you will be promoted on their podcast episodes and vice versa. 

Thus, you will grow other creatives’ listenerships, and they will grow yours too, which then leads to the next benefit:

Credibility

When you hear many people recommend the same product, you will likely try that one. The same principle applies here when other podcast shows recommend you on their show.

Listeners can try one show and quickly try the next without leaving the podcast network. Thus, both you and the podcast that promoted you benefit from this by receiving the next benefit, which is:

Money

The last obvious reason is money! You get an ad-revenue share at around 70-80%! Moreover, the more listeners you get, the more chances you get for sponsorships for large companies.

Disadvantages Of Podcast Networks

Losing Some Creative Control

Once you join a massive podcast network within one niche, such as crime network shows, the podcast network also has a say in how much your content can be different from your original topic.

This can cause frustration for podcasts hosts who may want to go beyond their “original” topic and address new issues.

Change Hosting Service

Many podcast networks want their podcasts to use the same hosting service.

If you are lucky, the potential podcast network uses the same hosting service like yours. Otherwise, you will probably lose all your past analytics on your previous episodes.

Do consider this if you’re a seasoned podcaster and do your research on the podcast network service. 

You Got To Stick To Your Contract

Yep, joining a podcast network means you will be part of a system. When you are part of a deal like this, the podcast networks may demand 1-2 episodes every week.

If publishing frequency has been your weakness, negotiate your agreement to be better for you. 

When To Join A Podcast Network?

Considering all the benefits and disadvantages of a podcast network, I would recommend joining a podcast network when:

  1. Your show is having a steady flow of listeners every month, and episodes
  2. You are comfortable with working with contracts.
  3. You do not have big sponsorship deals currently on your podcast, and you’re looking for ways to monetize your show.
  4. You do not have strong marketing experience to market your show.

Improve Your Podcast With Seven Million Bikes

To join a podcast network or win big sponsorships, you have to improve your podcast show to be unique, concise, and entertaining.

At Seven Million Bikes, I am here to help you step up your podcasting game and make sure you are getting those downloads every week.

For more information, book a free consultation here.