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The trend of paying guests to appear on podcasts is raising legal eyebrows


  • A business coach earned $150,000 after paying $35,000 for ads and two appearances on a podcast.
  • He’s part of a growing trend of paying podcast guests and hosts thousands of dollars to interview them.
  • While the practice occurs in other industries, some believe it should be disclosed on podcasts.

Nick Unsworth paid $35,000 for 12 weeks of ads and two appearances on the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast – and went on to earn $150,000.

The CEO of Life on Fire, a faith-based workout Business, he earned the money from podcast listeners who signed up for his courses after being a guest on the show.

Unsworth is one of many guests paying podcast hosts thousands for an interview spot. According to Bloombergpodcasts around wellness, cryptocurrency and business usually have guests paying to appear.

Guestio, an online booking marketplace for podcasts, as well as other platforms such as radio and their guests, raised $1 million for the construction of the platform. Instead of paying a PR firm to feature them as a guest, people can log in and pay directly the podcast host for an appearance on their show. Podcasters can also pay for a guest they want on their show.

Guestio retains 20% of all booking fees made by the client or talent. Travis Chappell, Founder and CEO of Guestio; he told Bloomberg that the platform has paid more than $300,000 to both podcast hosts and guests since 2020.

Businessmen on firethe Unsworth show he paid, is Guestio is the top earner. The show, hosted by John Lee Dumas, sometimes charges guests $3,500 for appearances, and mentions sponsors at the end of podcast episodes.

Although the business model seems to be thriving for both hosts and guests, some people think there should be more transparency.

“As someone who is making money for this type of advertising content, it should be disclosed,” said Craig Delsack, a media lawyer in New York. he told Bloomberg, he said referring to guests who pay to be on a podcast. “It’s just good practice and builds trust with the podcaster.”

A spokesman for the Federal Trade Commission, who could not provide specific comment to Bloomberg, told the company that guests paying to appear on a show without disclosing it on the show can be misleading to listeners.

But for people like Unsworth, joining a podcast can be a way to build trust.

“When you’re the guest, you’re the star” Unsworth told Bloomberg. “If you can be in that position and do your bidding, there’s no barrier. No one listens to this episode thinking it’s a commercial. There’s instant trust and a sense that you’re being held in a high light.”

Unsworth did not immediately respond to a request from Insider.



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