How much do you charge for podcast recordings?

Charging for Podcast ServicesThe idea that new media consumption should be free is one thing, however, being compensated properly for production services will never go out of style!
Recently we received a question about what to charge for podcasts. To paint a picture of our experience with talent and podcast rates, we treated the fees like any other broadcast medium, paying $250 for an intro, podcast imaging (one liners for 4 segments), and 25 episode numbers, full buy-out.
That was in 2005. When we changed our name to, we continued to use the imaging for the new podcast and are very happy with it.

Now, you could argue that we understand the value of a voiceover, regardless of its usage and reach, hence why we went with a quote on the top end of the scale instead of a lower fee. It’s the same in any business. If you want a quality product or service, you will pay for it. For some reason, there is the misconception that because a podcast is technically not for ‘broadcast’ purposes that the voiceovers should be less expensive for this medium.

I beg to differ.
Podcasts can potentially reach more listeners and more highly targeted listeners than broadcast commercials can depending on the audience size and following of a podcaster. Some popular podcasts have thousands if not tens of thousands of subscribers which in some cases equates the so-called medium broadcast markets.
Podcasts are also available to listeners in two ways. First off, they can download the audio from a podcasters website or they could subscribe to the feed via iTunes or similar aggregators of content.

Essentially, podcasts are available to listen to again and again, getting more mileage out of a voiceover, imaging package, or music production. This should count for something. One of the issues on the table concerning the ACTRA strike is that union members of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists are not being fairly compensated for the use of their work on the Internet. This use could take shape in the form of a podcast, website tutorials, online commercials, presentations, eLearning, or promotional material.

ACTRA is still on strike (now 2 weeks and counting…) over this sticky issue.
Producers are claiming that they shouldn’t have to pay for the work to be used online if they had already bought it for other purposes and compensated them fairly for it.
For example, let’s pretend a commercial had been recorded for television with union talent. According to the producers, a commercial made for television could be used free of charge on the Internet. People in general are deceived by the notion that everything on the Internet should be free, free, free!

When you look at it, nearly everything minus key services and products are free. You can always upgrade a service level somewhere, but almost anything that you can participate in on the web comes with a free trial, a free account (think email), newsletters or free downloads. OK, I’ve said my piece and identified the landscape / challenges that new media presents us with. Now, it’s your turn. What do you think the industry should be charging for podcast voice over packages?
Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
P.S. Stay tuned to learn more about how you can profit from podcasting 🙂

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Stephanie,
    I charge by the word for the podcast I narrate for the Office of Science and Technology at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC. The rate was negotiated when my work for them began in the second quarter of 2006.
    However, for that podcast, I’m not just the announcer or image voice; I’m the narrator for the entire podcast. So, we keep track of the number of words in each article and I prepare a detailed invoice at the end of production for each quarterly issue.
    If I were contacted about just doing some intro and close announcements for a podcast I would probably charge my normal minimum session fee for a non-broadcast project.
    Be well,

  2. I have to agree with the assessment that a podcast is potentially as exposed as other traditional media. I’m going to be blunt here so get the kids out of the room:
    If I could trust every client to let me know how many people use the cast, then I would charge a different rate to DJ “lives with Mom” than I charge “The National Geographic’s global warming update”.
    But short of researching them all, you have to set a minimum and let the law of averages work it out for you.
    The important thing to remember is that when you are arguing about how to bill because your job prospects are EXPANDING, it can only be a good thing.
    Thank your lucky stars your job is not in manufacturing or telephone customer service
    until the next thing catches my eye….bye
    Gord Brooks

  3. Always good topics on here, Stephanie!
    One of the first things I consider is the focus of the podcast…are we selling a product, service, or is it for a person who just wants to “be on the air and talk about anything” etc. This helps me to read the “value meter”.
    Example: One of my clients uses their podcast as a vital part of their business. They coach small business owners on marketing & strategy. One of their main forms of communication to their clients is the podcast. The podcast consists of recorded business conference calls where people share ideas, insights etc. This, in turn, tends to get the listeners thinking “I would benefit from becoming part of this “business conference call” and then they sign up for a fee etc., etc. Thus, the podcast is as important and valuable as a “broadcast” on any radio station… more so, because a podcast can be heard around the world and a program on a radio station is mainly focused in that general listening area.
    Now, my rate for a podcast intro for the type of podcast I illustrated above is at least as high as radio broadcast, if not more so. However, for a podcast that might be titled: “Jack & Jill’s Anything Goes Hour” the rate would be considerably less.
    I believe there is the potential for highly recognized podcasts to pay more than radio… we’ll have to see how things progress.
    Blessings and thanks for all you do, Stephanie!
    Brian Haymond


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