What Is A Podcast Directory?
You may not have realized that podcasts aren’t actually stored on directories like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, they’re stored on your podcast host. Rather, a directory is like a phonebook – a place to find what you’re looking for. When someone plays a podcast on their chosen directory, it’s channeling audio that’s hosted somewhere else. Essentially, a directory does not store your podcast media files, it plays them from your host.
For podcasters, directories are a way to get yourself heard and receive new traffic. Some are more specialized, enabling you to tap into an audience that’s already engaged with your niche (e.g. a NASCAR directory). Others are expansive and cover any and every topic – the most popular directories tend to be like this, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Additionally, your directory is a space where you can collect ratings and reviews from your listeners, to boost the legitimacy and reputation of your show. Once your show is listed on the major platforms like Apple, Google, Stitcher, and TuneIn, you’ll also be able to use a WordPress plugin, like PowerPress, to share your podcast on your website.
As a listener, directories are the easiest way to find podcasts, and most allow you to browse either alphabetically or by topic.
What Do I Need To Submit My Podcast?
If you choose the right podcast hosting service, like Buzzsprout or PodBean, you’ll have fantastic integration with directories, meaning you can do it all from the dashboard of your host. Regardless, on the most basic level, you’ll need an mp3 file of your recording and an RSS feed for it, generated by your host. RSS feeds use a family of standard web formats to publish information that you can update with content and metadata, like episode titles, author names, and descriptions. Once you list your podcast, the directory will automatically pull every new episode in the future.
When it comes to more detailed specifications, different directories have different requirements for the other specificities. The industry standard, which includes Apple and Spotify, requires an RSS 2.0 conforming feed, a link to a square cover image (1:1) of at least 1400 x 1400 pixels, but not more than 3000 x 3000 pixels. Most importantly, the server holding your audio files (your host) must support byte-range requests, so that the files can be streamed.
Once you’ve submitted your podcast on your chosen directories like Apple and Spotify, you’ll also want to “claim” it so that you can receive valuable podcast analytics, including the number of listeners and downloads.