$50 appearance fee? Huh?

Has anyone seen or experienced anything like this?

As we continue to provide our guests with higher levels of audience accessibility on the Heroes Media Network, a $50 appearance fee will apply per recorded interview with our host, Deanna Kuempel. The Heroes Media Network has over 2.7 million subscribers with a 60% engagement from the audience. This means you’ll have the opportunity to leverage our bigger audience as we continue with our goal of staying informative and making a difference.


I pitched a client to be a guest on this podcast, called ‘Label Free,’ through PodBooker, she was accepted, and before I sent her a note I thought to check out the Calendy link, which is where I saw this $50 bit.

My question: Legit? Not legit? This podcast has 263 episodes, not too shabby. Do I let the client decide if an extra 2.7 million listeners is worth it? I feel like I need to make a recommendation yes or no. What do you think? @craigconstantine @pod10


Legit? I mean sure, I can see how someone would want to charge their guests— not my style though. $50 doesn’t cover what it costs to make a podcast (if you’re using professional services to edit, or have a team, etc) So I’m wondering why that amount.

For me, I do regularly get people approaching me to be on my podcasts (it’s always been for Movers Mindset), and I simply say “I don’t accept guest recommendations.” (because I don’t accept them from outside sources. I do ask my guests for recommendations and those I very much do follow up on.) But if I wanted to “thin the field”, I’d do that by having precalls (possibly done by someone else) to test guest-quality, or a few rounds of email.

I guess I just don’t see the point of $50.


I would never pay an appearance fee. This feels very shady. That engagement rate isn’t verifiable, and citing subscribers for a network is way different than subscribers for a specific show. It’s also not clear what they mean by engagement.

If the show/network is that popular, they should have no problem securing adequate sponsorships to cover funding.


Hey Christie,

How are you? I think this is a great ideas in this point of the game I’d love to potentially go on the podcast and speak with you and potentially get some talking points and share an idea about humanity which I feel might help millions of people especially after the pandemic and my life living on Earth for the past 30 years dealing with a few issues that I’ve come across over the course of these topics and being apart of these major discussions we can see how these things are much harder to navigate due to the increasing levels of difficulty with communication sometimes when it comes to conversations about what does it mean to be human, how well are we doing how can we find this metric how can we gain some sort of gain from being a better version of ourselves and what gives us purpose within this major landscape today? these topics are what the world needs to gain therapy through these times majority of us forget our purpose while trying to live and please others even though it’s important to take care of one another there’s a balance and metric to how much we can talk about who knows what and what resources do we need to get all the help we are looking for.

How can we help the next generation? and how can we give the adults around us the peace of mind that we’re always going to be okay in this lifetime and who are we to go to when these things transpire within our own smaller relationships…

Best regards,
Rashaad Gomez

So interesting - as Craig says, it could be ‘what’s the point’ and the point might be to weed out chancers/people who aren’t up for it.

My suggestion would be - ask them for audience data for the specific show and explain what exposure the client would get to the 2.7m people.

If I was your client I might want to know that before committing the money.

Although as someone looking to appear on a lot of podcasts this year, I’ve got to say $50 for even a fraction of that network seems good value.


It doesn’t sound like a great idea for the podcaster. Once you’ve paid the fee you will expect something for your money. Do you get some say over what they release, how they edit it, or maybe some share of the copyright? If there’s a mic/technical problem you’ll expect a redo.

I feel that the $50 fee tells a story that all is not well with that podcast. The network might have 2.7m subs and 60% engagement, but what about this specific podcast?

And the last 2 reviews on Apple were from guests.


First time I’ve heard of that one, @ChristiCassidy

The idea of paying to be a guest seems a bit inverted. At that point, you’re not really a guest on a podcast, you’re paying someone for some promotion and marketing exposure.

As for whether or not it’s legit, I don’t know, but probably yes as long as the fees are disclosed upfront. Is it worth it? Well, only if your client has a product or service to sell, and feels this particular promotion is worthwhile.

Personally, I find it distasteful; “appearance fees” are normally paid to a guest or performer, not taken from a guest.


I’ve never seen that in podcasting before! But in music I sure have.

In performing this is called a pay-to-sing/pay-to-play, and it’s like paying to be a part of a music production, the fee pays for the director, pit musicians, and the experience itself. It’s great for collecting experience, and for building one’s resume, however it’s only one stop along the way and is never an end game.

My two cents:
I’d find out, if possible, how much the media company makes from their podcasts, and whatever other information you can glean about the health of the company, and then discuss it with your client. It might be worth $50 to get in front of their audience, however it might not be.


@ChristiCassidy - fantastic responses you’re getting on this :+1:


@ChristiCassidy What a great discovery conversation! I have not checked out podbroker, on my list of todo’s!

But top of mind, it’s not a lot of money for a bit of PR exposure, "as featured on the “Heroes Media Network” or some such language. The credential may be worth it.

Seems the network may be pushing to increase the average number of listeners, to negotiate a better sponsorship rate per CPM?


That’s part of what was bugging me, @Ron - that the fee was not disclosed until your pitch has been accepted and you click through to the scheduling link. Shady. Plus, appearance fees are usually paid, not requested (or demanded). Thank you.


Thanks for all these insightful comments. @GermanWithNicole - the music industry, of course makes perfect sense. Bloggers also frequently want $$$ for product placement. We’re going to recommend the client not do this podcast.


Hi Christi,

I have been on Deanna’s podcast (April 2021) but I was never charged a fee. I know a few podcasts charge fees to monetize it but I’ll never pay to be on one. I honestly didn’t get anything out of being on er podcast for what it’s worth.



Dr. Amy Novotny




Hey @ChristiCassidy - I can’t comment if it’s legit but my question is why is the price so low for access to such a large audience?

Appearance fees are not unusual. John Lee Dumas charges (last I heard) a $5000 USD appearance fee from all of his guests on his Entrepreneur on Fire show. Listen to his show and it’s clear that his guests have a clear outcome in mind for anyone listening to the show - usually signing up to the beginning of the guest’s marketing funnel. JLD is superbly efficient in helping with this goal (as he should be at his price).

So I guess I’m saying it’s worth every penny if the host will support your client’s marketing funnel (if she has one :grinning:) But again - $50 seems suspiciously cheap. If your client converts 1% of the audience then that’s 27k folks. So your client definitely needs a plan!

Perhaps investigate if this is purely some kind of admin fee. Or if the host will help promote stuff your client wants to promote - if so then choreograph how this will happen on the show. As opposed to letting your client’s marketing randomly emerge from the conversation “organically”.


Good point, @Jey - and she’s v-p of global marketing operations at a tech company you would know. So your comment about why the price, like that of @craigconstantine , is well taken.


Great string of commentary and viewpoints here!


[Nicole marvels at how much Jey knows.]


So Deanna, the host of Label Free, called me up this afternoon–she hosts the $50 “appearance fee” podcast–after I sent what I thought was a nice note. Perhaps I had misunderstood the fee, blah-blah. I even referred her here, in case she wanted a community forum.

She said this was because of all the money she spends making a really professional podcast and her Heros Network and all her followers on YouTube. Did I say blah-blah?

I suggested that in all my years as a publicist I hadn’t seen a pay-for-play like this without a label or notation. That it’s marketing (duh). ABC versus HSN.

Her last comment, and she wasn’t mean but she was abrupt: “To each her own.”


Interesting. Sounds like she’s picked an arbitrary (or just plain out-of-date number) to cover her costs. This is awesome for your client @ChristiCassidy with the caveat that it does actually appear too good to be true but as long as you are not surrendering IP then it seems worth a punt?

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Too good to be true, @Jey - and kind of a nut job to boot. No explanation for the $50 choice of fee.

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