Your favorite podcast might be making thousands for inviting guests

This high profile guest may not have appeared on your favorite podcast out of sheer goodness of heart. Bloomberg has learned that podcast guests routinely pay big bucks to appear on popular podcasts. Guestio, a marketplace for these deals, has seen huge transactions over the past six months. Four podcasters made $20,000 in fees for appearances, while one made $50,000. The Most Profitable Show Entrepreneurs on fireregularly charges $3,500 for guest appearances and has sometimes taken a cut in product sales.

It is not clear how widespread this activity is. However, Bloomberg Interviews suggest that pay-to-appear systems are popular for business, cryptocurrency, and wellness podcasts. like hosts Entrepreneurs on fire‘s John Lee Dumas sees gig fees as a filter. Guests will be well-prepared if they “invest” in airtime, the creator said.

However, there are ethical and legal concerns related to the practice. This could be seen as a modern take on payola, or the pay-for-play systems used to enhance songs on the radio – does a guest show up because they’re relevant, or just because they’re willing to pay? And while these radio plays have disclosure requirements, the situation with podcasts isn’t so clear. While many shows on Guestio include disclosures, not all properly disclose when an interviewee pays to appear.

This could pose a problem in the future. A spokesman for the Federal Trade Commission said that deception occurs when consumers are misled about the nature of advertising and promotional messages, regardless of the media format. The regulator didn’t say if it would take action against podcasters who unlawfully disclose paying guests, but the news could serve as a warning to show hosts.

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Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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