The Best Podcast Networks To Apply For In 2023
Nearly two in three Americans now listen to podcasts. Despite podcast viewership being at an all-time high, making your podcast truly stand out is far from easy.
However, if you’ve managed to build up a respectable audience size independently and you’re giving it everything you’ve got, joining a podcast network may be the breakthrough your show has been waiting for.
At Cleanvoice, we understand how challenging it can be to achieve success on the podcasting scene and the value of using your resources carefully. In this guide, we’ll explain how joining a podcast network can benefit you before reviewing some of the best podcast networks in the world and how to apply. Let’s begin!
What are Podcast Networks?
Podcast networks comprise an array of podcasts that one company/network produces, distributes, and/or makes available to advertisers.
Independent shows may choose to join a podcast network for the various benefits provided by a network, particularly in relation to ad revenue. A podcast network may be broad and non-theme specific whereas others will focus on a single theme (e.g., interview shows).
How Podcast Networks Can Benefit You
Increased exposure and credibility
Podcast networks can provide shows with an increased reach. Also, by featuring alongside other reputable shows and gaining prominent sponsors, it can add further credibility to your show.
Help with production
When networks take on a new show they’ll want to ensure that you meet their standards. If they see a ton of potential in your show, they’ll be willing to take you on even if your show needs improvements in key areas.
Therefore, a podcast network may offer help with production including with regard to editing, audio cleanup, researching, and advice/coaching.
More revenue opportunities
Among the revenue opportunities a podcast network can afford you include:
- Ad sales
- Merchandise sales
By joining a podcast network, you’ll have the chance to talk and collaborate with other creators. Taking the leap from independent creator to being part of a network can increase your potential to develop new ideas and form many professional relationships. You might even be invited on to remote podcast interviews which could help increase your reach!
Things to Consider When Choosing a Podcast Networks
It’s important to consider various criteria when deciding what podcast network might work for your show.
Requirements for Joining
It goes without saying that some podcast networks will be easier to join than others. So, you’ll want to spend sufficient time narrowing down what networks you’d like to apply for to those that you’re actually eligible for in the first place.
Some of the requirements that may apply include:
- Willing to produce one episode a week at a minimum.
- Must cross-promote other shows on the network.
- Must have a decent following for your podcast already.
Types of Podcast Networks
There are two primary types of podcast networks, namely ad-selling podcast networks and ad-free podcast networks.
Starting with the former, ad-selling podcast networks will work to secure sponsorship deals that can ultimately benefit you and the network through ad revenue. In most cases, a podcast network will pay shows a flat rate for every one thousand impressions or downloads.
Ad-free podcast networks are best suited to podcasts looking to join a network with a host of similar podcasts. Also, they won’t impinge on your creative control or dictate which advertisers you can work with.
How Much Ad Revenue The Network Takes
Lastly, consider what percentage of ad revenue a network will take. This will affect your bottom line massively, so make sure they don’t eat into your profits too much!
Top Podcast Networks
Here are the best podcast networks:
- IHeartRadio - Best podcast network, ranked as number one.
- Wondery - Superb specialized marketing capabilities.
- PodcastOne - Wide-reaching network.
- HubSpot Podcast Network - Business-related podcast network.
- Audacy - Best for general podcasts.
- Earwolf - Best comedy podcast network.
iHeartPodcasts is the world’s number-one podcast publisher, offering more hit shows in a wider range of categories than any other network on the internet. iHeartPodcasts prides itself on seeing more than 364 million downloads monthly.
iHeartPodcasts’ network consists of many podcast channels, live radio stations, and artist streams.
How to Apply for iHeartRadio Podcasts
To secure the best chances of getting your podcast on this popular platform, you’ll want to maximize the number of podcast directories your podcast is listed on.
The technical requirements to qualify for joining the iHeartRadio podcast network include a unique title and at least one podcast episode upload.
The content requirements are easy to meet. They’re mostly just down to common sense and decency (e.g., conforming with local laws, not defamatory, etc.).
There is a five-step process to apply that includes:
- Copying your podcast’s RSS feed via your podcast host.
- Finding the iHeartRadio podcast submission page.
- Creating an iHeartRadio account or logging into your existing account.
- Entering your podcast’s RSS feed.
- Reviewing your show’s details and the terms and conditions before submitting.
Remember, you can only submit via this channel if you live in the US, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia. If you live outside those areas, you can still submit your podcast! You’ll just have to talk to IHeartRadio’s team.
Wondery is another top-market US podcast network. Wondery publishes a host of award-winning podcasts, including The Shrink Next Door and Dirty John. Founded in 2016, the company launched with support from 20th Century Fox (later renamed to 20th Century Studios).
How to Apply for Wondery
To find out more about the Wondery application process, you can contact them via their website. Wondery offers industry-leading capabilities in production, marketing, distribution, and monetization.
Their specialized marketing capabilities include audience development and community management that can help podcasts under their umbrella flourish.
PodcastOne is among the most prominent podcast/digital audio networks worldwide. PodcastOne’s two hundred Podcasts secure over 400 million monthly impressions with about 46 million listeners in total. As one of the most popular podcasting networks, it’s a worthwhile platform to join!
How to Apply for PodcastOne
As with Wondery, you’ll need to contact PodcastOne for further details. You can set up an account and contact the website to find out how to submit your podcast.
PodcastOne’s listeners are consistent, which can greatly benefit any podcasts that successfully join the network. For example, PodcastOne’s listeners, on average, enjoy six podcasts or 9.5 hours of podcasts weekly. Also, 62% listen primarily on their mobile device.
#4: HubSpot Podcast Network
Next up, we have the HubSpot Podcast Network. HubSpot launched its podcast network in May 2021 as part of an effort to support business professionals looking for inspiration and education related to business growth.
Among the shows featured on the HubSpot Podcast Network include My First Million, The Hustle Daily Show, Business Made Simple, and Creator Science. Generally speaking, it’s a network that’s more suited to business podcasts. If you’re a comedy or true crime podcast, this one’s not for you.
How to Apply for the HubSpot Podcast Network
The HubSpot Podcast Network has an online web form where independent podcasters can apply to join the network.
The form will ask you questions such as how many downloads your podcast receives each month and why you’d like to apply for the network.
Regarding the ‘how many downloads’ question, the lowest option is fewer than 1,000, with the median answers being ‘10,001 to 50,000’ and ‘50,001 to 100,000’. This gives you an idea of the sorts of download numbers the network may be looking for to consider you. After all, as they point out in the form, they unsurprisingly receive a high volume of applications.
Audacy is a top-tier podcast publisher and a content partner with well-known brands like Netflix, HBO, and Hulu. Audacy’s accredited studios create, market, distribute, and sell a growing number of podcasts that cover a plethora of genres.
Among the podcasts currently featured on Audacy include Dateline NBC, Huberman Lab, The Sports Junkies, Dark History, and Squirrel Friends: The Official RuPaul’s Drag Race Podcast. Audacy’s podcast network reaches 28 million unique listeners monthly.
How to Apply for Audacy
You can submit a podcast to Audacy via the Listen Notes database. Simply add your podcast’s iTunes URL or RSS and (if you’d like) your email address.
Earwolf is the perfect network for American comedy podcasts to apply to. Shows featured on Earwolf include Unspooled, Threedom, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, How Did This Get Made?, and Office Ladies.
How to Apply for Earwolf
Feel free to contact Earwolf via their website to find out more about the application process if you have a comedy podcast you’d like to add to their network!
In today’s guide, we looked at the top six podcast networks you might want to apply for. We also explored the benefits of joining a podcast network and what criteria to run through when finding the right one for you!
At Cleanvoice, we know how time-consuming manual editing can be. That’s where our AI-powered features come in. You can use our service to remove filler sounds, background noise, and more to ensure your podcasts are as clean as possible.
Using Cleanvoice’s automation can not only benefit you in the meantime but help further your case when applying to podcast networks through better-end products! Take a look at our pricing today, and let us help you deliver quality audio to your audience.