Before you read this blog on podcast distribution, be sure to have read all our previous essential blogs on podcasting. We have written a slew of blogs, but these are the key blogs to getting started:
- 1. Podcasting 101 | A Simple Guide To The Basics
- 2. How To Structure A Podcast For 2017
- 3. Setting Up Your Podcast For Success
- 4. Reasons You Should Outsource Production of Your Podcast
The basics kept things simple. Structuring a podcast gave you an idea on the building blocks. Setting up your podcast for success brought preemptive marketing strategies to the table. We included outsourcing production in case you wanted to ensure a quality product was ready for your audience. Now we will discuss REACHING your audience with your finished podcast!
Welcome to the Quick Guide to Podcast Distribution. In this blog, we will cover the high-level process of distributing your podcast. There are hundreds of avenues for hosting your content and we will cover a few of the ones our radio show hosts use.
As a refresher, let’s cover what an RSS feed is. Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary–abbreviated RSS–is a method of communication that automatically sends out content. Any user can subscribe to the RSS “feed” and receive content on an ongoing basis as it’s released.
The same way Google is “king of the internet” with its ever-changing search engine algorithms; iTunes is king of podcasts.
“There are many other ways that listeners can get podcasts, but because iTunes is the most-used pathway, it’s important to make sure that your podcast’s feed is compatible with iTunes.”
iTunes is the place to start to ensure your content is picked up by their feeds, which are .xml files. For argument’s sake, “XML” means “iTunes feed.” Apple has the audience and the tools to become found. Listeners will easily search for and subscribe to podcasts through iTunes. It’s a marriage made for podcasters: they bring the foundation; you bring the content. Don’t forget your tags. Tagging your podcasts with relevant topics will display properly within the iTunes store.
If you’re going to code the .XML file yourself, be sure to cover your tracks. Wherever you save your files, be sure to enter the full URL (do not shorten) for that file within the RSS document.
- The full URL is placed in the “enclosure field” and in the “guid” fields
- Update the audio file size (in bytes) in the “enclosure field.”
>>> For a more in-depth details regarding Apple, click here.
NB: As a marketing agency, we do not advise creating the XML file on your own. This means writing the XML file sounds easy as it’s typing text, but every character matters. Here’s an .XML file coding example. Some people learn it, but we’ve worked with enough podcasters over the years to know the tricks. Most marketing companies, including us, have the expertise to work with iTunes much faster than the public.
Where To Host & Store Your Podcasts
With the explosive growth of podcasting comes many places to host audio files online. Even then, you can use more than one hosting platform for different audiences and/or to grow your reach.
Our clients who syndicate their podcasts within our services, grow their reach to iTunes, Spreaker, Soundcloud and Mixcloud. Libsyn is another big platform podcasters utilize. We wanted to give our readers many options because everyone has different budgets, audiences and parameters to work within. You could even put a link to the feed on your social media, website or what have you. Additionally, secure your individual audio podcasts on a hosting platform listed above. Be mindful of your storage and bandwidth limits. Sometimes it makes sense to start small and scale up.
Plan ahead for failure by keeping a master copy of your audio files on a server or hard drive or even in the cloud, if your personal storage is limited. Soundcloud Pro is a popular route for podcasters.
We suggest planning out your podcasting strategy and reading the blogs we have written previously. Each one offers insight on the steps of podcasting from soup to nuts. Learn what you need to get started and pull the trigger. Choose the right platforms(s) without going overboard. Prepare to scale, based on your budget, audience and topics of discussion. Distribution can grow your audience immensely so do your homework!
Thank you for your attention!
To download a copy of this blog and add it to your podcasting notes, click our eBook below!