Is The Podcast Academy Worth Your $100?


All week long we’re asking Podcast Academy members to tell us what they’re getting out of their Podcast Academy membership. Our first member is Podcamp Media President Dusty Weis (pictured), who tells us he sure is getting his money’s worth.

Clients at Weis’ Podcamp Media include SurePayroll, the National Corn Growers Association, and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.

Weis also hosts the storytelling podcast Lead Balloon which was selected by AdWeek as 2020’s Marketing Podcast of the Year.

We asked Weis to tell us about his Podcast Academy experience:

“My last job before I started Podcamp Media was working in marketing and PR for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, a trade association which has represented the interests of its members for 125 years. So I really understand the need for an industry to speak with one voice when it comes to advocating on behalf of the needs of its members.

“The Podcast Academy, and the podcast industry as a whole, is still very much in a primordial phase of its development. But this is an industry that is going to have a lot of power to shape public discourse and entertainment in the years to come. It will be around for 125 years and more. Accordingly, the industry is going to have to answer some very big questions about its future; questions about standards, questions about ethics, questions about business models. Answering these questions is vital to the work of continuing to professionalize the field of podcasting.

“I think the Podcast Academy has demonstrated the potential to be that forum that allows podcasters to have those discussions in a manner that is productive and inclusive. And I think banding together as an industry will better allow podcasters to weigh in with governments, with regulators and with the public writ large about podcasting’s role in society.

“I am eager to see how the Podcast Academy conducts its annual awards show. I think a juried awards contest brings out the best in everyone, and will help us make great strides away from the nagging perception that podcasting is a medium that’s “cheap” and “unprofessional.” I think it will also help stamp out some of the more predatory podcast awards organizations that have tried to take root.

“As a small business owner, I’ve found TPA’s informational sessions to be helpful and interesting. I’d like to see more of them, on a broader range of topics, and I think that will come with time.

“And I’ve found the mentorship program to be helpful and fun. I was matched with Jeff Umbro from the Podglomerate, and while we’re still not sure who is the mentor and who is the mentee, I’ve learned a lot from Jeff and found a lot of value in comparing business models, production tactics and lived experiences with him.

“In summary, I think the Podcast Academy has a lot of potential. It’s not without its shortcomings, but I’d say it’s punching above its weight for an ambitious effort to unify a million voices, launched during a global pandemic, in its first year of operation.

“I would urge anyone who’s on the fence to get involved with TPA, because the more people get involved, the more value the organization can offer our industry.”

Dusty Weis can be reached by e-mail at



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