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PodSchool Podcast | What happens when you change podcast hosts?

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Is it better to be loyal to your podcast host?

There are a bunch of reasons why you might decide to change podcast hosts after you’ve already launched your show.

So is it a punish or a simple process?  And what do you need to be prepared for when making the shift?

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How to avoid changing podcast hosts

First up, some advice on choosing a podcast host in the first place.

There are a bunch out there and more springing up every day, so when you’re planning to launch a show make sure you do your research.

Look at the features of each platform (as well as their Ts & Cs) and think about what you’re going to need six months or five years from now.

Is this the kind of platform your show could grow with?  Do they have features on premium plans you don’t need right now but that might come in handy once you’ve built an audience?

Thinking about your future podcasting self will help you choose the right platform for the long term.

Because while shifting across to a new one isn’t a massive disaster, it’s much easier to pick one and stick with it.

Do you need a podcast host?

Read

What do you need to think about when changing a podcast host?

So you’ve done your research but you’ve still managed to outgrow your host, or a new one has come on the scene that offers better features.

What do you need to know if you’re going to make the move?

You’ll have to resubmit your show to all the podcast directories

Since your podcast host is the link between you and podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify, you’ll have to resubmit your new RSS feed if you want podcast apps to keep showing your latest episodes (which you do).

When you move to a new podcast host they’ll generate a new RSS feed for you and you just need to copy and paste it into all the places you pasted it when you were launching your show.

What directories should you submit your podcast to?

Read

You’ll need to import all your existing episodes into your new podcast host

If you’re changing hosts you want all your old and new content to be in one place and the process for how to do this will vary from host to host.

Some hosts allow you to import with the touch of a button, others offer a service where they’ll import for you.

When you’re looking for a new podcast host check out their support documents because they’ll often have instructions on how to shift over from most of the major platforms.  If they don’t, just contact them and they should be able to help you out.

Ideally, you want to know the process before you get started so there are no nasty surprises.

How do your download numbers compare to other podcasts?

Read

Your analytics will reset to zero

Now before you have a heart attack that doesn’t mean your old download numbers don’t exist, they just won’t appear in your new podcast host dashboard.

So, when you open your new account and look at your show it can be a bit disheartening to see your numbers back at zero.

When you leave your original podcast host you’ll be able to download a .csv file of your analytics so you’ve got a record of the downloads you’ve already had.

But if you’re someone who likes to look at their numbers grow over time it’s good to know you’ll be starting from scratch so you don’t open your new dashboard and faint.

Got any other great ideas for how to promote your show?  Write them in the comments below!

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.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Welcome to the show. So you're cheesed off your podcast host and you want to find someone new? Is that a bad idea? Well….sometimes.
Shifting to a new podcast host isn’t a giant punish but there are a few things to consider. First thing I’d advise would be to do your research right from the time you’re starting your show. You don’t need to go with an expensive host but you need to think about where you want to be in 5 years time and choose a podcast host that can grow with you. Look at their list of features and make sure you choose one that looks like it will suit you as your audience grows. If finances are an issue there are platforms that offer hosting for as little as US$5/month but if you’re going with a free podcast host just make sure they’re podcaster focused and that they don’t own your content. You don’t want to go with a free platform just because of the price tag without doing your due diligence because nothing really comes for free. If you do choose the wrong platform and want to shift, the process isn’t horrific it’s just always easier to stay in one place.
Having said that, if you do need to shift your show over, it's important to remember your podcast host is the link between you and the podcast directories like Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You upload your MP3s to your host, they generate an RSS feed, which just looks like a URL (and you don’t need to know about how it works in the back end). You take that RSS feed and copy and paste it into the submission pages for all the directories you want your podcast to be found in. That RSS feed is the link between your show and the directories so they know when you drop a new episode.
So, when you move to a new podcast host, you’re going to get a new RSS feed and you’re going to need to resubmit that feed to all of the podcast directories so they know where to get new episodes of your show from. That’s not a huge job but when you’re changing things it’s easy to forget something small that means a link somewhere isn’t working. That’s just something to be mindful of.
The other thing you need to when you set up an account with a new podcast host is to import all your old shows from the old host and redirect your feed from the old host to the new host. The great thing is that most podcast hosts have really detailed support documents around how to transfer over from specific platforms. So make sure you do your research and look into how you do it on each of those platforms. Some platforms will actually transfer things over for you, so they will actually do alot the work behind the scenes. You still have to resubmit to the directories but the process will vary from host to host. So, if you’re looking at moving it might be worth researching what each platforms process is and finding one that works for you.
The other thing to be mindful of is that you’ll be starting from scratch with your analytics so that can be a real bummer if you’re someone who likes to jump into your podcast host and see your numbers growing each day. When you transfer to another podcast host your analytics don’t come with you so when you open your podcast host dashboard on day one you’ll have zero downloads. That doesn’t mean those old downloads no longer exist, you just need to download a CSV file from your original podcast host so you’ve got a record of your original downloads. It can just be a bit disheartening starting your dashboard from zero when you’ve worked so hard to build your numbers up.
So, when you’re starting out, just make sure you do your research when you’re choosing a host. Think about the features you want now but also in the future. Financial considerations are definitely important but you don’t have to go with a free host, you can start out with a platform like Libsyn, who are one of the biggest podcast hosts in the world, for as little as US$5/month and you can grow with a platform like that.
If you need to shift over for whatever reason, it's not the end of the world, it’s just not a brilliant experience. It’s not hell, it’s just not chocolate cake. It’s somewhere in between.
If you want a little help with your podcast, come and check out my online podcasting course PodSchool. You can find all the details of what is involved at podschool.com.au, where I take you through everything from the very beginning of coming up with your idea all the way through to turning your show into a business. I would love to have you part of the course and help you create a professional show, because my great dream with this course is to rid the world of shit podcasts because there are enough of them. All right, that's enough of me! I’ll see you next week, and until then, happy podcasting.

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