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Podcast Payola

When a person on social media has a ton of followers and mentions a brand, people pretty much know that person is getting paid for the mention. But most people don’t suspect that a guest on their favorite podcast could be shelling out cash for the same reason.

Call it pay-for-play, payola, or just smart marketing. An unknown and possibly increasing number of podcast guests are paying to be interviewed. Why?

“When you’re the guest, you’re the star,” CEO of Life on Fire Nick Unsworth told Bloomberg. “If you can be in that position and make your offer, you have no barriers. No one is listening to that episode thinking it’s a commercial. There’s immediate trust and a perception that you’re held in a high light.”

Unsworth paid John Lee Dumas, host and creator of the podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire, $35,000 for two interviews and 12 weeks of ads. According to Bloomberg, Dumas discloses “sponsor payments at the end of each episode.”

So there are some disclosures, but they are not required, and they aren’t always visible to the naked eye. Bloomberg found that pay-for-play is more common in the wellness, crypto, and business spaces.

Just something to keep in mind!

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Redacted is an independent platform, unencumbered by external factors or restrictive policies, on which Clayton and Natali Morris bring you quality information, balanced reporting, constructive debate, and thoughtful narratives.