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How to beat celebrity hosts

Tired of endless Google searches and overblown, impractical advice? Ask the Consultant to get direct answers to your pressing promotional puzzles. Send your query to and include the name of your show so, if your question is chosen, we can give it a plug.

Lauren Passell

This month's guest consultant: Lauren Passell

Lauren is founder of publicity company Tink Media and curator of Podcast The Newsletter. She has been working in media for 12 years including roles in marketing and social media management.

Forrest Kelly, host of The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast, asks:

Do you see the future podcasting landscape being dominated by Hollywood stars or independent podcasters or [something else]? It seems that every A, B, C Hollywood lister is releasing a podcast with a huge marketing budget. And the independent producer like myself has a tough road to gain listenership.

Lauren says:

There will always be people (like me) who love and prefer indie podcasts. There will always be people who listen to celeb-hosted podcasts. It’s just like any other kind of medium. Movies, books, bookstores, I could go on and on and on. So yes, there will always be listeners for you. Your job is to tap into them and find out where they are, attract their attention and trust, and keep them. 

Even if all the celebrity podcasts went away, there would still be a lot of podcasts. I don’t think it helps to think about competition, whether that be from a niche, indie show that’s similar to yours, or Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. Those Hollywood podcasts are getting many people to listen to a podcast for the first time – which is good for all of us. Those smaller indie shows are your friends. Partner with them. Grow with them. There are a lot of them. Focus on them, not the Conans.

My advice for indie creators? Be consistent and creative. Cherish your smaller audiences, those are your cheerleaders who will help you grow. Ignore the big dogs. They aren’t going away but they don’t have to stand in your path toward growth.

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