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How to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify

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How to get your podcast into people’s ears

When you’re starting a podcast you want to make sure your show is available in all the places people might be looking for it, which means it has to be in the major podcast directories.

Unfortunately apps like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify don’t automatically know about your show until you tell them.

So how do you submit your show to podcast apps?

Step 1: Upload the MP3 of your episode to your podcast host

Once you’ve recorded your first piece of audio (usually a trailer), edited it and exported the file to MP3 you’ll need somewhere to put it.

Ideally, that’s NOT on your website (unless you want people visiting it to describe the speed of your site as “glacial”).

Instead, you want to set up an account with a dedicated podcast host and store all of your MP3’s there.

A podcast host acts as the middleman between you and the podcast directories.  It’s also the place where you’ll create all your podcast episodes, upload your audio and monitor your show stats.

Do you need a podcast host?

Read

How to choose the podcast host that’s right for you

There are a bunch of platforms out there so it all comes down to personal preference but when you’re choosing a host make sure you do your research.

You want to go with a platform you can grow with, that’s podcaster focused and has a proven business model.

If you’re going to go with a free platform just make sure you’ve thoroughly read the Ts&Cs because if you’re not paying with money you’re often paying with something else (and you definitely don’t want that to be your intellectual property).

To get you started here are a few podcast hosts I’ve used and recommend…

Whooshkaa

Logo for podcast host, WhooshkaaThis is the platform I use to house my personal podcasts.

Their podcast player has a great design and plays natively inside Twitter and Facebook. 

They also have a bunch of other great features like private podcasts and an ad management tool that allows you to manage your own ads.

Omny

Omny Studio LogoAnother platform I’ve had a great experience with.

The major limitation with these guys is when you share your episodes on social they don’t play natively i.e. you have to click the link to go to another page.

On the plus side, their interface is really easy to navigate and they’ve also followed Whooshkaa’s lead by introducing private podcasts.

LibSyn

Where to host your podcastThis is one of the most established and well-known podcast hosts and is used by a lot of the major podcasts in America.

I used Libsyn before I moved to Whooshkaa and it worked really well.  I just found the design of the podcast player a bit too basic and wanted something that looked really nice on my website.

Since then they have updated their player design so again it all comes down to personal preference.

What are private podcasts?

Read

Step 2: Submit your show to the podcast apps

When you create your show within a podcast host it’ll generate an “RSS feed.”

That sounds techy but it’s really just a fancy URL.

Each podcast host will have their own version or structure but the one thing they all have in common are the letters “rss.”

For example:

https://showname.podcasthostname.com/rss

When you release your very first episode you’ll need to copy that URL and submit it to the podcast directories you want your show to appear in.

Once your show is listed in each of these directories you won’t need to worry about doing this step again because each episode will automatically pop up when you press publish inside your podcast host.

What is a podcast RSS feed?

Read

Where do I submit my show?

There are a bunch of directories you can submit your podcast to and even more that will automatically register your show because it’s been submitted to Apple Podcasts.

If you Google “podcast directories” you’ll find a bunch and you can submit to as many as you like but here are a few I recommend…

Apple Podcasts (a lot of people still refer to this as iTunes)

Google Podcasts

Spotify

Stitcher

Pocketcasts

TuneIn

How to start a podcast

Read

Step 3: Be patient

When you’re submitting your show to directories like Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts it can take a little while before they appear (sometimes up to two weeks).

That’s why it’s a good idea to start your feed with a “coming soon” episode or trailer, so you can make sure your show is live in the directories before you release your first episode.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

37 Comments
  1. Geordie says:

    Thank you Rachel,
    I’m considering using Castos as my host, but they say that if i ever leave them I won’t be able to take my episodes with me as they are stored on their server. That seems like a dangerous relationship to get into. Is that common and what would you recommend?
    THanks,
    Geordie

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Geordie. You need to own your content and your RSS feed which means if you decide to move to a different host you absolutely should be able to transfer your content. Rach

  2. colleen Kristinsson says:

    Thank you this was extremely helpful

    1. rcorbett says:

      Thanks, Colleen! Glad I could help!

  3. Heather says:

    Hi, You say it takes ‘a little while’ for podcast directories to accept a new podcast and episodes. I am about to launch a new podcast with three episodes. How long is a little while (one week, two weeks, a month???). Thank you

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Heather, it entirely depends on the directory. I’ve had some podcasts turn up in 24 hours, 48 hours, 5 days, 2 weeks, so it’s very hard to give a specific time frame. Some people suggest you should have a month up your sleeve for launch, I have found that two weeks is usually enough between submitting your shows to the podcast directories and releasing your first episode but you want to make sure you’ve got enough of a buffer so when you tell people your show is live they can find it in their podcast app. Hope this helps. Rach

  4. Joe says:

    Does it cost money to upload your podcast to apple(itunes) and spotify?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Joe, Nope! It’s free to get your podcast into all directories. Rach

  5. Claude says:

    Hi again!
    (I should’ve added this question to my previous one!)
    So you mention that you don’t store your entire podcast on your site – only snippets. What’s the main reason for this?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Claude, You don’t want to store your MP3s on your website because it’ll run like an old mule. That’s what your podcast host is for. They store all your MP3’s and then you can use the embed for each episode so you can embed a player on your show notes page without having to store the actual file. Rach

  6. Christopher Brooks says:

    Hi, I’m launching my podcast in a couple of weeks and I’m using Anchor. Is that a good one to use or should I consider a different one?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey there! I’ve done a review on Anchor previously and I wasn’t a huge fan of their editing feature because I didn’t think it gives you enough control over your audio, but there’s a lot of podcasters who use it so if you dig it, great. The main thing is you choose a platform that has the right features for your podcast as well as one your show can grow with because while you can definitely switch podcast hosts, it’s always easier to stay with one if you can. Hope this helps. Rach

  7. Daniel says:

    Thanks for the great info. You mentioned that Whooska is free with ad inserts but when I go to their site, the cheapest plan is still $29 p/m. Did they recently change?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Daniel. Yep, literally last week. I’ll update this now. Thanks Rach

    2. Daniel says:

      Damn! Hopefully it’s still a good option. Thanks for the quick reply.

  8. Stef says:

    Thanks so much for all of this info. I’ve been hosting a podcast about women in triathlon and sport for a while, but have missed plenty of these platforms, so thank you!

    I’ve been using SoundCloud to host my episodes. Do you suggest changing that? And if so, will I lose previous episodes? Thanks in advance!

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Stef, Soundcloud isn’t as good as some of the other platforms for hosting. Usually, when you transfer to a new platform you transfer your RSS feed so all your shows are now housed in your new podcast host. You will, however, lose your podcast analytics so it’s a good idea to export those to a .csv file, if Soundcloud lets you do that, so you know how many downloads you’ve had because your numbers will start from scratch in your new host. Rach

  9. Stephanie says:

    Hi Rachel
    When do you fill in your podcast show ‘logo’ and description etc? Is there a process to do this after iTunes or Spotify accepts your RSS feed submission?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Stephanie, you need to have both those things done before you submit your show to the directories. Rach

  10. A happy Tina [my real name at this moment] says:

    Rach, Just a thanks for this great posting. So nice to find a clean, easy to read, all in one place, everything I need and more. You are such a top banana, just in case, no one has said that today. Thanks again.

    1. rcorbett says:

      Haha! Thanks, Tina!

  11. Gretchen Miller says:

    Such a great page – and such generous responses to questions. Nice one.

    1. rcorbett says:

      Thanks, Gretchen!

  12. Nick says:

    Hi Rach, you say you use Whooshkaa but YGSS on this website looks like its housed on soundcloud? Am I missing something? I find the choice of host confusing! Nick

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Nick, I use Whooshkaa as my podcast host but I use Soundcloud to house the little promo snippets I share on social media. You’ll notice the bits of audio I have on Soundcloud are only small portions of the podcast, not the whole show. Rach

  13. Kamran says:

    Hey such a helpful article I wanted to know whether you would have to place an ad on every episode if your hosting via whooshka

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Kamran, So glad you found it helpful. You ad your own markers into each episode for where you’d like ads placed so if you didn’t want ads in an episode you just wouldn’t put any markers in. Rach

  14. Michael Brown says:

    Hi Rachel
    Where do Whooshkaa place the ads in a podcast?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Michael, You mark up the file where you’d like the ads placed. Rach

  15. Emma Rowley says:

    Hi! Can you recommend any graphics software we can use to promote the podcasts?
    Thank you 🙂

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Emma, I do all my graphics using Canva (https://www.canva.com/) and then I create audio cards with those graphics in Wavve (https://wavve.co).

  16. Kayla says:

    Hi there!
    iTunes approved my podcast, and then the next day denied it. What would be the reason for this? Any advice on guaranteeing getting accepted into iTunes?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Kayla, I’d really just be taking a guess not knowing your podcast and how it’s set up. Did iTunes not send an email saying it had been rejected and detailing why?

  17. Kareline Van der Linden says:

    What do you do when your podcast is in an non English language, and this language is not listed in the language option?

    Thank you!

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Kareline. Great question! What hosting platform are you uploading your show to? Might be a question for them. Rach

  18. Jacqui says:

    Hi, I see that you have to pay to use most of the media hosts, but do you have to pay when you upload your RSS feed to a directory?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Jacqui! Nope! You can upload it to as many directories as you like and it’s free to do that. Rach

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Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!

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