Podcast distribution is a vital part of podcasting. Making your show available in as many outlets as possible gives you the best possible chance to reach new listeners across the globe, on any device.
Questions like "How do I get my show into Apple Podcasts or Spotify?" are amongst the most common questions facing new podcasters. Each platform - or directory - has a different submission process, so it can be quite the challenge if you're doing everything manually. That's why it's always best to use a podcast host like Captivate to take care of it all for you!
Captivate's distribution centre takes away all of that confusion and makes it easy (and free!) to submit your podcast to each directory, with handy quick links for submission (and one-click submission for the podcast platforms that support it.)
How does podcast distribution work?
Once you submit your RSS feed URL to the directories, each directory will monitor your podcast RSS feed and display every new episode as soon as its published, or apply any changes that you make to your podcast.
Although submission processes vary from directory to directory, there are some things that remain true regardless of where you are submitting your podcast to:
Every directory uses the information from your RSS feed.
You only need to submit your show to directories once.
How do I submit my podcast to the directories?
Before you submit your podcast to the various directories, you will need to have published at least one episode.
A lot of podcasters do this by submitting a trailer for their show. This can then be used to submit to the directories for approval, then when the show is approved, you're all ready to release your first full episode.
It's also super useful to share with your audience to build excitment for your show before you even officially launch your podcast!
Check out our ready-to-use, foolproof trailer format to get you started!
There are two types of podcast directory:
One click submission, for example Spotify and Amazon Music: To submit to these directories simply click Start Submission.
To make things even easier, Captivate offers a Submit to All button that will automatically submit your podcast to all the one-click submission directories.
Quick external process, for example Apple Podcasts: To submit to these directories, simply click Start Submission, and you will be automatically directed to their platforms to start the external submission process.
Important: since Captivate automatically hides your email address from your RSS feed to protect your privacy, you’ll need to Unhide your email address for 24 hours for the podcast platforms that require manual submission to confirm ownership with you.
As well as making it super easy for you to submit your podcast to the various directories, we have also made it simple for you to track the progress of your submission with three simple status:
Start Submission: You have not yet submitted your podcast to this directory.
Awaiting Approval: Your podcast is in the process of being approved by the directory.
Podcast Approved: You're all set! Your podcast has been approved and is available on that platform.
Due to the way some apps don't update podcasts hosts when a show's been approved, your podcast may be live on an app but still showing as Pending Approval in your Distribution section.
If this is the case, you can clear that message by clicking the little Edit button next to the app in question, and clicking Complete Submission to manually approve the show.
Note: Once approved, be sure to add your podcast show link to the My Links section of your Captivate dashboard.
Aggregators act like directories but don't require you to physically submit anything to them as they usually "pull" information from Apple's podcast API. So, once your podcast is in Apple Podcasts, you podcast is usually available within these listening apps/directories shortly afterwards.