The podcast distribution flow is something that we personally know many new podcasters struggle to understand. So today we’ll take a deep dive into how you actually get the recorded file from your computer to the listener’s device. And we’re in particular going to be focusing on podcast directories and the role they play.
Affiliate Disclaimer. Before we dive into this content it’s just fair to make you aware that this article may contain affiliate links. We have standards around here, so we will never recommend a product or service that we haven’t either used ourselves (or with our clients) successfully. Sometimes these affiliate links will even get you special deals that are not available otherwise, or unlock special bonuses from us. In any case we want you to know that we really appreciate your support if you sign up for a tool with our affiliate link. Let’s dive in.
Podcast Distribution Explained
One of the main things new podcasters often struggle to understand is simply the process of HOW your recorded and edited file gets from your device into the ears of your listeners.
I’ve made a little graphic to help us visualise this process as I talk about it in more detail.
The podcast distribution process is fairly simple once you understand the basic concept of it.
So, after you’ve recorded and edited your episode. The next step is to upload your episode to your podcast hosting platform. There are quite a few podcast hosting platforms out there to choose from. (Our client’s favourites are Buzzsprout, Transistor, Podbean and Libsyn – and comparing them is a topic for another article.)
These podcast hosting platforms store your podcast audio files for you. You simply enter all the information you want your listener to know about your podcast into your podcast host (such as your title of the podcast, the category the podcast should be in etc.).
The podcast host then provides you with what is called an RSS Feed – and that is the magic link that gets your podcast into the major podcast directories.
What are podcast directories?
To put it simply the podcast directory is the platform that your end user uses to access your podcast episodes.
So if I listen on my phone, I use Apple Podcasts to listen to my favourite podcasts. You only submit your podcast to a podcast directory ONCE. And then the podcast directory keeps checking your podcasts RSS Feed automatically to see if you’ve published a new episode.
When is the right time to sign up with the major podcast directories?
That depends on the directory, but in general you want to do the major ones around 2 weeks before your launch date, just to give yourself some buffer. Apple Podcasts takes a couple of days to approve your new apple ID if you do not have one and then a few more days to accept your podcast, so leave enough time.
You will want to have your trailer episode ready and uploaded into your podcast host when you submit the application.
Other podcasting platforms such as iHeart Radio can only be done after your podcast has been up for a couple of months.
Which podcast directories do I need to be in?
No matter which statistic you want to believe, it is clear that Apple Podcasts and Spotify combined own about 60% of the market share as far as podcast listening apps are concerned. So you definitely want to submit to those two.
All of the other major podcast directories (including a checklist for you to document all of your account details and URLs) can be found below.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, of course! If you would like your podcast to be on soundcloud, then you will manually need to upload your audio files over there.
And also (kind of obvious, but I’ll mention it anyways) if you would like your show to be published on YouTube you will need to create video files for your podcast before manually uploading them to YouTube. To learn more about the benefits of having your show on YouTube, check out this article right here.
Ready to get serious about your podcast?
Then reach out today to get our team to take over your editing today.