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Distributing and Submitting Your Podcast: Maximizing Reach

Introduction

Releasing polished episodes marks only the beginning – you still need distribution outlets and platforms to get your show in front of listeners. Optimal podcast distribution involves submitting to major directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts as well as leveraging supplementary channels. Follow best practices for metadata, optimization and promotion across networks to build audiences. This guide explores proven podcast distribution strategies to maximize subscriptions and listenership.

Apple Podcasts Distribution

The essential first platform to submit to thanks to sheer audience scale:

Why Apple Matters

  • Over 50% of podcast listens occur on Apple Podcasts.
  • Many listeners discover shows browsing Apple charts.
  • Appearing on Apple provides credibility.

Optimizing Submission

  • Include trailer, description, categories and tags to stand out in approval stage.
  • Maximize characters available for rich text fields conveying selling points.
  • Include cover art meeting requirements.
  • Provide multi-episode inventory to hook listeners binging.

Getting added to Apple Podcasts should be priority one to unlock mass iPhone and CarPlay listenership.

Spotify Podcast Distribution

Another vital channel, especially for tapping into younger demographics:

Why Care About Spotify

  • Fast growing podcast listening base – over 20% now.
  • Numerous popular exclusives.
  • Innovative formats like video podcasts.
  • Strong international reach.

Optimization Tips

  • Add high-quality chapter images to be displayed during episodes.
  • Tag your podcast thoroughly with descriptive keywords to aid discovery.
  • Link your Spotify account for profile synergies.
  • Analyze Spotify for Podcasters audience analytics dashboards.

Given Spotify’s youth following and innovations like podcast video, presence there is crucial.

Google Podcasts Submission

The search leader offers podcast discovery through:

Why Google Matters

  • Ability to find shows through Google search.
  • Deep integration with Google Assistant voice commands.
  • Auto-generated transcripts aid SEO.

Distribution Checklist

  • Submit via Google Podcast Manager portal.
  • Optimize titles, descriptions and cover art.
  • Tag extensively, use targeted keywords.
  • Cross-link with your website.

Since many find shows searching Google, visibility there helps newcomers discover your content.

Amazon Music and Audible Channels

Leverage Amazon’s audio platforms:

Maximizing Amazon Reach

  • Enable listeners to access through Audible as well as Amazon Music.
  • Participate in seasonal Audible audio quest promotions.
  • Promote through Amazon’s podcast newsletter sponsorships.
  • Offer Audible episodes and exclusive content.

Monetization Options

  • Insert Amazon affiliate links into show notes for products you recommend.
  • Join Amazon influencer programs.
  • Participate in AudioQuest sponsorships.

Amazon’s engaged community of audiobook fans offers crossover potential.

Pitching Podcast Networks and Platforms

Getting accepted to selective networks grows audiences exponentially:

Top Podcast Networks

  • NPR
  • iHeartMedia
  • Wondery
  • Barstool Sports
  • Radiotopia
  • Parcast
  • Cadence13
  • Gimlet Media

Best Practices for Pitches

  • Listen to their shows to understand brand voice and goals.
  • Highlight unique value you offer through tone, topics and audience.
  • Quantify traction to date through followers, downloads, reviews.
  • Have multiple sample episodes evidencing production polish.
  • Propose mutually beneficial collaborations like cross-promotions.

Partnerships with major networks bring new exposure while allowing you to retain creative control.

Optimizing Individual Episode Distribution

Reaching audiences with each release:

  • Release on consistent schedule like weekly or biweekly.
  • Include rich descriptions and images with chapters marked.
  • Promote new episodes through email, social media, website.
  • Share quotes, clips and trailers to hook interest.
  • Inform subscribers of launch date and time.
  • Stagger across platforms if not releasing everywhere simultaneously.

Treating each episode launch as an event boosts awareness.

Website and App Distribution

Making your show accessible:

Website Musts

  • Embedded audio player
  • Links to subscribe on directories
  • Clear messaging explaining the premise
  • Show notes with rich descriptions for SEO

Optional App

  • Custom streaming app for smartphone
  • App store optimization
  • Push notifications about new episodes
  • Patreon or membership signups

While optional, custom apps facilitate listening and subscriptions.

YouTube and Video Podcasting

Expanding reach through multimedia:

YouTube Benefits

  • Broader platform reach beyond just audio fans
  • Appears in searches and recommendations
  • Monetization opportunities

Formats

  • Video of recording sessions
  • Slideshows or animations paired with audio
  • Host vlog discussion recapping or trailer
  • Clips and highlights

Video and YouTube widen potential audience discovery and engagement.

RSS Feeds

The universal format enabling podcast feeds:

RSS Uses

  • Connects your media files to directories and apps
  • Allows new episode notifications
  • Enables subscribers to add and play shows easily

Hosting Options

  • Dedicated podcast hosts like Libsyn
  • Website plugins like Seriously Simple Podcasting
  • Feed management services like Feedburner

Always maintain a valid working feed or else listeners can’t access new shows.

Dedicated Podcast Hosting

Benefits hosting with podcast-centric platforms:

  • Optimized media streaming and downloads
  • Provides unique subscription links
  • Automates RSS feed creation
  • Offers audience stats dashboards
  • Submits to directories like Apple on your behalf
  • Some monetization opportunities like integrated ads

Leading providers include Libsyn, Podbean, Buzzsprout, Acast and Omny Studio.

Maximizing Discoverability

Getting found by new listeners:

Title and Description

  • Clear, descriptive, keyword-optimized

Cover Art

  • 1500×1500 pixels, under 2MB, PNG or JPEG, no text
  • Recognizable branding and imagery

Trailer

  • 1-3 minute teaser hooking interest

Tagging

  • Relevant niche and format tags

Keywords

  • Target search terms in title, description and episode notes

Cross-Promoting

  • Website banners and articles

Podcasts need SEO like websites to surface in search and related recommendations.

Promoting Your Podcast

Expanding reach beyond built-in platform discovery:

Social Media

  • Share trailers and clips natively on social
  • Cross-post episode links driving listens
  • Use relevant hashtags

Email Marketing

  • Send new episode alerts to subscribers

Guest Appearances

  • Invite fans on your show and appear on others

Crossovers and Collaborations

  • Team up on special episodes

Live Events

  • Host or appear at related conferences and meetups

Influencer Marketing

  • Request podcast reviews from respected niche figures

Spreading the word amplifies hard-won platform distribution.

Podcast Analytics and Measurement

Tools providing listener data and insights:

First-Party Stats

  • Libsyn, Buzzsprout, Omny and other host platforms provide dashboards to track listens, downloads, subscribers and audience location data.

Apple Podcasts

  • Access hourly and daily download data plus reviews, ratings and listener location information.

Third-Party Analytics

  • Detailed breakdowns of performance metrics across platforms using Chartable, Podtrac Libsyn Analytics and others.

Key metrics include total downloads, subscribers, review ratings and listener locations. Continuously monitoring performance data helps guide show improvements and promotional efforts.

Monetizing Your Distribution

Revenue opportunities afforded by wide distribution:

  • Advertising and Sponsorships Popular model selling host-read ads.Wide distribution helps set attractive CPM ad rates.
  • Affiliate Marketing Earn commissions promoting brands through links.
  • Memberships and Subscriptions Bonus or exclusive content for paying members.
  • Events Paid live and virtual events.
  • Merchandise Sell gear and swag.
  • Content Licensing Provide audio or access to other media companies.

The larger the engaged listening audience built through diligent distribution efforts, the more lucrative monetization becomes.

Conclusion

Distributing your finished podcast episodes broadly is as important as crafting high quality shows themselves. Treat each submission thoughtfully, optimizing metadata to stand out. Coordinate a multi-channel distribution strategy encompassing leading podcast platforms, your website, video channels and social networks. Promote new episodes passionately across outlets to maximize listenership. Consistent distribution and promotion paired with outstanding content will help your podcast find its ideal audience and fulfill its potential impact.

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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