To be, or not to be a Net Radio Host

Voice America Internet Radio

I never really considered becoming a talk radio host but when the opportunity was presented last week I was quite interested. Perhaps it really appealed to my vanity 😉

I received a call informing me that my blog was considered to have material that would be appropriate for a radio show. I was asked if I would be interested in hosting a 13 week pilot program of Voice America’s business network. The producer said that a recent post where I had stated that, “my clients are all across Canada and my long-term strategy is to grow my network outside the country”, was what piqued his interest.

I fancied the idea of increasing my reach and trying out a new medium (though I have been involved in several podcasts). My main concerns were the amount of preparation time and the actual delivery of a good quality one-hour show each week. Each show averages about two hours prep time, I was told, so hosting a show would be a significant commitment; but it would be possible to pre-record a couple of shows. Unless I wanted to do all of the talking (boring), then I would also have to find interesting people to interview. Opportunities for co-marketing were discussed too.

I listened to some of the existing Voice America business radio shows and found some mediocre ones, but also good programs like Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends Radio. Anita is quite positive about her Voice America radio hosting, which she does in addition to her Small Business Trends site and newsletter. Anita’s show has attracted sponsorship from Six Disciplines as well.

I couldn’t find out much else about the company, so I considered the pros and cons for a couple of days. About a week later, I was contacted to discuss the business details. During this second conversation, I was made aware of the “production, promotion, training, marketing, internal web-site development, archive hosting, personnel overhead and bandwidth expenses“, and that in order to ensure that hosts will stay committed, an up-front fee is required. This fee equated to the cost of hosting this blog — for twenty years.

In light of this fee-for-service, in addition to what I had already considered to be a significant work effort, I began to lose interest. However, Voice America in total has about seven times more readers than this website does. Therefore, I could have a chance to increase my audience; but how many of these would become paying clients?

What I sell are intangible and usually complex services, with a proposal submitted only after having spent a fair bit of time with my client. Could Voice America radio hosting for 13 weeks help me with this? I’m not sure. Furthermore, my clients are usually referred through my network, and some clients check out my website before contacting me. There are two years of my comments and perspectives on this website. Should I reinforce this archive with audio? Again, I’m not sure. Anyway, I decided to decline this service primarily due to the cost, but also because of an uncertain return on investment.

SEC Filing

Further investigation into Modavox, the parent company, yields this information from the NASDAQ:

Modavox produces weekly talk radio content programs that are distributed 24/7 on the Internet through its flagship Voice America channel at WWW.VOICEAMERICA.COM. The company derives its revenues through production fees received from hosts featured on the talk radio content programs and recently sponsor fees received from sponsors of certain of these programs. Production fees are generally sold in 13-week segments and are generally prepaid. Sponsor fees are generally split with the host. The company has also developed an e-commerce technology that will now allow host and sponsors to sell products and services on their programs. In future periods the company expects to earn revenues through the use by hosts and sponsors of this e-commerce technology. The company has also recently begun to market its patented Metaphor technology on a platform that will allow business and specialty and affinity groups to communicate live and stored voice and video content to intended audiences over secure internet channels.

I think that this medium, live Internet radio, has advantages for certain types of businesses, especially those selling a product/service mix or for someone who has a good sponsor that matches the program. As an open source evangelist and a provider of technology evaluation services, I try to be vendor-neutral. This makes sponsorship a difficult issue, because I cannot endorse any single product to the exclusion of others. Perhaps sponsors would flock to my door, but I doubt it.

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95 Responses to “To be, or not to be a Net Radio Host”

  1. Harold

    Graham: I’ve got the hair style (or lack thereof) for it. You’d have to come up with a sponsor first 😉

  2. Lisa

    This posting was so helpful – I just got a voicemail from Voice America about hosting a show, and I’d never heard of them. Google pointed me to you. Now I’m still flattered at being called, but I also realize that I may just be a potential sale to them!

  3. Julie

    I got the call from Voice America on Friday, and a flood of follow-up emails and calls have ensued over the past few days. I was suspicious, but your advanced research armed me with exactly the information I needed, but could not otherwise access elsewhere.

    Someone wiser than I believes that podcasts make internet radio unnecessary–Broadcast 1.0 in an Internet 2.0 world.

    I really appreciate you sharing this. Great job!

  4. Christine Macguire

    Internet Streaming Media Broadcasting is the new interactive solution for emerging, and veteran media personalities to establish a powerful online presence to a rapidly expanding internet audience. Voice America is Modavox’s unique venture, pioneering the concept of Internet radio.
    VoiceAmerica has been streaming live internet talk radio shows via the VoiceAmericaâ„¢ Network, featuring more than 100 hosts broadcasting on four genre based channels. VoiceAmerica helps you to strike a new note in the fast-paced world of internet media by placing your message and brand identity front and center, far beyond simply “having a website”.

  5. Harold


    I’m allowing your comment, which in my mind is blatant advertising.

    In the same spirit, I will share with my readers a “free” internet radio service – Blog Talk Radio:

    I am not affiliated with any of these services, nor do I use them.

  6. Karen

    I wish I’d read this great post BEFORE I called the guy back. What a con job! They don’t tell you about the fees up front. I’ve been invited to participate in real radio talk shows before, so I wasn’t all that suspicious even though I’d never heard of “Voice America.” I really appreciate your doing the research for me. Thanks again.

  7. Harold

    You’re welcome, Karen. I learn much from others on the Net and this is my small part in contributing to the “wisdom of crowds”.

  8. Drew Baye

    I was also pointed here by google after a search for Voice America and appreciate your comments. A rep e-mailed me stating,

    “I am in the process of developing a new show for our Health & Wellness channel on our network. After reviewing your information, I am interested in speaking with you about the possibility of hosting a show on our network.”

    Although the implication is they’re looking to hire, the wording is suspicious, and I’ve had a local AM station contact me trying to sell airtime after I appeared on a show by another person who was paying for a time slot, so I thought this might be the case.

    It did get me interested in the idea though, so I appreciate the heads-up on blogtalkradio.

  9. Mark

    Yes – 3 years and still kicking – both your article and the company. Sure wish I could figure out the right keywords to find more articles about VA from other that VA generated link. We are one step away from walking away from an unsigned contract for the reasons you stated

  10. Jon

    I appreciate this blog, which I found by Googling “ hosting.” I got “the call” from VoiceAmerica on Friday. I thought maybe they were looking for free content — which would have been quite an investment of time on my part. That they actually want people to pay is fairly astounding. The business model for legitimate media is to offer the best possible content in order to build their reputation and attract listeners. Can you imagine how quickly people would turn off a news program if they only interviewed people who paid to be on? A channel with paid hosts is just not going to attract listeners; most people would do better buying audio equipment at Radio Shack and creating their own “radio show” on their own website.

  11. Will

    I also got called by them today, and was very flattered and also slightly suspicious since I hadn’t done anything to put myself on their radar. A little Googling and here I am. I’m scheduled to talk with them tomorrow and I’m better prepared (and a little less flattered).

  12. DavidB

    As of today VA has called me three times in the past 18 mos. What they said on the phone sounded suspiciously similar to this:
    “I am in the process of developing a new show for our Health & Wellness channel on our network. After reviewing your information, I am interested in speaking with you about the possibility of hosting a show on our network.”

    Sounds great, right? Maybe it is for someone, but not a very small biz like mine facing their starting fees of $5,200 for 13 weeks.

  13. MarieD

    There is not much out there in terms of reviews on Voice America, so was glad to have found this blog and people’s comments.

    I wish prior hosts would give feedback on how it impacted their income (in a positive way), how difficult it was to get sponsors, etc.

  14. Lorraine Bockman

    Just had a call from VA and, like others, I was glad to find this post. The caller was very enthusiastic but not very forthcoming and, as others have mentioned, did not disclose the fees. Thank you so much for posting this information and allowing continuing comments.

  15. Kathleen

    So glad to find this thread. I just got “the call.” After I got over being flattered, I realized that I hung up without ever asking how they got my home telephone number–which isn’t on my blog or my business page. But the person I spoke to was very upfront about the costs, so I didn’t feel misled. He was knowledgeable about my area of expertise so he had at least glanced at my blog at some point. But there is no way I can afford to pay for my own radio show. He also mentioned me being a guest on someone else’s show, which is something I would be interested in so I will probably pursue that. There is VERY little on the internet about people’s experiences with VA, which is kind of odd since they are huge. I’m still wondering how they got my home number…..

  16. sue friedland

    VA is still calling as of today! We’ve had solicitations like this before. Thanks for letting me know about this particular company.

    Hasn’t the ability to publish and market your own podcasts through iTunes made companies like VoiceAmerica Radio obsolete? Who in their right mind would pay for the “privilege” of being on that network? I’d rather put $5K towards a good paid advertising campaign to market our own website!

  17. laura

    Hi, I know this is an older post but it is still very helpful!! Thanks for the information. It really helped.

  18. Tony Smith

    Thank you so much for this information. They called, I was interested and chatted with them today. All the same stuff and a whopping $6700 cost…

    I will for sure try the free radio options.

    Thank you and to all those who commented here as well…


  19. Vab

    Hey Thanks for this blog. I figured this was a sales call. I’m glad he told me to check out the website first. It did make me wonder how much it would cost. It seems like a good opportunity for those of us who are “vain” but I feel what you are saying is correct – you need to have a product that people can buy or a streamlined service, so unless you have that, you might be better off sticking with your current marketing plan. Maybe enhancing it a little. We are working on a couple of other ways to produce products and feel like video is more what people are moving towards anyway. Radio is always fun because you can listen to it while you do other things….but…being a guest on several shows might help you just as much.

  20. John Slothower

    I got a call from them the other day (sent to voicemail) and I decided not to return the call until I found some reviews. This was most helpful and I will not be be returning the call.

  21. Geo4star

    Sooooo glad I found your post Harold. I received a call today from Voice America, and I typically don’t answer out of country calls (I’m in Canada), but the guy left such an intriguing message that I called him back. Like many of the others here, I was flattered that my business services might be a consideration for a Radio Talk Show. I did ask how they found and chose me – I got a fairly reasonable answer but was still a bit skeptic. Additionally, I asked about the ‘investment’ since this guy wasn’t offering up any info and it all sounded just a little too good to be true, and was a bit shocked to find out that they want $6700 USD up front. YIKES! They want me to pay them??? Still, I thought, if this company is all it’s cracked up to be … maybe. Ahhhh, but then I found what I was looking for – this blog. I needed a dose of reality, and you all have provided it for me. Thanks for bringing me back to earth folks.

  22. Joss Conlon

    Ditto pretty much everything everyone above me has said. Even all these years after this blog post was created, this is the most helpful information I’ve found regarding this flattering-at-first “opportunity” that would have wound up being a colossal waste of time (albeit with a short-lived ego boost) had I decided to call them back.

    Which I am not.

    Thanks also to the comment-leaving folks who gave recent experiences and numbers. For $6700, I can handle my own online radio presence.

  23. Michelle

    Am preparing for a follow up phone appt with senior executive producer from voiceamerica this afternoon, after brief conversation between clients at work yesterday (offering up of 13 week, pilot radio show). Yes, the ego ride was fun for a very short while, but I decided to try and do some independent research apart from their website and am glad I found this and another blogger’s unbiased information. I did inquire about getting paid in a brief conversation yesterday and was told there is no financial compensation, but free advertising for my business…I was starting to have 2nd thoughts about the whole thing and find this information very helpful. I am not in a position to invest this kind of money for my new business or passionate subject matter. It will be interesting to see if the producer brings that up or if I will need to. But, regardless, I am glad to not waste any more time coming up with show propossal….before finding out in small print on a contract that I need to pay them. I will go old fashioned route and hand out business cards, start small website and continue my published writing on my passion, while keeping my paid, secure job…. For some with a larger budget, items to sell, and advertisers in tow, it may be a worthwhile investment, so this open forum is very helpful. Thank you for keeping this blog up, continues to be very helpful to community and I am most grateful.

  24. Cathy Goodwin

    Thanks for this post. I just got a call from someone asking me about being a talk show host on VoiceAmerica. When I asked point blank about fees and investment, the person hedged. That’s usually a danger signal.

    If VoiceAmerica were such a wonderful platform, they wouldn’t be out beating the bushes for prospects. And even though they may expose you to a larger audience than a blog it’s ultimately about your topic and your appeal as a host.

    For the $6700 that someone mentioned above, you can get a great website, some top PR services and a whole lot more!

  25. Leila

    I’d also like to thank you for sharing your experience with I just got a voicemail from them as well and was flattered at first but then had to wonder how they found me and what exactly they’d want from me. Sad to have to be so suspicious of peoples’ motives in this day and age.

    Thanks again!

  26. JFK

    Post yoga class show was all I ever wanted. These guys preyed on my dreams, lead me through all the bologna only to cause turmoil in the end. Learning why some people are so blunt with sales people. Shake all the sales people down first before they waste your time and try and blow your dreams up in smoke. Can America actually just hire people for a good job.

  27. Wanina Petlock

    Thank you so much for writing your article Harold. You’ve saved me many wasted hours wondering if I should take this opportunity or not. It’s NOT, for the record. The only opportunity here is for VA. I’ve been a guest on many live podcasts and was expecting something much different than what they are offering. You see, that’s just the thing. They don’t explain “everything” their offering…like the fact that you are going to pay them. They’ve got everything backwards. They should be paying their hosts, not the other way around.
    And thank you all, who let us know how much they would try to extract from us. Appreciated.

  28. Michelle Kane

    I’d like to add my thanks as well. I was contacted a few months ago and when it comes down to it, $6700 is a lot for a solopreneur like me with obligations and a still-getting-started business. It has sparked an incentive to just do it on my own via podcast or something similar – why not, right?

  29. Pamela Rumi

    I received a call from VoiceAmerica approximately 3 days ago. The call started with a young man telling me I had been selected by executive producer [name deleted by Admin] to host a 13 week radio show. Of course I was intrigued. He ask if I had time to speak with [The Producer] and I said yes. [The Producer] ask me about my business and could I put together an outline for his board to review and again replied yes. [The Producer] also mentioned the cost was $500 per show times 13 shows = $6500 and needed to be paid upfront. I did the outline and emailed it to him the next day as he requested. Today is Friday morning in California an I’m waiting for an answer today to find of if my show will be approved. I think we all know the answer.

    I woke up this morning feeling like I needed to do more research about the company called VoiceAmerica and that’s when I came across your blog.

    Thanks again!
    Pam Rumi

  30. Brenda W

    [The Producer] also contacted me tonight saying all the same things reported above. Great ego boost but like others I became skeptical. So glad I came across your blog before I talked to him tomorrow.

  31. Robert Weiner

    Thank you for the post. It’s still valuable 7 years later. I just got a message from VoiceAmerica and am now armed for a conversation. (Like you, I have a niche consulting business and am vendor agnostic. Most of my clients come from referrals. I have no products to sell and don’t accept sponsorships from vendors.)

  32. Shannon

    I am honored to now be a part of this club! Thank goodness you wrote this blog post years ago. The products I sell are for teachers, and at $10 an ebook I would have to sell quite a few to break even!

  33. Lynn

    I’ve been on a gazillion internet radio shows since my book was published. I get offers to be a host from all the networks and for all the above reasons say no. Just from being a guest on many different shows, I can’t say I’ve seen a big uptick in my business or web traffic from them. It kind of leaves me wondering if anyone is actually listening to all these many many shows. It’s nearly impossible to get call-ins. Of all the networks that have approached me AV is the priciest. Others have cited fees more in the $200 a show range. AV told me $500. If anyone wants to test the waters to see if something like this would serve your business, you might want to offer yourself as a guest on existing shows. Many hosts are always looking for guests. You may be able to get a show a week, each show having a different audience, all for free.

  34. john

    Thanks for the info NY wife’s been contacted several times with a robot like sales pitch. I’m guessing that her website must be working if these places found her

  35. Beth

    It’s now 2014 and I just got “the call”. Amazing that this company still exists and operates so consistently over time. The name “VoiceAmerica” suggests scam because it is so close to “Voice of America”, which the search engines so helpfully suggest when you attempt to research the company. Reminds me of another scam company called “THE”. Try researching that company through the Internet! Thank you, Harold!

  36. Jeff

    I got a call out of the blue today, went to voice mail, and I did some poking around before getting back to them. It sounds like the radio equivalent of “vanity publishing” – which I suppose could be monetized, but it sounded fishy, and what you’ve said confirms my suspicions. Thanks for the post!

  37. James

    Thank you for taking time to provide your analysis of the VA “opportunity”. With one-consultant practice in central Canada, I was surprised to receive the call from VA. Flattered, but skeptical enough to seek the opinions of others. Glad yours was there.

  38. Sarah Lawrence Hinson

    Thanks so much for this blog article. As of end April 2014 VoiceAmerica is still offering it’s services. Perhaps my SEO plugin is working really well now! All ‘hosted’ shows usually require a fee, as does BlogTalkRadio.

    Read in the Dawn of the Akashic Age by Ernzt Lazlo that more information has been created on the internet from 2000-2013 than has been created and recorded in the history of mankind to date. I can believe it! It’s a wonderful thing to be in this technological age…another thing to make sense of it.

    As for me, this article confirmed my gut feel about the phone call I had from VoiceAmerica. I have just started Podcasting on iTunes (with a little savvy, a free plugin and a hosted website, anyone can do pretty much for free!).

    And that’s the direction I shall continue to head in.

    Thanks again for the post!

    A Mom On A Spiritual Journey

  39. Judith

    Got the call. We’ve emailed back & forth and I finally chatted with the associate producer. He was totally evasive about the money. i agreed to speak with a producer – but I really don’t need a sales pitch. I’m going to email him back and say I’ve changed my mind.
    Thanks for all your input, everyone!

  40. Keith

    VoiceAmerica is a vanity scam – the only research is looking at your Linkedin profile and then they tell you your company is becoming well noticed – hence the call. No one cold calls without self-interest so I asked how does VoiceAmerica get paid, I asked the caller-id-blocked person to explain the business model. Instant change of tone – “You’re not the kind of person we’re looking for,” and hung up. If he meant I’m not a easy mark and I’d never spend thousands on a show no one will hear about – I’ll take that as a compliment. Save your money and time and just say no. There are better options to get noticed and spread a message.

  41. Anjali

    Wonderful blog post even after nine years it is useful. I have to say the executive producer who called me was very personable and was upfront. However, the dollar figure ($6700) is steep. Moreover, I like all the ideas listed here about having your own podcast. Moreover, as a pharmaceutical consultant in Canada how did they get my information? Now I know. Thank you all for your sharing your experiences. It is always good to go with your gut and think hard before taking the ego trip!

  42. Deborah

    I received my voicemail message, from a producer at “VoiceAmerica”, today, with a follow-up e-mail a few hours later. I had never heard of them. I live and work in Canada as a grief counselor and hypnotherapist so I could not figure out how they found me or why they would be contacting me.

    So I began my research and your Blog is the first thing that came up when I googled ‘ What do people think of “Voice America”‘.

    I will not be returning their call or answering their e-mail. I am happy I found your blog! Thank you for all the input from everyone and having this open forum to assist others from the pitfalls of an ‘ego scam’. It is nice to know there is always help when we need it.

    Forever the Optimist

  43. Elizabeth

    Got an ego boosting call yesterday. Talked with a well spoken “executive producer” today. At the end of the clever sales pitch, I was quoted $6,700, which was a big red flag. Verbally agreed to what was proposed. Sent an e-mail cancelling my follow-up phone appt. for next wk. Googled & found this review, which validated my gut feeling & subsequent actions taken. Agree w/ what everybody’s written, including gratitude for you providing the service of keeping this available to the public, even yrs. later.

  44. Rodney

    I had one of the executive producers hit me up on LinkedIn about this. Once I raised my concerns (in a professionally written, and stated mail) as per the blog post here, and the numerous experiences from readers, I was responded to as a child been scolded. This line summed up what happens if you ask questions:

    “And after reading this past email you sent, you give great evidence to the point of you also lacking the professional maturity to be a guest, host, or anything else with us.”

    And I am being unprofessional?

  45. Cherrie

    Hi Harold,
    I also wrote a blog post about my experience which is similar to yours as are the comments from readers. So I linked your post to mine so people have some cross-referencing available to them.

    Interesting note: recently, my comments section was flooded with really abusive comments on this post…calling me names, suggesting that I was a scammer who was going to ask Voice America to pay me to remove my post. Wa-what? I don’t print or allow abusive comments on my blog or blatant advertising and have reserved the right to preview all comments before posting to allow for people to feel safe offering well-reasoned opinions and to also not allow a negative tone to develop on my blog. It’s just been strange that every so often there will be a flood of really nasty comments that are not specific to the topic of the blog but are personal attacks. If they are employees or associates of Voice America trying to scare me off…it ain’t workin’.

    I say…trust your gut…if it feels icky…walk away.

  46. Kiana

    Thanks so much for writing this. I got a call this weekend and had a gut feeling there were going to be costs involved. This was super helpful. The person that called did have a great radio voice.

  47. Shari Tarbet

    Thank you so much for this information. As seems to be typical, I was also contacted by an ‘executive producer’ with voiceamerica via Linkedin. As soon as he mentioned the $6700 investment to have some ‘skin in the game’, my alarms went off. As soon as I got off the phone, I started doing research for independent information. Hence I ended up here. Anytime I hear that I must put up money to get a position, I immediately think of Shaklee’s. I can now pass on this ‘offer’. I notice this company gets a lot of contacts at LInkedin, and I wonder is I can contact them and let them know what’s going on and block them.

  48. Jeff

    Just got a call out of the blue and have the same story to tell. Being a professional dog behaviorist with a lot to share, I shouldn’t have to be shelling out bucks. They should, for the talent, if they really cared.
    And now, after reading what’s been offered here, I have one more task to do, block them from my phone. Thanks, all!

  49. Alisa L.

    Ditto, ditto, ditto…. I even sent an email to them in response to the VM, but now I can hit IGNORE! Thanks for posting this. What a waste of time!


  50. Susan

    I just got the , found your reviews and have made up my mind as I feel this is a group of intelligent kind folks and I thank you for your input . So, who of you wants to start our own Baby Voice America that is honest and doesn’t cost an arm or a leg

  51. Dale

    Yet again. Thank you for this input. I got the call and email and was preparing to speak with them. Now I am well armed with the information needed and can confidently turn them down.

  52. Tandy Elisala

    I am SO glad I came across your blog post and all the helpful feedback. I’ve received 3 calls from Voice America in the last year and alarm bells went off immediately when I got the first voice message. I just received my third call today and I decided to research the company before returning their call. There isn’t much out there about the ‘investment’ with them. I appreciate that you continue allowing comments so we can all learn. I’m about to start my podcast and will do so at a much, much smaller cost!

  53. Betty Collins

    Thank you for all this input. Just a question. What if I have an item to sell , wanting it to go global, with no website? This item is actually transforming the lives that we touch with it. It will cost me $2000 just for the website and even more for a brand. I’ve been listening to VoiceAmerica for awhile now and know they have well over 100 countries that they broadcast to.Is there any merit there at all? Or would I be better off with a YouTube channel and my Facebook business page ? Looking for advise , please. Any and all advice welcomed !Thank you Thank You Thank You

    • Harold Jarche

      You have to do that research based on your unique situation, Betty/Marion. As you can see, 10 years ago I decided not to go with Voice America.

  54. Annette

    Thanks to everyone and especially you Harold, for keeping this alive. I just canceled my call for tomorrow with an Exec Producer of VA, like many others have done. Everyone is so right, once the “vanity” has passed and the business side of me rose to the surface – it was a no brainer with all the methods available to get the word out in today’s technology.

  55. Thomas Egelhoff

    I am in the got a call from them category. I’ve done a 3 hour weekly talk show on a local AM radio station for about 10 years. So my co-host and I are contacting specific people we know to pay the production costs plus a salary for us for two hours a week for 52 weeks. I guess I’m wondering why people who want to be hosts and have some kind of notoriety aren’t going after sponsors to cover VA costs? The second best answer you can get is no.

  56. Marcia Naomi Berger

    Thank you for alerting me. I got a linkedIn communication asking me to host a show and I wondered about Voice America so am glad to see it’s a waste of time for me to follow up any further, Thank you for saving me the time by providing the information.

  57. Kim

    Great post! So glad it is here.

    When I wrote back and asked to be removed from the call and mail lists. Got the following response which further discredits this company.


    There was nothing in my communiqué to you from me that stated you needed to reply if not interested.

    You aren’t on a list, and would have received no further communications from me if you didn’t reply to this email.

    If you do not want communications from me, do not contact me.

    Be Well,


  58. Nancy

    Thanks for this post. I was contacted by them today and like many others, was a bit suspicious that it was some kind of a sales gimmick. That led me to google and I found this page. Wow, over $5K for 13 shows is a bit steep! I think I’ll spend my advertising budget on something with more tangible results and less costly.


  59. Diane Eileen

    Hi there. Like the others I too received the “call” today. I was also flattered, but thought something was a little wild about it. I’m very grateful to have found your blog. Thank you for posting this information. You saved me a lot of time, energy and money. 🙂


    I too got a call this morning and decided to do a little research. I’m not going to cry over the fact that I’m just a potential sale. But I doubt you’ll find me on the radio!

  61. Jason Pedersen

    I was contacted today by one of their sales reps telling that he found me on LinkedIn and went on and on on how talented and passionate I am about my industry. Thanks to this post, I realize that he was a well trained sales guy that really doesn’t care about my knowledge but is simply looking for someone to put down that $6,700.

  62. Harold Jarche

    Received this comment by email today:

    “Eleven years later and this post is evergreen–and so is VA. Got the voicemail yesterday from an executive producer. (I Googled the number, and it belonged to a previous exec prod, but they haven’t updated their website with this newbie.) I suspected it would be something like this, but I appreciate your post and everyone’s comments that clearly illuminate the whole deal. Just for giggles, I will call back. I have a number of interests, and I’ll be curious which one in particular they’re targeting and where they heard of me. Thanks for the great content, Harold!”

  63. Harold Jarche

    Received this message today — “I received a call from … Executive Producer from Voice America. She reported, in her message, that my name had been forwarded to her by her research team. Well, you can guess the rest.

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’. I wasn’t much interested in the idea but the flattery of receiving such a call made me very curious. It must be working, for Voice America, as they’re still operating after so many years. And I’m guessing it’s working out for some who responded.”

  64. Hannah

    Hi there, folks. I got a call from Voice America and yesterday I spoke with a lovely lady, who was very up-front about the costs–now it’s up to $7,500 for the pilot of 13 weeks! Plus a 30K annual investment. I had a great conversation (did not feel it’s a scam; I know that radio shows do cost something, though no idea how much), and have been contemplating whether I really want to do this or not. I am about to fill out the proposal form, so this evening I decided to research reviews of VA–and I have to say I’m really disappointed to read all the bad reviews here! I mean, I really thought this would be a great platform, and since VA also promotes the shows and there’s an opportunity to sell my products and services through my show, that sounds like a much better reach than I can get on my own. I’m also disappointed that there are no comments here from people who are actually show hosts with Voice America. And yes, it must be working since they are still in business in 2018. Oh, and I saw zero complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

    The other option I considered is being trained to be a host and having a podcast through eWomen Network–and that investment is also high, at $6,865. And that is for 12 months. I had declined that due to the cost–and winced when I heard the cost for VA. However, I also believe that if one of these is right for me to do, I’ll manifest the money necessary to invest.

    So I am now cautious, though not completely ready to say NO to VoiceAmerica. And I shall also be checking out the BlogTalk Radio and TalkShoe links. Thanks for sharing.

    • Harold Jarche

      Thanks for your comment, Hannah. I never did start a radio show but I have been featured on several podcasts. They may extend my marketing a bit but so far, after 14 years, my blog is the best form to reach future clients. Even my global public speaking events do not drive as much business as my blog.

  65. Hannah

    Thanks for this reply, Harold. One of the reasons I’m interested in radio or podcasts is that this would give me a chance to share my Laughter Yoga, prayers, meditation, and singing on audio. Not really possible to share those on a blog! And yes, I can and have made audios that I store on and share from SoundCloud. However, I have no following there, and my recorded messages have very little reach unless I share a link. Another draw for me to something like VA is that I’m not so good at marketing myself and would have to build an audience from scratch. At least with VoiceAmerica or even eWomen Network, there is a built-in audience plus those
    organizations would promote my show. (And of course I know there is no guarantee that I would get a following anyhow!) I’m still doing research. Cheers!

  66. Thomas

    There is nobody here that can have a negative review on VoiceAmerica at least with some validity other than a feeling. There are over 100 shows running on 8 genre based channels and everyone is doing so on their own volition. Nobody makes them and they do not get into anything with out full knowledge of what they are getting into. With VoiceAmerica the host owns the show and all the intellectual property. Some of the host are creative and are making a good amount of money directly from their show. Others do a show for other reasons of their own. It is not for everybody and everybody is not even qualified and if you decide its not for you that is fine but show me what there is to complain about.

    • Harold Jarche

      Thanks for your comment, Thomas, but this blog post is clearly not a complaint, only my experience. I cannot speak for the people who have commented here. I have even removed names of VoiceAmerica staff that were submitted in the comments. I would say that the VA sales process is not very transparent when they first approach you. I am still amazed that this one little blog post written in 2006 still gets attention. How did you come across it?

  67. Laura

    Still evergreen! Thanks for this post. I got the call today, and am glad to know what I’d be getting into by calling back. The platform looks professional, and I could see some businesses profiting from their help and advice, and having a ready-made site they can link to from your own blog/website/press page. If audio podcasts are a tool to audition your business for prospects, the fee is reasonable for the services rendered.

  68. Cyriac Joseph

    Thank you for this post. Clearly this vanity broadcastibg pretending to be something else altogether when you start in my opinion. Wasted two minutes of my life talking to the dude.

  69. Andrea Foy

    Welp, December 18th and I received the same call. Glad I found this. They even encourage you to research them. If it wasn’t for this one post, I might have listened, until I heard the price! Thanks for the heads up and I will research BlogTalkRadio as well!

  70. Dave Anderson

    That is really cool that you were presented with the opportunity to be a talk radio host. Live talk radio is something that I have been wanting to get into recently. Maybe I should look for a live talk radio station around me to listen to.

  71. Cheryl

    Thank you for this! My story is similar to everyone else’s in that I was contacted by VoiceAmerica to potentially host a segment on their network. The producer I spoke with was kind and as informative as he needed to be. However, I don’t produce products to sell. The services I provided are intangible and designed for a specific audience that I’m not sure I would reach hosting a show. I will however, start tuning in to listen to the shows currently on the network. I may revisit this platform at a later date. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

  72. Julie

    I was contacted yesterday from VA as well. I was told I would get an email and they wanted me to check them out thoroughly. The Sr Producer was very nice and professional. A cost doesn’t bother me, it’s a platform and unless I’m door knocking, platforms cost money. It is professional branding and positioning yourself as an expert. It is something you can use on your website and advertising forever. It will make you stand out from the crowd. I can’t see how it would if your business is local or a service only you can perform. Since I offer a product/service I can sell nationwide and make anywhere from $500-$12,000 a sale, it makes sense that I can reach prospects I would never reach, build a brand and create referral business and very quickly be in the black. It would take 13 weeks to create legs and get better. It may be good for someone like me, many others I would think not a good choice, no real chance at a ROI. I’m going to look into it further, only beginning.

  73. Mary A Miller

    This blog information is still valid in 2019 as it was when it was first introduced, and thank you for keeping it up here. I got the ‘call’ today, making a lot of promises without a lot of clarity of what it was they would be doing other than giving me a time slot to do my own podcasting. I still would have to buy a microphone, still have to do all of my own planning of programming (I am not a program manager!), with no guarantee that anyone would be listening on the other side. Plus, to be honest, if I were doing a podcast why wouldn’t I do it on itunes or somewhere where It would be financially a viable situation? See, My interest would be discussing Fibromyalgia and how to live with it, NOT my primary business which is doing as much volume as we can handle right now. Fibro, on the other hand, has little attention in podcasting, and so many people being affected living with it. But no, I don’t think I am going to be putting out almost $7000 for a slot on a bandwidth requiring me an additional $300 for a good mic, plus having to take the necessary time to arrange for speakers, etc for FREE. Nope, nada.

  74. William Jehle

    Thirteen years later, this post is still relevant and welcome. I too was contacted by VoiceAmerica and there was just enough information to picque my interest. I have published a few books, a few DVDs, and I frequently get asked about doing voice over work. It didn’t feel all that strange to be asked about a hosting a podcast/radio show. Ever the cynic, I searched for information and found this thread. Thank goodness it’s still here. There’s no way I would pay these kind of fees to jump into a totally unknown market. I have more than enough recording equipment, I might have to think about content and who to schedule conversations with, but why such a steep cost to buy in? The cheap or FREE way to go about this is through YouTube or Facebook where I can upload pretty much anything I like with little more than a cellphone. Time for me to work on my YouTube channel. 😀

  75. Veronica

    In the spirit of contributing actual experiences with VoiceAmerica, obviously I received the call (last week to be specific. I will say I was shocked about their longevity in the business. I cannot knock them for their business savvy-ness. I for one actually applaud it and feel I have something to learn from their model. And yep after speaking with the Ex. Producer I was made aware of the $6700. Here’s my thoughts on the “offer”. First, I had not really considered a podcast show or hosting a radio talk show, or any show for that matter. So yes while flattering, it also help me to consider a different method of sharing my information. As a business owner, I know there are fees and cost to maintain the business. So instill of automatically writing this off as a “scam”, I begin weighing how this can support where I am headed, the investment of time and effort I will need to put into this venture, the benefits, etc. As of right now, I entertained the 1st “interview” via a phone call (which was pretty consistent with all who have wrote on this blog before me). I have received a follow-up email with the VA packet and “pilot series proposal”. It is my intent to use this proposal to further tailor my thoughts and ideas for my show (as I had been trying to figure out how to adequately market myself). But before moving further, I will read the “small print” before sending it in to them…don’t want my concepts to “pop up” on another show (copyright info, confidentiality, etc). I said a lot to simply say this, I feel “scam” inadequately describes this business. To me I can see it as paying for training/ on the job training so to speak and an investment. I am in no way affiliated with VA, nor am I for or against them. But feel a post focusing on the “business sense” of the potential partnership was worthy of including. If both parties understand fully what they have to gain from the partnership and you can see how “you can add value to them and they likewise add value to you” then go for it. In closing I want to thank you Harold for this great post and for each person contributing to the conversation, it has indeed helped me in my decision. Until next time, be blessed and live well.

  76. Suzan Vaughn

    VOA contacts me about once or twice a year. That’s because I have an interesting subject (animal communication), a broadcasting background, and a potential big fee for their 13 week trial. I’ve been a guest a few times, and also had another internet radio show with another network. I NEVER got any new clients, and the people who listened somewhat regularly were looking for free readings, every week! I did this show for over a year. There are also technical issues. Listeners must “raise their hand” (click on an icon and wait to be recognized) before they can go live. This little problem continued to be a problem the entire time I broadcast. Too much prep time for a good show, too few listeners, and no increased business causes me to continue to give the thumbs down to this medium for now.

  77. Liv Dzumaga

    Thank you for this information! I found it very strange as well that I could not find reviews from the hosts. Got the call a few days ago and it seems strange that I would pay a fortune for 13episodes initially. Grateful for all of you!!

  78. Gracie

    Got the VOA email. Thankful to find this blog. Their forum is not suitable for my business. Really interesting there is so little in reviews from hosts. I will not devote any time in responding to the email much less 7K.

  79. Jasmine Peterson

    I got the call from VA and i was very interested in what was being offered. The Executive that called me was very straightforward about the show details and cost. Only thing is I did not have the funds to pay the $6700. I did take into consideration the business side of things and realized the back end potential of hosting a radio show. If you notice all of us who are commenting on this blog has never done business with voice America which lead me to not seek validation from anyone here but the people who actually have given doing business with them a shot. In reality every business has a fee and but I recommend being weary of these free DIY platforms that give you know education or tools to maximize your career.

  80. Rebecca

    Thanks! I just got a call too and though I was also like oh cool. I was suspicious. So I googled it when brought me to you. I wondered if there was a fee. Even though I do sell products (handmade), I just don’t have the time or want to spend that amount on something that might show zero return. So I really appreciate the heads up. I won’t be returning the call.

  81. Eric

    “If its sounds too good to be true…”
    Thank you for your Blog and maybe we can all get together and reminisce about “the call.” VA has given us posters some common ground.

    Thank you

  82. Lisa

    Thank you for this post. I got the call and email today. Yes it was flattering. I have deep subject matter expertise but nothing published and no broadcasting experience. I feel well informed now. Thank you again Harold and all, 14 years and still relevant.

  83. Eric S.

    Just keeping the ball in the air here. 15 years and still relevant! Hooray internet! I got “the call” for the second time today. I blew it off the first time after not seeing much on page one of my google search about them. Today, I found this. I’m grateful for this trove! I run a weekly show for HR & people leaders called The Corporate Bartender, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s out on the podcast platforms, and on YT. It’s a side gig and a labor of love for me, no need to pay upwards of 7K for something that might provide me with tens of new listeners. Thanks Harold!


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