Become a Podcast Host
with the Podcast Entertainment Network
Host Your Own Show - at No Cost, Ever
PEN is led by industry pros with extensive experience in radio & podcasting, including a current major-market on-air radio personality and a national voice-over artist
PEN Helps Develop Both You & Your Show
Want a Co-Host for Your Show? PEN Can Pair You With a Co-Host for Better Interactions
Keys to Success as a Podcast Host
Becoming a successful podcasting personality requires effort, passion, and – most importantly – commitment. It can take a while to develop the skills to be a great host, and even longer to cultivate a large and loyal audience. The Podcast Entertainment Network recognizes this and will work with you throughout the journey to help build your skills, develop your style, and earn that desired audience. The path is different for each individual host, and progress is not linear. But, there are several keys that each host can refer to so that the development is as quick as possible and you reach your goals:
No Risk - leave the network at any time, and your show content stays with you.
The Big Question - How Does the Money Work?
The Network operates using a revenue sharing model, with the Podcaster receiving the largest share of revenues. Several streams of revenue are possible (see above) and each utilizes the revenue sharing model.
Part of the revenue sharing includes investment in a dedicated budget to promote the show. Marketing the show is vital to increasing the listener base, which attracts more advertisers, which drives both more revenue and even more listeners, in a virtuous growth cycle.
If you have any existing advertisers when joining the Network, they can continue advertising on the show, and you keep 100% of that revenue.
All revenue streams are audited by an independent third party so you can be assured the money is handled properly.
Shows joining the network at this time receive 50% of the revenue share, with an additional 20% invested in promotion. It is envisioned that as the Network continues to grow, new shows joining – not those who join now – will receive a slightly smaller share, as the value of any one additional show is smaller in context with the larger Network. In other words, now is the best time to join the Network!
Jump-Start Your Hosting Experience with PEN's Pre-Developed Shows
PEN has developed over 30 shows, just waiting for a host to add their personal style. Logos, templates, episode arcs, guest interviews, and more are all ready to launch. These shows have been selected for their appeal to a wide audience of podcast listeners to give the host the best chance of success. Topics include music, books, movies, TV, fashion, relationships, travel, shopping, and much more. Selected examples of PEN's pre-developed shows just waiting for a host:
How will your show stand above the crowd?
You focus on creating compelling content...we handle the rest
The PEN approach to mastering podcast episodes allows you to focus on the most important part – creating compelling content – while we handle the rest. We do this to provide a consistent user experience for the listeners. They know it’s a high-quality production when it comes from PEN.
Publishing each episode simply involves submitting each episode segment. We then provide the intro music, transitions into and out of commercial breaks, the commercials themselves, the show credits/disclaimers, and out music.
Of course, you’ll know each of these supporting elements for the episode so the collaboration is seamless…all while allowing you to focus on the most valuable – and interesting – part of doing a show!
Steps to Joining the Network
It’s easy to join, but we should both be deliberate in making such an important decision. If you like what you’ve read so far, let’s talk. Then if there’s mutual interest, we’ll get into the details and get started prepping the show for launch and beginning our path towards more listeners, greater revenues, and an exciting journey!
Download a PDF with info on Why You Should Join the Network
FAQs - Here to answer all of your questions about becoming a host joining the Network
Two reasons, really. One is to provide a consistent listening experience across the Network, so each show feels “familiar” to the listener. Radio shows and podcasts have loyal listener bases because of familiarity. The other reason is so we can do all we can to make it easy on the Podcaster to focus on creating great content. All the effort in the world to attract and retain listeners isn’t going to work unless the content is great.
Largely, the answer is “no.” It’s your show. But, to ensure consistency and an advertiser-friendly environment, each host is required to adhere to a Personal Conduct Policy. You wouldn’t want a different show damaging your show’s brand, and neither do we. This isn’t the place for conspiracy theories, misogyny, racism, or amateur medical advice.
Beyond the Personal Conduct Policy, Network producers and mentors may make recommendations for the show or make guests available, but it’s your call whether to incorporate this into the show.
No. We will seamlessly transition the show to our hosting platform, with a redirect from your prior feed so the current listeners won’t be forced to re-subscribe.
They stay with the show for as long as you and they want to. And, you keep 100% of the revenue from all advertisers who were already part of the show.
Sure you can, so long as it isn’t confusing to listeners of other Network shows. We try to make sure there is space for a show to grow, without a different show overlapping with their format-content combination. At this early stage, it’s very likely your current show name is just fine.
Mostly the logo can remain unchanged. One of the benefits of the Network is brand recognition among potential listeners, so we’ll recommend an unobtrusive footer indicating the network affiliation. The footer iconography will be in colors complementing the design. We may also make recommendations for how the artwork can stand out and be more memorable for listeners, collaborating with you on whether to incorporate the suggestions.
The biggest risks are really risks to the show, whether it’s part of the Network or not. If the content isn’t interesting, the Network isn’t going to be able to save it. So, if you’ve got a niche passion that has a minimal potential audience, it isn’t going to succeed. Similarly, if episodes aren’t created in a timely, consistent manner, the listeners are going to move on and the show will not succeed. This is the single biggest limiting factor to show success – the inability to adhere to an episode schedule.
Good for you! We love that you dream big. Since our interests are aligned, we’ll do all we can to help you reach the top of the charts. At that point, when advertisers are beating down the door to be a part of the show, you probably don’t need the Network. You’re free to go (with 30 days notice), can take the archived content with you, and we’ll buy the champagne to celebrate the success, happy knowing we played a part in helping you achieve your goals!
It doesn’t cost you anything to join that you’re not already spending to produce your show. And, it can even cost you less, since we handle hosting, distribution, engineering, and more. You may already be paying a co-host, for studio access, or equipment. Those costs will continue, unless you can take advantage of any Network resources available. You will not have to make any payments to the Network.
There are currently over 40 shows either “live” or “in development.” Some of these are actively looking for hosts. The vision for the Network, protected by copyright, is to have a “Show for Every Interest.” There is probably plenty of room for your show in a wide breadth of pop culture, movies, music, television, sports, business, politics, and more.
Beyond the show topic, what we’re really looking for are compelling hosts who keep an audience engaged. They’re called “Talent” for a reason.
If you’ve read through the info here and are feeling comfortable, let’s schedule a call to get to know each other. We’ll prep for the call by listening to an episode or a demo of the show. If there’s mutual interest, we’ll get the contract signed, develop a show schedule, and prep for launch. We request having 3 episodes “in the can” prior to launch, so start to think about your topics for these first 3 episodes!
Since one of the main goals is to attract advertisers, it’s imperative that each show conducts itself with a level of professionalism and in a manner such that advertisers feel comfortable. All advertisers. It doesn’t mean we’re prudes, or there’s no profanity allowed. It simply means that your conduct shouldn’t alienate advertisers nor position the show such that a brand wouldn’t want to partner with it. Similarly, the Network and each of the shows has an obligation to one another not to damage any of our brand reputations. You wouldn’t want the conduct of a different Network show hurting your show, nor would they. So, we all conduct ourselves in a way that we trust each other, brands feel comfortable, and we all prosper together.
We’re really just getting started. We’ve spent the better part of two years putting the infrastructure together, creating templates, and defining processes so that each show hits the ground running. Now it’s time to run.
Not really. We believe the model we’ve put in place is extraordinarily fair and beneficial to the Podcaster. Whenever we discussed a specific item our guidepost has been “what’s the absolute most we can do to help the Podcaster while still making it work for the Network.” Most importantly, we don’t want to create an environment with infighting among the shows because someone got better terms than someone else.
That said, if you have a suggestion to change something, we’re all ears. Our paradigm for considering it is whether it works not just for the Network but for all the other shows as well. If a change is agreed to, it will ripple through the contracts for other shows as well to maintain that consistency.
A lot! First, there’s a dedicated promotion budget from the rev-share. Right now these funds go into targeted, digital marketing aimed at people most likely to be interested in the show. At the early stage, we’re looking for the low-hanging fruit – people who already listen to podcasts regularly who best align demographically with your show. Further, we can target people based on their interests, so if your show focuses on rebuilding cars, we’re going to initially constrain marketing efforts to car enthusiasts, in the age/income brackets for the target audience, who already regularly listen to podcasts. Think of it as concentric circles, where we go for the bulls-eye first, then expand as the show grows.
Beyond the rev-share funds, your show will be promoted on other shows, through social media, press contacts, the PEN website, and as many podcast directories as we can find (19 currently!). And, as warranted, we’ll offer to book you as a guest on other shows as a great way to introduce you and the show to the other show’s audience. In short, everything we can to help promote the show. As the Network’s interests are aligned with yours, we both win by helping to grow the show!
Only if you want listeners, and the advertisers who want to reach them. A report from Edison Research shows that 62% of podcast listeners found new shows to listen to from recommendations of other podcast hosts. This is the Network Effect in action – “I like Show Host A, she says she likes Show B, so I checked it out, and I like it to.” Further, 66% say they discover pods from friends/family. Now this listener tells another, and so on…all because the first Show Host recommended it. That’s the beauty of the Network!
Indeed there are, and we encourage you to look around and make an informed decision. Two big differences we’ll highlight: nearly every “network” requires you to already have a substantial listener base, usually 10,000 per episode. Instead, we’re going to grow with you. Another big difference is in the definition of “network” itself. All of the others, and we do mean “all,” are simply a collection of shows, without any cross-network involvement. It’s a collection of individuals, not a team. And we’ve all seen enough from the sports world which is more successful. That said, please do look around. The more you do, the more confident you’ll be in joining us.
Absolutely! Tell us what you’d like. Maybe a show catchphrase, or maybe something funny/memorable from an episode. Whatever you’d like, so long as it’s consistent with the brand-friendly image of the network and the other shows.
Great question. Success is hard, and certainly not guaranteed. But, we’re in this together, so the first thing we’re going to do is try to make it successful. We have professional radio/podcasting personalities on staff who can mentor shows. Our producers may have ideas on how to best structure shows to be interesting to listeners. We’ll make recommendations, you choose what to try. Remember, if you don’t make money we don’t either, so it’s in both our interests to do our best.
That said, it may not thrive. If so, no hard feelings. We shake hands and wish each other the best. There is no recourse or money owed because of missing any goals.
It’s about managing listener expectations. The worst thing a podcast can do is not be true to listener expectations. If an absence is planned, such as a holiday break or summer vacation, we set the listener’s expectations accordingly. We also have each show record 3 “evergreen” episodes that can be used to fill in an unexpected gap. Then, if the episode frequency needs to be adjusted, we should set the listener expectations as such. Maybe the show is better just twice a month.
Simply, we don’t. We don’t make any money unless and until you do. There is no secret revenue stream. Our vision is that the monies earned from the established shows allows us to invest the time and energy in nurturing the newer shows.
Yes, you keep all gratuity-like listener donations, like Patreon. For one, there isn’t a straightforward way to account for them. More importantly, they don’t fit into the brand image of the network. We do ask that you limit such solicitations to at most twice per episode and make sure it doesn’t interfere with the ability to attract sponsors and advertisers.
We plan for about 6 weeks, though it can be sooner. It’s about the listeners, so we recommend teasing a big announcement, then making the announcement, then going live with the first network episode. We also want to be sure there are evergreen episodes as backup so you’ll have your regular release schedule and be recording the episodes to have “in the can”, which takes some time. That said, we’ll work with you on the best timing.