A podcast isn’t really a podcast until someone else hears it. Weeks of planning, blood, sweat, and tears that went into producing your first episode will be for naught if it’s just sitting there collecting dust.
You need to send the word out to as many people as you can, to get as many listeners as you can. This is where podcast directories come in, and we’ll show you the nitty-gritty on how to get your show listed into the major ones.
Ready? Let’s dive right in.
First, a few basics
First, it is important to note that directories don’t actually contain your actual podcast files. They merely reference the show in your hosting service, which is the one storing all your podcast episodes.
Obviously, this means that you need to upload your podcast files to your chosen hosting service first.
All of this is thanks to the magic of RSS – the chain that links your hosting service to your podcast directory.
In addition, this setup makes it easy to publish to multiple directories mainly because of two reasons:
One, you don’t need to re-upload your entire show every time you want to post into a new podcast directory. As you can imagine, this can get quite tedious especially if you have hundreds of episodes.
Two, whenever you change or upload episodes into your hosting service, it automatically updates all of the directories you’re listed in. This makes managing your podcast super easy even if you’re published in tons of places.
It is, therefore, a sound strategy to list your podcast in as many major directories as possible. This makes it easier for people to discover you and significantly increases your reach.
More Reach = More Views = More Listeners = More Subscribers (assuming you have engaging content, of course). It’s the formula for podcast success.
Note that we’ll only be covering podcast directories here, and not comprehensive hosting and publishing platforms like Podbean, SoundCloud or Blubrry. We’ll include those in a separate article.
With that, let’s look into the directories you absolutely must be visible in.
TIP: We can’t stress enough that you only need to publish your show once to podcast directories. Remember, #YOLO (YouOnlyListOnce)
IMPORTANT TIP: Be sure to have your RSS URL ready (which you can get from your hosting service) before you publish.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT TIP: Some directories will stop you in your tracks if your podcast’s details are incomplete. At the minimum, your show should have an attractive artwork (make sure it’s of a decent size, at least 1,400 x 1,400 pixels), catchy title and engrossing description.
How to Get Listed on iTunes / Apple Podcast
iTunes (or Apple Podcasts) is the granddaddy of the podcasting directory world and is arguably the most popular. With over 30 billion users, it’s where the majority of listeners consume their podcast content, thanks to the dominance of Apple devices.
Virtually all podcasters worth their salt list their shows here, and so should you, too. On top of its already impressive subscriber base, a lot of other podcast directories pull their list from iTunes, further spreading your exposure.
The only drawback with Apple Podcast is the approval time, which can take a long time (a couple of weeks on average). Still, it’s worth the wait.
Here’s how to get listed on iTunes:
- Go to the iTunes Connect website (click here)
- Log in using your Apple ID (if you don’t have an Apple ID, click here to create one for yourself)
- This will take you to the iTunes Connect for Podcasters home screen.
- Most likely, this will be the first time you’ll be listing your podcast, and the Add New Podcast form will appear. If not, you can click on the + icon in the upper left.
- To add a new show, it will ask for your podcast’s RSS feed URL. Give it what it wants and hit Validate
- iTunes Connect will then check if your podcast meets its minimum requirements. At times it will get cranky and stop you, like in the screenshot below. Just follow its recommendations to remedy the problem and click Validate again.
- If everything is in order, your podcast will pass validation, and the green light will light up and indicate “Ready for Submission.” Click on the Submit button to do so.
- And the waiting game begins. Apple can take up to 2-3 weeks to approve your podcast, but at times it can be faster. Check up on the iTunes Connect for Podcaster home screen regularly to check on your progress
- If you’re approved, congratulations! You will now see your podcast listed in the Apple Podcast directory. Use iTunes on your computer or the Podcast app on an iOS device to listen to your show.
How to Get Listed on Stitcher
At 8 million subscribers, Stitcher can potentially give you a lot of reach. It is one of the most popular podcast apps outside of Apple; in fact, it’s an excellent way to tap the market Apple can’t (or won’t) reach – Android users.
It’s also compatible with over 50 car models, allowing drivers to play directly from their car. And that right there is a great market – we all know how productive it is to brave through rush hour traffic while listening to a podcast.
Stitcher also allows you to view your show’s statistics, so you know if you’re reaching your intended numbers and audiences.
Here’s how to get listed on Stitcher:
- Go to Stitcher’s Content Provider sign up page here.
- You’ll be taken to the Content Provider sign up page. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you see the signup form.
- Provide the necessary information, and click on Continue
TIP: The Provider Name is where all of your shows in Stitcher will be listed under. It is useful if you want to host multiple shows under a single entity, like if you’re a company or a well-known personality
- You’ll then be asked to fill out further contact details and agree on terms and conditions. Easy enough to accomplish. When you’re done, click on Agree at the bottom right.
- Welcome to the Partner Portal screen. If you have no shows listed yet, Stitcher will ask you to publish one now with a form. If not, click on Add Shows at the top menu.
- Fill out the relevant fields and click Continue below to proceed.
TIP: Make sure to really hone in on the specific category your show’s content is most related to. It’s going to improve your chances of getting relevant listeners that will most likely follow you.
TIP: Take time to fill out the Keywords field with relevant words that you think your audiences will most likely look for. This will make your podcast significantly more discoverable, so do your homework.
- Once you have submitted your podcast, wait for approval from Stitcher, which can take a couple of days. In the meantime, you can regularly check the Partner Portal for updates on your submission status.
- By the way, if you’re visiting the Stitcher page next time and you can’t find the Partner Portal, it’s on the very bottom of the page under Partners. Or, just keep this link handy.
How to Get Listed on Spotify
While Spotify is relatively new in the podcast scene, they have one big thing going for them: literally EVERYONE is on their platform these days. Being one of the biggest music streaming platforms in the world certainly has its perks.
Combine their dominance with more podcast support in recent years, and they’ve leapfrogged the competition to claim the #2 spot, second only to iTunes.
Spotify is a fantastic way to reach a wider audience over a variety of consumer devices, from smartphones to smart TVs. This makes it a no-brainer choice if you want to maximize your podcast’s exposure.
TIP: Spotify has partnered with major podcast hosting services that make it easy for their users to publish podcasts directly to Spotify. Check with your respective podcast hosting for details.
Here’s how you can get your podcast on Spotify:
- Head on to the Spotify for Podcasters website here.
- You’ll be welcomed with the Spotify for Podcasters splash screen. Click on Get Started
- If you haven’t already, log in with your Spotify account. If for some reason you don’t have a Spotify account, you can quickly get one through this page.
- You’ll get to the podcast main page. Click on Get Started
- You’ll be taken to an intimidating looking terms and agreements page where they will (gasp!) ask for your legal name. Nothing to be worried about – just calmly let them know who you are to proceed.
- Next, fill in your show’s RSS URL in the field. Spotify will automatically verify your show, in case something’s missing.
- If your show passed the test, you should see your podcast’s artwork, title and description appear in the right portion. It’s a sign that everything’s in order, so press Next to continue.
- In the next screen, you’ll be able to put in additional details for your podcast. Most are trivial and shouldn’t be a problem to fill out.
- But do pay extra attention to the Category and Subcategory fields. Again, make sure your content is relevant to the category it is in. The great thing about Spotify is that you can add multiple categories for your show by clicking on the Add an additional category (+) button (this is great if, for example, your podcast is a comedy show about video games aimed for kids. In this case, placing your show in those three categories dramatically increases your exposure)
- If you’re done editing your show’s details, click on Next. It then asks you to confirm what you’ve entered since you won’t be able to change anything once submitted. If you’re 1,000% sure, then go ahead and hit Submit
- And you’re done. Spotify will review your podcast and, if passed, will start to appear in the Spotify platform. And waiting time is just in a matter of hours, considerably shorter than other directories.
How to Get Listed on TuneIn
More than just a podcast service, TuneIn offers a comprehensive Internet radio platform. It streams the latest news, radio stations, live sports and podcasts to over 60 million active monthly users. Its versatility and broad user base cannot be ignored for your podcast reach goals.
What’s even more attractive is its availability on a wide variety of car, home and personal devices, including Amazon Echo and Google Home. So your listeners would be able to play your podcast at home by merely saying it. Talk about becoming a household name!
Unlike the other directories we’ve used thus far, adding your podcast to TuneIn requires that you email them the details directly. This is also true when you want to update your podcast in the future. So do make sure the information is accurate and correct when you submit to avoid unnecessary delays.
Fortunately, you can easily do this from within their website:
- Point your browser to the TuneIn Podcaster’s page.
- Click on the Publish Podcast button to add a new podcast button. If you need to update your podcast, then click on the Update Podcast button instead.
- Fill out the necessary details and click on the Send Email button when done. Double check your details carefully before you submit.
- Wait for them to contact you (most likely through email) if your podcast has been successfully added.
How to Get Listed on iHeartRadio
iHeartRadio is another popular Internet radio platform for listening to music, podcasts and radio stations for free across the US. Like other providers such as TuneIn, iHeartRadio offers a larger user base than dedicated podcast platforms, giving you much more potential exposure.
With that, here’s how to get your podcast on iHeartRadio
TIP: If you’re using Libsyn or Spreaker, you can submit your podcast to iHeartRadio directly. For details, check out this article on podcast hosting services.
- Go to iHeartRadio’s Submit Podcast Page
- Fill out the application form with the necessary information. Once you have the details confirmed, click on Submit.
- Wait patiently as the folks at iHeartRadio approve your show, and for that magical acceptance email to appear in your inbox.
How to Get Listed on Google Play Music
The big name of the Internet recently joined the podcast bandwagon, finally giving Android users a default option for listening to podcasts. And with an extensive network like Google, your podcast could potentially be more searchable and land in front of more eyes (and ears) than ever.
While there are still kinks to be worked out, it’s great to hop in early on and reap the benefits. Especially if joining is free. Here’s how to do it:
- Drop by the Google Podcast page.
TIP: As of this writing, Google hasn’t fully rolled out the podcast feature yet worldwide. In case it’s not available in your country, and you’re still set on publishing on Google Play, a good workaround would be to use a VPN Service.
- After you accept the usual terms and conditions, you’ll be taken to the main page, where you can upload your first podcast. Enter your RSS feed, and click Submit RSS Feed
TIP: Google requires that your podcast have a working email associated with it. Most podcasters might miss this, so add that one via your podcast settings if you haven’t already. The next step requires a verification code that will be sent to that email address, so make sure you have access to it as well.
- Google will now verify the podcast’s ownership by sending you a verification code to the email address indicated in your podcast feed. Click on Confirm Email, and check your email for the code. Copy and paste it on the next screen, and click Verify Ownership
- Once verified, you will be given a chance to review your podcast’s details. When all is in order, click on Publish Podcast to complete the process.
- As with other directories, Google will review your podcast and publish it on the Google Play platform when approved.
How to Get Listed on Pandora
This is probably the most unique among all the podcast directories on this list – if you can even call it that. The Pandora platform is well-known as a music recommendation engine, and they’re now turning their sights into taking that technology and applying it to podcasts.
Getting added into the service early on is huge, and the chances of you getting recommended are pretty high, especially if you offer highly relevant content. And with a staggering 71+ million active users, it’s a lucrative platform to get in.
The problem is IF you get chosen. Pandora’s being very selective right now with which shows to include, though this might change in the future. For now, why not take a chance and just go for it?
- Go to the Pandora Podcasts website.
- Fill up the pretty extensive Intake Form and answer as accurately as possible
- Click on Submit and wait for their mysterious approval process to do its work. If you’re lucky enough to get included, let me shake your hand and pat your back, then tell me how you did it.
How to Get Listed on Acast
If you’re serious about earning through your podcast, Acast is a perfect choice. Aside from the usual publishing tools, Acast has a built-in advertising platform that can serve relevant ads for every time someone listens to your podcast – netting you some extra $$$. They also provide a premium marketplace for podcasters to sell paid content for even more $$$.
Best of all, it’s easy to get listed. Let’s start with the most straightforward option first – the Non-Hosted Show.
TIP: Once you’ve built a solid following via your podcast, you may want to consider going for a Hosted Show option. This gives you better tools, exposure, analytics, and income opportunities to take your show (and bank balance) to the next level.
- Go to Acast’s podcast registration page here.
- You’ll be presented with options on which type of show you want to go to. For starters, choose the Non-Hosted Show option.
- Provide your RSS feed and your desired ACast URL, and click Submit
- And that’s it. Wait for the Acast team to approve your show and contact you (through your podcast’s email address)
How to Get Listed on YouTube
While technically not a podcast directory, publishing your show on the Internet’s biggest video platform is not to be underestimated. (If you’re doing a video podcast, this is an absolute requirement).
Even if you’re doing an all-audio podcast, YouTube is a great way to further extend your reach and link them back to your original podcast. Plus, you can add further value by complementing your podcast with exclusive video content.
The only problem is that YouTube only accepts video files. So you need to convert your MP3 podcast file into a video file for it to work.
Unfortunately, converting your MP3 file into a video file is beyond the scope of this article.
TIP: Some hosting services, like Libsyn and Podbean, allow publishing into YouTube automatically. They do the work of converting the audio file into video and can be extremely convenient if you happen to use them.
So assuming you have the converted video podcast ready, here are the steps:
- Go to the YouTube website and click on the Create a Video or Post icon (camera icon with the + sign), and select Upload Video
- It will ask you to login to your Google account to continue. If you don’t have a Google account yet, create one now to continue.
- If you’re new to YouTube, it will ask you to create a channel where all your content will be located. Fill out as necessary.
- Drag the podcast video file into the large Upload Icon. Alternatively, click that icon to choose the file instead
- While the video is uploading, you can fill out the necessary details, like the episodes title and description.
TIP: Place all your podcast’s links in the description to encourage people to follow your main podcast. It’s an easy and effective way to get more subscribers.
- After the video uploads, hit on the Publish button to complete. Your video podcast is now live. Share it using the various social share buttons and URL link to promote it even further.
TIP: Don’t forget to customize the look and description of your channel to make it enticing to would be viewers. Click on the upper left menu icon and select My Channel, then Customize Channel to tweak.
With the various platforms and directories available to you, getting the word out on your podcast is easier than ever. With fantastic content and some marketing savvy up your sleeve, you’re on an excellent start to becoming the big next podcast hit.
Now go create some magic!