Podcasting gives you a space to share what you have to say on any topic. You’re sharing with the growing audience of podcast listeners out there. But in order to get audiences, you need to make it easy for audiences to find you. If they can’t find you, they can’t hear you.
Figuring out which podcast directories to submit to is just one part of the equation for getting listeners. The best podcast distribution platforms will help you reach your target audience due to their wider reach to potential listeners. In this article, we will tackle the best platforms for podcasts and share with you how you can use them most effectively.
You know that you need to get your podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, but are there others to get on too? Or are those two directories enough? Hint: if you use Buzzsprout as your podcast hosting site, you’ll be able to submit to the majority of podcast directories at one fell swoop!
What is a Podcast Directory?
Podcast Directories act as a podcast search library where you publish your podcast to for audiences to find you. For example, Apple Podcasts (aka iTunes) is a directory.
Apple Podcasts is similar to YouTube in terms of being a directory for audio and video, respectively. The key usage difference is that you listen to podcasts on Apple Podcasts, instead of watch videos on YouTube. YouTube acts as a video directory as Apple Podcasts acts as an audio directory.
One key technical difference between YouTube vs Apple Podcasts is that YouTube hosts the videos on their servers, while Apple Podcasts does not. You need to find hosting sites to upload your audio files (eg. mp3 files) to. Then submit the audio files to Apple Podcasts. We’ll discuss more on how that works later.
So you know that you need to publish to a podcast directory platform, but do you know what directories are out there? There are many directories available and it’s important to find good directories for your podcast to reach your target audience for your topic. Whether it’s a general directory or a directory that specializes in specific topics, you want to research where your audiences go to listen to podcasts. That’s the directory you want to publish to.
Directories have search and filter features to help listeners find podcasts to listen to. This is where SEO helps audiences find you through your podcast show descriptions, title, show notes, etc. SEO is covered in a few areas in the How to Start a Podcast guide. Helping audiences find your podcast and continue to tune into your podcast regularly is a podcast website. Be sure to check out this section on why you want to have a podcast website.
Let’s get into the most popular podcast platforms available today.
Top 7 Podcast Directories
Whether you’re a beginner podcaster or an experienced professional, publishing your podcast to multiple platforms will give an advantage in reaching a larger number of audiences. You have the chance to be heard by those that are only tied to one podcast directory as their main preference.
Apple Podcasts is the biggest podcast directory out there with a 43% market share of unique podcast listeners. It is a popular platform since many of the mobile users also use an iPhone. Since Apple Podcasts have been so widely popular, it has developed loyal listeners. And for them, if you are not listed in Apple, there’s a chance that they might consider your podcast not real since all the real podcasts should be on Apple Podcasts.
Spotify is a big name in the music industry, offering its music library for free to listen too. And we’re not just talking about random, new artist music. We are talking about pop music regardless of genre and age. But Spotify is a fast-growing platform with a 20% market share of podcast listeners now. Spotify has captured the hearts of many as it allows you to listen to music you love and switch over to a podcast episode easily and quickly. Equipped with a massive library of content, it has become a choice for many to publish podcast content because the application can be installed on different types of device platforms like iOS, Android, macOS and Windows.
Like in many other products and services, Google competes the podcast market against Apple. Armed with Google’s massive capabilities, they can establish a massive library that is generally free to stream for listeners around the world. Not only was Google able to build a podcast library, but it has also managed to incorporate this in other Google products. What distinguishes Google Podcasts from the rest is that it is partnered with their own powerful search function. This means that there is a high probability that if you are searching for something – Google will be able to find it and recommend them to you. Users are also able to stream podcast episodes straight from Google’s search results in the browser, much like you’re able to see images related to searches.
Castbox was founded in 2016 and has grown quickly to over 95 million podcast episodes. They have a big library and you’ll find many of the top podcasts on their apps. They have in-audio search capabilities due to their automated transcribing and indexing tool for podcasts. Check out their Android, iOS, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Carplay, or Android Auto app.
Stitcher is another option if you are looking for a simple and decent podcast directory. It is available in Google Play and it offers a practical set of analytical tools to help monitor your podcast channel. This way, you can see metrics and adjust better where you think it can gain more traction. A drawback of this app is that it can only gather data from consumers that use the app. This means that any audience usage data from other platforms won’t be known by Stitcher. However, it is still a good place to start to monitor your performance.
Launched in 2019, Pandora a new personalized recommendation feature to Pandora users. A powerful algorithm known as the Genome Project can utilize user history to present relevant podcasts that the user might like. This popular online streaming service initially launched in 2018 as a mobile app and have expanded to desktop platforms. And since then, the library has grown to over 600,000 episodes of podcasts.
TuneIn resembles a radio station. And this is not because you need to acquire a radio frequency technology. Rather, it is what you can call internet radio. The company has managed to integrate with radio stations, allowing listeners to still consume radio talk on sports, music, news, and other live events. Here, you can choose to listen to more local information that is relatable. And if you want to switch stations, it is also possible.
Several other podcast directories are worthy of mentioning. And these are Castbox, iHeartRadio, PodcastAddict, Overcast, and Pocket Casts. Each will have its strengths and weaknesses so we leave it up to you to take the time and review them.
Buzzsprout Podcast HostING Site
Okay, now that we have tackled what Podcast Directories are all about, I mentioned earlier that you still need a hosting site, because directories do not store your podcast episodes on their servers. In a hint, I also mentioned that Buzzsprout will allow you to easily submit to the majority of podcast directories.
Imagine wanting to publish for Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and Stitcher. Each of these platforms will require you to create separate, individual accounts so that you can upload your podcast episodes to them. This can be pretty tedious if you want to manage them all separately. This is where Buzzsprout shines
The Buzzsprout platform simplifies things for you. They’ve partnered with the popular podcast directories and they use this to be able to spread your content to a wider audience. By submitting podcasts through Buzzsprout, you eliminate the tedious task of copying/pasting/uploading the same content to other podcast directories. Buzzsprout manages this for you, allowing you to focus on the creative, rather than the administrative.
Here’s a video they did to show how easy it is to submit to Apple Podcasts and other directories:
Submit to Multiple Podcast Directories Easily
As we have mentioned, Buzzsprout takes the load off from you in managing your content from different directories. It takes care of sharing content to your audience since it can integrate with the most popular podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, Podchaser, Alexa, Overcast and many more. This gives it the potential for your podcast channel to reach millions of listeners.
Track Your Performance
Buzzsprout is a podcast management platform that also includes statistics to help you track your progress. The statistics allow you to measure whether you are exhibiting good traction or not. It lets you know the total number of downloads over time, the apps that consumers use to listen to the podcast, and the geographic locations so that you can identify where your audience is.
Podcast Formatting and Compatibility
File formatting and compatibility can be handled by Buzzsprout so that you don’t need to worry about the quality of your audio files for any directory.
Consider adding podcast transcriptions to accommodate other listeners. Aside from becoming more accessible, this also makes it easier to discover when searched by users. Another feature is to add navigation markers to your podcast audio. This way, you can specify highlights in your podcast that your audience can jump to and even choose to relisten to.
Manage Multiple Podcasts and Monetizing
Extend your account to be able to manage multiple podcast channels in one single account. Feel free to integrate team members to be able to help you in managing content. You can even engage with monetizing your podcast episodes within Buzzsprout. If you’re interested in generating income, Buzzsprout can help you get started by integrating you with existing partnership brands.
Customized Buzzsprout URL and Custom Domains
If you want to explore further in establishing your brand, you can also do this with Buzzsprout. You can customize your Buzzsprout.com URL or you can point your own domain to Buzzsprout. Branding is an important step in growing and sustaining your podcast for the long term, so it’s good to have this feature.
Test Out Buzzsprout’s Free Plan
For beginners, Buzzsprout offers a Free plan that allows podcast episodes to stay on their platform for 90 days. You’re able to upload 2 hours per month on the Free plan, so it’s a great deal. Especially because it’s FREE.
They also have an extensive library of free online resources to help you get started. Buzzsprout has published its podcasting guides and shares their social media that is engaged to support you.
There are many podcast directories out there. Do you need to publish your podcast on all of them? No. Do you need to publish on multiple directories? Yes. You want to get on as many as you can to reach a wider base. If you submit to the ones above, you’ve covered the majority of your bases. And if you use Buzzsprout, they make the submission process really easy.
If you have a podcast website, I don’t believe you need to blast the market. You can just submit to the more popular ones above. The website will be a centralized space for your audiences and it’s easier to remember the domain name. For new listeners, you’ll want to get on the bigger directories, because that’s about getting new listeners. If your website has good SEO, that’ll also help with new listeners.