Creating a high-quality podcast is great — and it should be your priority! But your compelling audio means little if nobody knows it exists. To succeed as a podcaster, you must first be discovered. You need to get people to listen to what you have to say.
So, how do you distribute podcasts? Where do you post your episodes to build an audience? Short answer: A podcast directory, and there are lots of them.
Strap in as we dissect everything you need to know about distributing your podcast so you can be heard — and the best podcast directories to give you maximum visibility.
You’ve done the heavy lifting with your recording. Now it’s about crossing the finish line by ensuring the right people hear and find value in your content — and we’re here to nudge you across the line.
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What is a Podcast Directory?
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, a podcast directory is wherever you go to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite show.
As a listener, a podcast directory is where you consume podcasting content. As a podcaster, it’s where you upload your list of episodes.
Typically, this vital task is handled by podcast hosting companies such as Captivate, Transistor, and BuzzSprout. And while we’re still on the topic of podcast hosting, there’s a common misconception that needs to be addressed.
Podcast directories do not store your audio files! That role is designated to your host.
Directories such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts merely read an RSS feed that allows them to update their database with your new episodes as soon as they’re uploaded on a hosting platform.
How to Distribute Podcasts?
“How do I get my podcast into Spotify or Apple Podcasts?”
This is a common question among new podcasters. And if you can relate, you’ll be glad to learn that it’s not as complicated as it seems.
You can think of podcast distribution as a two-step process. There’s the delivery part and the distribution.
Delivery is under the reigns of your podcast hosting platform. Here you upload and store your episode files, making them accessible to internet users. With the help of your host, you then generate a unique RSS feed link that is submitted to podcast directories.
The directory takes this RSS feed, verifies, populates the information, and distributes your podcast to its user base. Usually, you only need to submit your RSS feed link once. From there on, the directory will automatically monitor your feed and update or modify your list of episodes.
Please keep in mind that each directory may demand a different podcast submission process.
To sum up, podcast directories’ primary role is to allow people to find you. And when a potential listener clicks on your episode link on the directory, the podcast host delivers the audio to their device.
Where to Post Podcasts?
“What is the best podcast directory for discoverability?” “Where should I post my podcast?”
Everywhere you can! Yea, yea…we know that sounds exhausting or even superfluous, but hear us out:
Let’s say you have a show that’s only listed on Apple Podcasts. For audiences who use the platform, that’s wonderful. They can easily find you—and you can win them over with your value-packed content and crisp audio.
But what about that ideal listener who has been streaming music on Spotify for years and is apprehensive about constantly switching between platforms? You now have multiple obstacles to overcome before you convince them to sample your content—and that’s not an ideal position you want to find yourself in.
This is where distributing your podcast to every directory you can (especially a few chosen ones) is important.
Your most loyal listener might be in the next podcast directory. So diversify and meet your listeners where they already prefer to hang out. Think about where and when they consume podcasting content.
But now comes the next hurdle. There are loads of podcast directories on the internet. Just the thought of registering with each one of them is exhausting.
If you don’t have the time and energy to undertake the task, we suggest focusing on directories that give you the highest odds of being discovered.
Best Podcast Directories:
There are tens of podcast directories out there. While navigating them can be tedious, there’s a silver lining. The growing number of players in the podcast distribution industry is a testament to the lucrative potential of podcasting. Plus, they give you more avenues to get in front of your target audience.
But not everyone has the bandwidth and time to walk in and out of every directory on the internet.
For this reason, we’ve curated a list of top podcast directories based on the number of listeners they attract.
There are 3 categories: a compulsory “Big-5” list, a “secondary” list of promising directories, and a few self-publishing options.
CATEGORY A: Big 5 Podcast Directories.
Again, a good rule of thumb is to list your show in as many podcast directories as possible. Spread your net to capture more fish. But if your ‘net’ is not big enough to cover the entire pond, the next best strategy is to focus on fishing hotspots. Where do fish like to hang out in the masses? That is where you cast your net.
Okay, enough with the fishing references. Here are 5 of the best podcast directories you should definitely be on for maximum exposure. You’re missing out if your podcast is not distributed on all these platforms!
Top on our list of podcast directories that you should focus on is none other than Apple Podcasts. Most regard the platform as the crème de la crème of its industry. Whether you’re a professional exploring B2B podcasting or a hobbyist, Apple Podcasts should be your first stop.
The podcast hosting company, BuzzSprout (as of August 2022), reports that Apple Podcasts claimed the largest share of monthly downloads at 37.5%, compared to second-place Spotify with 27.4%. But it doesn’t stop there. A staggering 67.7% of podcasts were consumed with an Apple iPhone.
With so many listeners, publishing podcasts on Apple Podcasts sounds like an excellent opportunity to be discovered, right? Well, it gets better!
Several smaller (but not to be ignored) podcast directories pull their podcast listing from Apple Podcasts. In other words, distributing your show on Apple Podcasts comes with ‘fringe benefits’. Some places your show might pop up from that one Apple Podcasts submission include:
Compatibility: Apple TV, Apple Watch, Apple CarPlay, iOS, iTunes on Windows, and Alexa-enabled speakers.
Submit a Podcast to Apple Podcasts: Apple Podcasts Connect.
Apple Podcasts may be the name on most podcaster’s lips, but Spotify is making significant inroads. From partnering with Joe Rogan (the most popular name in the game) to actively improving the user experience on their platform, Spotify has been giving Apple Podcasts a run for their money.
In fact, some statistics show that Spotify attracts over 32 million monthly listeners —making it the most popular podcast directory in the U.S. And this makes sense. Spotify is already a titan in the music streaming stream industry, with 422 million active users at the beginning of 2022.
So if you were already consuming audio content (music) on Spotify, why not just listen to your favorite podcasts on the same platform? It’s a straightforward decision.
Compatibility: Android Auto, Android devices, iOS, macOS, Apple CarPlay, and PC.
Submit a Podcast to Spotify: Spotify for Podcasters.
iOS users? Check!
Now onto Android users. Google Podcasts may not command the same massive user base as Apple Podcasts or Spotify, but it’s still a decent option. And a worthy addition to our list of podcast directories to distribute podcasts.
With the backing of a leading smartphone and search engine company, it would be ill-advised to discredit Google Podcasts.
Google web crawlers scour the web to automatically aggregate your podcast. So if your show is published in other podcast directories and meets certain guidelines, it’s likely already on Google Podcasts. But it helps to officially claim your listing by submitting your RSS feed link. Plus, their analytical insights are a valuable resource for growing your audience.
Long story short: Google Podcasts may not be huge, but the potential is immense. So make sure you publish podcasts on the platform.
Plus, Google also indexes podcasts when the search query matches your podcast title.
Here’s an example:
Compatibility: Android devices, ChromeOS, Android Auto, iOS, macOS, Apple CarPlay, and PC.
Submit a Podcast to Google Podcasts: Google Podcasts Manager.
For a while, Stitcher was the go-to alternative to Apple Podcasts. And while platforms like Google Podcasts and Spotify have been eating into its market share, it still commands a sizeable (and growing) number of podcast listeners. This alone is a good reason to distribute podcasts here.
But aside from its user base, Stitcher ranks favorably on our list of podcast directories for its user-friendliness and functionality. Two features particularly stand out: its accessibility and analytics.
The podcast directory is seemingly everywhere. It’s integrated into several car models on top of its compatibility with Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay.
And when you’re not accessing the directory of podcasts using your car’s dashboard, it’s still there on your Android, iPhone, PC, Mac, and even smart speakers.
It’s easy to see how such conveniences would appeal to podcast listeners (i.e., your target audience). And even better, publishing podcasts on the platform gives you access to in-depth statistics on the performance of your show on the podcast directory.
Compatibility: Android Auto, Android devices, iOS, macOS, Apple CarPlay, Alexa devices, PC, Sonos, and over 50 car models.
Submit a Podcast to Stitcher: Stitcher for Podcasters.
Capping our “Big 5” list of podcast directories is internet radio giant TuneIn. The appeal of TuneIn is similar to Stitcher. They both bank on high accessibility and a polished user experience to lure listeners.
For example, TuneIn is integrated with Tesla vehicles and Amazon Alexa devices. So by distributing your podcast on TuneIn, Alexa users or Tesla users can access your content with a simple voice command or tap.
TuneIn is clearly a handy place to be discovered and build a community of loyal listeners in the process. And did we mention that the audio streaming platform has over 75 million monthly active users?
Compatibility: Android devices, ChromeOS, Android Auto, iOS, macOS, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa.
Submit a Podcast to TuneIn: TuneIn’s Podcast Submission.
CATEGORY B: Secondary Podcast Directories – Bonus Places to Publish Podcasts.
Once you distribute podcasts using the “Big 5” directories and you have them sealed in, branch out to what we like to call secondary platforms.
These are podcast directories that have a modest reach in the podcasting industry. But because they still attract niche consumers who value certain features, qualities, or conveniences, they’re worth exploring.
Here’s a list of podcast directories that may help give you that little bit of extra exposure to possibly take your show to the next level:
- Amazon Music and Audible: Amazon appears to be making strides into the podcasting space through Audible and Amazon Music. Submitting to your RSS feed here allows you to encounter the company’s growing number of listeners, especially those who consume podcasts through Alexa-enabled devices.
- Podcast Addict: If this was a list of podcast directories on Android, Podcast Addict would be somewhere in the top three. The Android app has over 10 million downloads—which is twice the command of Stitcher at around 5 million downloads. This fact alone is enough reason to distribute podcasts on the platform.
- iHeartRadio: It may be a predominantly online radio streaming service, but iHeartRadio is also a great directory of podcasts. Keep in mind that several online sources argue that the platform is more suited for podcasters targeting an older audience.
- Podcast Index: According to their website, their goal is to enable “developers to have access to an open, categorized index that will always be available for free, for any use.” The open-sourced platform podcast directory is available as a web-based app.
- Podchaser: With over 500,000 monthly active users and more than 2 million views per month, Podchaser is an attractive option to explore. It’s nicknamed the “IMDB of podcasts” due to its listing format—highlighting profile ratings and reviews.
- Pandora: Reach more than 78 million Pandora users by simply submitting your podcast RSS feed link to the music streaming giant. The service is widely available on niche platforms such as Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, Fitbit smartwatches, Android TV, and Sonos.
- PlayerFM: With offline listening, over 20 million podcasts (+videos), cloud synch, advanced search features, and compatibility with tons of devices, PlayerFM deserves a few minutes of your time.
- Listen Notes: Introducing the “podcast search engine.” Users mostly visit the site searching for niched or independent podcasts that are not readily available on the leading podcast directories. And as you can guess, this makes it a great place to improve your discoverability. While your podcast is likely already there, it doesn’t hurt to claim it.
- Deezer: Deezer claims to be the #2 independent music platform in the world—and submitting your RSS feed link to the platform gives you access to its 9.6 million subscribers.
- AudioBoom: AudioBoom is a jack of all trades, making it an exciting podcast publishing option. You can host, distribute, monitor, and monetize your podcast—all in one platform. And on top of their own directory of podcasts, they distribute episodes to other popular directories on your behalf.
- Spreaker: Love the idea of AudioBoom above? Spreaker has a nearly identical “jack of all trades” proposition.
- Acast: If AudioBoom and Spreaker are not enough, add a third “jack of all trades” in Acast. Maybe third time’s the charm — and with 400 million monthly listens across different platforms, there might be some truth to the saying.
- Blubrry: Did anyone ask for a fourth “jack of all trades” ? Yea, yea…we know we’re pushing it a little too much at this point — but Blubrry’s features warrant it. Publish podcasts on Blubrry to get access to podcast hosting and distribution services, including monetization features and handy technical support.
You can take your discoverability and reach in the B2B podcasting industry up a notch by signing up for social podcast apps like Goodpods, Podyssey, Breaker, and PodRoom. They allow you to interact with a community of like-minded podcasters through comment sections, reviews, recommendation features
CATEGORY C: Self-Publishing Podcast Distribution Options.
Submitting your RSS feed link to podcast directories (both the primary “Big 5” and secondary platforms) for listing is a crucial step in your podcast distribution journey. But it’s not the only one.
Sometimes you might want to think outside the box to get an extra edge in the B2B podcasting industry. One of our favorite places to post podcasts and get new listeners is YouTube.
According to 2022 surveys by Luminate, Voices, and Cumulus Media, most people prefer to listen to podcasts on YouTube. The video streaming platform organically surpassed the likes of Spotify and Apple Podcasts to clinch the top spot as the best place to distribute podcasts. A key factor in this development is the rise of video podcasts.
And as of August 2022, reports suggest that the Google video service plans to actively improve the podcast listening experience on the platform. This includes adding a YouTube “Explore Page” for podcasts and a dedicated podcast page (youtube.com/podcasts) that is only available to U.S. users.
What we’re trying to put across is that you need to publish podcasts on YouTube! Think of this as part of your audience-building strategy on top of getting your show on the earlier discussed list of podcast directories.
Another unconventional option to distribute podcasts is SoundCloud. The beauty of the audio distribution service is that it doubles as both a podcast host and a podcast distribution platform. As for its reach, SoundCloud boasts around 175 million monthly users worldwide.
Facebook also allowed users to publish podcasts on the platform via a “Facebook Podcasts” opt-in feature, but they seem to have given up on the idea barely a year after it was introduced in 2021. Regardless, you can still promote your podcast episodes on the social media platform — but that’s a story for another day.
Ready to be Discovered?
This list of podcast directories is by no means exhaustive. It is the tip of the iceberg—and underneath is a sea of smaller, scattered directories. Listing podcasts on all the “Big 5” directories, a handful of “secondary” options, and YouTube should leave you well-positioned to reach your ideal listener’s ears — boosting your odds of B2B podcasting success.
But don’t be complacent after publishing your podcast. There’s more to be done to build an audience. Case in point, podcast social media, joining podcast networks, and ad placement, among other strategies to promote your podcast and generate leads—all of which will be covered in the next lessons of the “Podcasting Mastered” course.
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