Should You Join Or Form A Podcast Network? [Episode 304]
I’m diving into this topic at the suggestion of a Podcast Pontifications listener, Arnie Chapman. He's the host of The Football History Dude podcast. He responded to my call for lockdown stories (Yes, I want your story too. More info at the end of this article.) from podcasters thusly:
Oddly enough, the lockdown and stay-at-home orders have been a positive experience for me and my podcast. Because am I one of the many people who are working from home, I'm able to be much more flexible when it comes to scheduling guests.
Rather than asking guests to adapt to a limited window of available interview times, I’m able to record whenever they have time. It’s much easier for me to plan my work around their schedule since I’m working from home.
I’m also using the additional time working from home gives me to pursue a dream of creating a sports history podcast network. I'm going to collect all sorts of different sports history podcasts under the same domain.
In the email that accompanied the media file, Arnie asked me to pontificate on podcast networks. So that’s what I'm going to do.
In general, I’m a fan of podcast networks and I love the concept. Anytime creators with similar ideas, opinions, content, and target audiences can collaborate, something good always tends to come out of the other end.
On rare occasions, just being associated with the network is enough. But for the vast majority of situations, you need to get something out of this deal. And almost always, you’ll be asked to give a little too.
What sort of promotional boost will your podcast get when you join the network? What are your obligations to promote other shows in the network on your program?
What about media file hosting? Will you need to move from your existing podcast hosting company over to their hosting company? Who pays for that? What about the migration process? Will making the move cause your listeners to have a thousand new downloads of episodes they’ve already listened to?
Will the network help you write episode details or articles? Do they have an audio engineer that can do the final polish? Will you be assigned a producer or maybe a production assistant to help with concepts or bookings?
How will your current monetization efforts be impacted? Can you keep your paid supporters? Can you keep your current advertisers without sharing a portion of that income? And how much of the action will the network take for all of this?
There's a lot to think about before joining a network or starting one. At the end of it all, you need to decide if your show is better as a part of a network or as a solo effort. A well-crafted network, whether you're joining one or forming one -- should provide obvious benefits. At every point, it should be clear that life for member shows will be better in the network rather than doing at it alone.
If you can't say that's the case with the network you want to join or form, then you don't have a good reason to join or form that network.
Want your voice shared on Podcast Pontifications like Arnie? I’m interested in hearing what plans you have for your show after the lockdown restrictions are eased. Record a minute or two of audio and send the .wav file to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One thing I’m looking forward to: visiting my local hipster coffee bar. If you go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra, you can ensure I have enough in my wallet to pick up one as soon as they re-open.