Congratulations! You’ve done it. You’ve decided to take the plunge into the wonderful world of podcasting! You no doubt have a wide range of thoughts and emotions running through your head about what you’ve just signed yourself up for and what exactly you should expect. You’re probably excited about this new venture, this new art form, this new medium you’re diving into headlong. But paired with that you’re probably also nervous about the whole entire experience, right?
Maybe you’ve never done anything like this before and you don’t really know what to expect. Maybe you’re nervous about how your podcast and it’s message will be received by the world, or perhaps you’re becoming jittery about the big story you’ll be breaking or that high-profile guest you’ll be sitting down to interview. All of these emotions are normal and rest assured you will find your groove and put the doubts and fears behind you.
But maybe you’re ok with all of these things and you’re not losing any sleep about them. Instead you’re feeling a little uncomfortable about the technical side of things. The recording process. The production process. The distribution process. Getting your podcast completed from start to stop and then for everyone to hear.
Well, our team has written extensively about the recording process and the production process already, but what we are wanting to offer to you here is a little more insight into the distribution process. You see even after you develop your podcast’s idea, you storyboard the episodes, you line up the interviews, you get your equipment, you record the content and you have it compiled into a nice, neat, pristine audio file, you still have some work to do.
Truth be told, this can be as much of a headache to some podcasters as any other part of the process. And while we’ve already discussed the first part of the process, the podcast hosting platform part of it, there’s still something that needs to be said about the final phase of the distribution… getting it out onto the directories.
What is a Podcast Directory?
A podcast directory is the interface where people can discover, listen, and subscribe to your show. There are a growing number of directories but the main directories most podcasters will distribute on are:
It’s not uncommon for the distribution phase of podcasting to be an afterthought at best. Most podcasters don’t give this step the time of day until they’re ready to go live on stage for the world to hear and realize it takes a little more than the flip of a switch and the click of a button to get your podcast out. So what exactly are directories and why are they important? Well as we’ve covered before, the hosting platform is where your podcast lives. It’s the headquarters you will send all of your episodes to once they are completed. But the truth is, that just one part. Most people will not listen to your podcast directly on the hosting site. While some hosting platforms like PodBean make it easy to listen to podcasts directly through the podbean app, the reason they are used that way is because they function like a directory.
Other popular directories are SoundCloud and YouTube. Simply put, the directories are platforms where people can search for and access your podcast, learn about it, listen to the episodes as well as leave ratings and reviews. When hosting platforms like PodBean function like a directory, it means that they house the podcast but also make it accessible for others to consume.
What’s the Difference Between a Podcast Hosting Platform and a Podcast Directory?
How Do Podcast Directories Work?
When you set up your account on whatever hosting platform you choose, you will create an RSS feed which is a signal that communicates to the different directories and sends them all the information about your podcast and let’s them know when there is new content they need to pull. Multiple times per day the directories update or “refresh” to obtain the new information about your podcast to see what new or updated information is available.
As a quick note, there is no set time these refreshes happen (at least that is made public) but they routinely update to make sure the content is current. If you upload a new episode, it will immediately be available on your hosting platform, but it will not register in the directories until they do their next refresh.
As a new podcaster you will need to understand that you can schedule your podcasts or submit them to your hosting platform and use an embed code to make the episode listenable on your website or landing page, but it will not be live in the directories until they refresh!
What Podcast Directories Should I Be On?
Distributing your podcast to the right podcast directories is a critical step to a successful podcast. Maximize the potential of your podcast by sharing it on every channel that you’re able to, but also focus on who your audience is and where they spend the most amount of time.
Top 5 Podcast Directories
If you submit your podcast to these top 5 podcast directories you will make your show available to the majority of listeners. However, there are many more directories you can try to distribute your show to as well. We have a longer list of the best podcast listening apps that you can read if you want to manually submit your podcast to other platforms.
Podcatchers scrape podcasts from the RSS feeds on podcast directories (like Apple Podcasts). Since these platforms pull from the main directories they do not require manual submission.
Other Podcast Directories
How to Submit Your Show to a Podcast Directory
It’s important to understand that all of the directories work independently so you will have to submit your podcast to each of them individually and they each have a different approval process.
While setting up the directories is a relatively simple process, it’s important to understand that it can take a few days to complete the approval process. You will need to have a few pieces of information available before you can get set up.
What You Need to Submit to a Podcast Directory
- Podcast Name
- Artist Name
- Podcast Artwork
- Hosting RSS feed
While there is no set time for the approval process, most should review and approve your podcast in 1-5 days. So, if you have a tentative release date in mind, please make sure you factor the approval process into your launch plan!
Once the approval process is completed you will receive a confirmation email to the email submitted in the setup process. While many hosting platforms offer a one-click directory submission, you may still have to submit it manually, the old-fashioned way.
To do that, be sure to have the necessary details handy and then follow the unique submission process for Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn.
Learn How to Submit Your Podcast to Directories
- How to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts
- How to submit your podcast to Google Podcasts
- How to submit your podcast to Spotify
- How to submit your podcast to Stitcher
- How to submit your podcast to TuneIn
Once you follow the instructions above and go through the one-time manual submission process for each platform, your episodes will register on each directory after they refresh. It’s as simple as that!
So there you have it-a basic guide to podcast directories and how to get your podcast online. While the process is simple, it can be tedious and overwhelming to newer podcasters. Because of that, we offer a hosting and RSS feed setup service to handle the entire process for you. To have our team help with your setup or to speak with our team about our full range of services, be sure to chat with our team below or schedule a call!