You’ve navigated the murky waters of podcasting equipment, traversed the scorpion infested wastes of Podcast hosting and once arriving at full Podcast-hood, you’ve even withstood the storms that weaken your resolve in the early days. You now have a podcast, live, a few episodes under your belt and you’re raring to create more content.

iTunes, one of the best podcast directories on the webWhat next? Promotion, that’s what. It’s time to grow those listeners, and for that, we’re looking at the best podcast directories out there!

One of the simplest ways to get your Podcast out to more people’s ears is to take advantage of the many Podcast directories and listening platforms on the market. But, if you’ve ever had a look around, you’ll understand why I’m often asked the question: “Where should I list my podcast?” There’s no shortage of contenders…

To answer the question in an effective way, we need to find out where people are searching. Podcast listeners consume podcasts in a huge range of ways, not all of them as you would think. In this article I’m not going to cover every single option out there – we’re going to apply the Pareto Principle, looking for the top 20% that will give us 80% of the results. We’re all time limited, so you need to know the best podcast directories, the ones that will give you the best results. So, let’s get started – where should I list my podcast?

#1. iTunes/Apple Podcasts

It’s not going away – Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) is, and always has been, the top platform for Podcasting. Other podcast directories are making inroads, such as the ones we’ll cover below, but Apple Podcasts / iTunes should still be your first stop. On nearly all of my Podcasts, for example, over 60% of all downloads come through either iTunes or the Apple Podcasts app. You’ll get an idea of how significant this is when you read below.

To submit to Apple Podcasts, you need to go through the iTunes Connect system and navigate to My Podcasts. To start, log in to the Podcasts section of iTunes Connect by using your existing Apple ID, or creating a new one.  Then, click the ‘new feed’ icon, or just use this link: add a new podcast feed.

Being listed in Apple Podcasts / iTunes also gets you into Overcast, Podcast Addict, and Castbox by default. These 3, combined with iTunes and Spotify make up the top five places podcasts are consumed as of this writing.

#2. Spotify

Spotify were already giants in the music streaming space, so it was no surprise that once they opened up their directory to podcasters, they stormed into second place behind iTunes / Apple Podcasts. In fact, they now account for over 5% of total podcast downloads according to media hosting giants Libsyn. That figure is expected to rise rapidly over the next year or so.

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This makes a lot of sense. There are already a tonne of people using the app for their music, and who’ve been using it for years. This is integrated into people’s lives, and now having the option to listen to podcasts on there means they don’t need any other app. It’s a no-brainer. Add to that some really heavy promotion by Spotify (Podcasts are listed just a few rows down on the home page) then we’re on to a winner.

It’s also a great option for Android users who can’t access the Apple Podcasts app on their phones, and you want to make sure it’s easy for all your listeners to hear your show.

To get into Spotify, you must go through your existing hosting company. Libsyn, Buzzsprout and most of the top hosting companies make this really easy, so search around in your hosting dashboard for the options.

#3. Stitcher

Stitcher formerly occupied 2nd place with a share of around 5% of total podcast downloads. Nowadays however, it has slipped under the 2% mark.

2%’ is not to be sneezed at though – that’s still a lot of people listening to podcasts on Stitcher, and if listeners want to consume your show there, there’s no point in denying them that capability.

Stitcher is a mobile app only, so to listen or search you need to have the app on your mobile device, whether phone or tablet. That means that people can find you on the go directly in the app.

To submit to Stitcher, head over to their partner portal.

#4. Google Play Music

Google has had a bit of an on-off relationship with podcast distribution over the years. But there was hope of that changing recently, with the inclusion of podcasts inside the Google Play Music marketplace.

Unfortunately, Google Play Music has been a bit of a damp squib so far though. In fact, the option of being listed here isn’t yet available to podcasts outside of North America.

Nevertheless, if you can get listed there, then it certainly won’t do your show any harm.

To submit to Google Play Music, head over to Google’s Podcast Portal.

#5. TuneIn Radio

This is one of my favourite “extra value” platforms: an internet radio provider turned Podcaster’s friend.

I had long used TuneIn radio for general internet radio usage, but then they announced a new podcasting channel within the app. This is another application based service, allowing people to find and stream your podcasts on-the-go, so it’s a good way to reach new listeners at a time when they’re looking to consume straight away. The best example, for me, is Amazon Echo. If you’re on TuneIn, then anyone can play your podcast, just by asking Alexa.

TuneIn ties in to a range of other platforms, too, like Sonos. So it’s well worth the small effort.

TuneIn still accounts for less than 1% of total podcast downloads, but it’s definitely a useful option to offer your listeners, and a handy place to be discovered.

Head over to this link to Submit to TuneIn.

Being Found Everywhere

There are a plethora of podcast directories out there. The good news is that you don’t have to spend loads of time submitting to every one you find though, as the vast majority of them pull their listings from the iTunes store.

So, not only is iTunes the place where you’ll get the vast majority of your listeners, being listed there also gets you into popular mobile apps like Pocket Casts by default.

Leading podcast media host Libsyn also has great destination tools available so you can effortlessly publish to places like Youtube and Soundcloud when you upload your new episodes.

Making your show available in as many places as possible means your listeners can decide where they want to listen. Make the top 5 listed here your priority though, and you won’t go far wrong.

Promoting Your Podcast

Allowing listeners to find and subscribe to your show wherever they want to is hugely important.

There are loads of other things you can do to grow your audience too though. And that’s the focus of our 30 Days of Audience Growth, which is just one of the courses available inside The Podcast Host Academy.

In the Academy, you’ll also have access to our live Q&A sessions, community forum, a plethora of downloadable checklists, ebooks, and much more.

If you run a podcast, or want to start one, then we’d love to work with you!