How to Submit a Podcast to iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify
Podcasting is a great way to establish and build an audience, provide entertainment or in-depth discussion on a range of subjects, and get your message out to the world. While submitting a podcast for distribution via various audio platforms may appear somewhat complicated, it’s actually an extremely straightforward, user-friendly process.
If you’ve recorded a podcast and you’re ready to launch it out into the world, there are a number of steps you ought to follow. Read on for instructions about how to submit a podcast to all the primary distribution platforms, including iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.
What is a podcast?
The term podcasting—coined by The Guardian journalist Ben Hammersley in 2004—refers to a 21st century audio distribution format shaped by the tradition of talk radio, but meant to be accessible for anyone—professional or amateur—to produce, as well as easily downloadable for listening on a personal device.
Some podcasts, like This American Life or Reply All, generally tell a single, contained story or cover a new topic each episode. Other podcasts, like Serial or Homecoming, assume more of a narrative format, weaving larger tales (whether fiction or nonfiction) over the course of several episodes. Some podcasts take a conversational approach and resemble talk shows, while others are delivered in the form of daily or weekly news briefings. While podcasting initially began as an amateur form of audio blogging, in the just under two decades that the medium has existed, it’s exploded into a billion-dollar industry, with its own conventions, trademarks, and celebrities.
Preparing Your Podcast for Submission
You’ve planned, recorded, and produced your podcast, and now have a trailer or even a couple of episodes ready to be circulated out into the world. You’ve ideally also created a pod cover: the artwork that serves as a sort of book cover, and represents the visual identity of your podcast.
Now, you need to make those audio files available for listeners through the main podcast services: iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify.
How to Submit a Podcast
Before you get started, you’ll need to:
Register with Apple at Podcasts Connect (this is different from iTunes Connect where you sell books and audiobooks, and App Store Connect where you distribute your iOS apps for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch apps).
Register for Google Podcasts at Google Podcasts Manager.
Register at Spotify for Podcasters with a free account.
Generating an RSS Feed to Submit to Podcast Platforms
A podcast feed is the URL to an RSS in XML format. RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary, is a technology for announcing updates to a website. XML is a format for creating internet content.
To have a clean, validated submission, you’ll need an RSS feed that includes all your podcast’s metadata. Sure, you could hand code an RSS feed, but why would you when there are a number of amazing tools out there?
Since the content management system we use for the Voices.com blog and podcasts is WordPress, we searched the WordPress plugin directory to find the best plugin for podcasts, and landed on Seriously Simple Podcasting.
Seriously Simple Podcasting is made by Castos, a podcast hosting and analytics software company. Whether you’re just getting into podcasting, or are already a veteran podcaster, this is the best available tool to help you create and manage your podcast directly from the WordPress dashboard you already know and love. With more than 20,000 active installs and over 160 five-star reviews on WordPress, Seriously Simple Podcasting is the top-rated podcast plugin for WordPress.
Here’s what an RSS feed looks like on Google Podcasts:
Once you have your RSS feed, you’ll be ready to submit your podcast to various distribution channels.
How to Submit a Podcast to iTunes
Logging into Podcasts Connect is straightforward. Just click the + symbol in the left-hand corner.
To register your podcast with iTunes, you’ll need to submit your RSS feed to the service. You’ll then be prompted to preview the feed.
To verify that you are the owner of the podcast RSS feed that has been submitted, you’ll be sent a verification code to enter on iTunes. Once you do that, you’ll be able to view the layout of your podcast episode lineup in Apple Podcasts.
How to Submit a Podcast to Google Podcasts
First, sign in to your Google Account.
Next, visit the Podcasts Manager.
Click ‘Add show.’
Once you verify your ownership, your podcast will be submitted to Google’s podcast index.
How to Transfer Podcasts from Google Play Music to Google Podcasts
Why would you want to do this? Well, because only Google Podcast Manager offers advanced listener and engagement analytics. So, if you have other podcasts that you’ve added to Google Play Music, now’s your chance to get insights into listenership and engagement by transferring to Google Podcasts, Google’s go-forward podcasting platform. That alone should be enough of an incentive to take the plunge and move your podcasts over. We did it for our four Voices.com podcasts, and here’s how the process went.
Log in to your Google Account.
Visit Google Play Music.
Navigate to the Google Play Music Podcast submission page.
You’ll receive this message confirming that your podcast has been successfully transferred to Google Podcast Manager.
How to Submit a Podcast to Spotify
Submitting a podcast to Spotify is simple.
Visit Spotify for Podcasters.
Log in, or sign up if you don’t already have a Spotify account.
Signing up for a Spotify account is super easy because they have a 1-click registration by re-using your Facebook login or Apple ID login details.
Navigate to the Catalog here.
Click ‘Add Your Podcast.’
First, paste in the link to your podcast’s RSS feed. Then add podcast info like the category, language, and country.
Now review the details and submit.
Next, you’re going to have to verify that you own the podcast.
Spotify states that the benefits of adding your podcast to their service include ensuring that your podcast will be on Spotify, and that future episodes will appear automatically. There’s no need to upload anything. Plus, you get stats, updated daily. Once your podcast is on Spotify, see how it’s performing and learn more about who’s listening, and from where.
How to Distribute Through Stitcher
Stitcher is one of the most popular platforms you can use to submit your podcast. It currently offers 100,000 podcasts and was one of the Top 5 Podcast Apps by TIME Magazine this year. Stitcher has been connecting creators like you with listeners since 2007. On Stitcher, you can reach millions of listeners by adding your podcast in a few simple steps.
Submit your podcast by first joining Stitcher.
Next, log in with Stitcher Partners.
Enter your podcast’s RSS feed to add your show.
You’ll be prompted to verify that you’re the owner of the podcast.
Next, you’ll have to agree with the Terms of Service.
How To Distribute a Podcast on SoundCloud
First, go to SoundCloud and create an account.
Then navigate to the Set up your profile page.
For your Display Name, enter the title of your podcast.
Next, click the Edit button to edit your profile. At this point you can upload your profile image, enter a description of your podcast in the bio section, and add links to your website or socials in the Your Links section.
On the Settings page, select the category, language, custom feed title, and custom author name for your podcast.
To set up your RSS feed to submit your podcast feed to other distribution platforms, go to the Content tab. From there, copy your RSS feed URL. Now you can submit podcast feed to other distribution platforms.
SoundCloud offers advanced stats, unlimited hosting time, and the ability for listeners to engage directly with an episode by providing real-time feedback connected to the timestamp of the episode file.
Launching Your Podcast Out Into the World
The emergence of podcasting has enabled creators all around the world to participate in a vital new form of mass communication. Podcasts are virtually free to create, launch, and listen to, so they’re an ideal way to start building your audience and get your message out there.
Now that you can generate an RSS feed and understand how to submit your podcast to all the main distribution platforms, including iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify, it’s time to launch your podcast out into the world. When you’re in need of a broad range of voice actors and vocal characteristics to bring your podcast plans to life—whether that involves a punchy pod intro, an actor to provide a dynamic delivery of your narrative podcast, or the read of an audio advertisement strategically targeted at your core demographic—Voices is the ultimate destination where you’ll be able to access voice actors perfectly suited to your podcasting needs.
If you’d like to listen to the podcast featured in this blog post, check out The Voices Experience. You can also gain a plethora of insight into the voice acting auditioning process by taking a listen to Mission Audition.