Distributing your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other directories
Now that you’ve closed the loop and created an audio version of one of your blog posts, you can now bring in potential new listeners by distributing your blog to podcast apps and directories.
The submission process
This is essentially Internet paperwork, but you only have to do this once. When you publish new episodes, these apps will deliver them to listeners without you needing to do anything else.
What you’ll need
All of these directories are free to enter, but require an account. In some cases that may involve giving over your credit or debit card information, but you won’t be charged anything.
Once you have your account, the one piece of technical info you’ll need is your RSS feed URL. This is the address to a file on the Internet that lists your episodes, and is updated when you upload a new one. To get your RSS feed URL:
- Login to your Anchor dashboard, click “Settings”, then click “Podcast availability”.
- Click the blue “Copy” button next to the text box headed “Your RSS feed”.
The contents of your clipboard should look something like this:
Whenever you’re asked for your RSS feed URL, enter the address in your clipboard.
Your podcast’s associated email address
All podcast feeds have an email address associated with them. By default, this is the email address you signed up to your hosting account with. Anchor will want to use their own email address (ostensibly to reduce spam on your end, but practically it gives them more control over your content). That’s not what we want.
While in the “Podcast availability” section of your Anchor settings, look for the “Advanced settings” section, and make sure the toggle headed “Display personal email address publicly in RSS feed” is active, with the deep blue lozenge showing on the left.
You can toggle this off later if you want to, but you’ll need to make sure it’s toggled on when you submit your podcast to a new directory, since that directory will want to email you to make sure you have control over your inbox. If the toggle is off, they can’t do that, and some – like Google – will not allow you to submit to them.
Anchor says it can do this for me
Yes it can, but this is your content, and you should have ultimate control. If and when you’re ready to migrate to a permanent home for your podcast, you’ll want to know that if you have to make any changes to your listing in these apps, that Anchor won’t get in the way.
There’s no massive danger to letting Anchor do the submission for you, but if you’re taking your podcast seriously, it’s worth taking an hour or two out of your day, so you have control over your work.
Apple Podcasts and “iTunes”
Even though more people have Android phones than iPhones, Apple is still considered the primary place where podcasts can be found. The rule typically goes “if it can’t be found on Apple Podcasts, it’s not a podcast”.
The Apple Podcasts directory also powers many other podcast players, including the popular iPhone app Overcast, enabling users of those apps to search for new podcasts to listen to.
And yes, some people still refer to the Apple’s app and directory as “iTunes”, but Apple Podcasts hasn’t gone by that name since April 2017.
The music streaming app Spotify integrated podcasts into their offering in 2018, and since then it has become the second most important directory to be listed in. Unlike Apple, Spotify doesn’t share its directory info with anyone, so it only powers the Spotify app, but some websites make it easier to embed podcast content from Spotify, and it’s opened up the listening market dramatically, creating podcast fans out of people who previously were largely unaware of the medium.
Not that many people use Amazon Music on purpose, and fewer still use it for podcast listening, but it does make your podcast much easier to listen to on Alexa devices. It’s also an easy process to submit to their directory, assuming you have an Amazon account. Plus, they’ll also list your podcast within their Audible platform too.
Most people with iPhones use Apple Podcasts as their podcast player. The same isn’t currently true of Android devices, but listing with Google Podcasts – like with Amazon Music – gets you into their smart speaker ecosystem. There are instances where your search results can be enhanced with a little podcast player button, but there are a few too many ifs and buts to consider here. If that’s important to you, you can join Podcode+ and discuss it in one of the group coaching sessions.
The Podcast Index
The final entrant is the newest in the pack. The Podcast Index is a growing directory, aiming to provide a database of podcasts free of censorship. They’re also part of an initiative to drive more innovation within the space (called “Podcasting 2.0”), and while these two initiative are separate, being listed in the Podcast Index may yield benefits in the future.