It's never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. So why would you submit your podcast to one distribution site? As we've learned all too painfully in the past month, relying too much on one platform can be dangerous. Technology goes down and we should be prepared with alternatives. And with the current boom in podcasting, it's more important than ever that you diversify your podcast distribution. There is a newer directory in particular that can enhance your podcasting world in a very good way. It's the Podcast Index, also know as The Index.
In this post you will learn:
- what The Podcast Index is
- why having your podcast in The Index is important
- how to get your podcast in the Index
What's the Podcast Index?
In short, The Podcast Index is an open source podcast directory. This means that anyone can add to it, a lot like Wikipedia. How big is it? As of late June 2021, it was over 4 million podcasts big. And it's growing fast.
But like many open source projects, it gets technical and geeky fast. So I'll be covering the basics of The Index in this post.
Why Does the Podcast Index Matter?
1. It's About Keeping Podcasting Open
Podcasting started as a space to reach listeners without gatekeepers. So, the fact that bigger podcast companies are now putting more and more content behind paywalls strays from this initial goal. They've become gatekeepers, the very role that podcasting was supposed to be without.
But it's not just about podcasting being walled off into more expensive spaces. It's about being banned in other spaces as well. The most recent example of this is the Bandrew Scott of the Bandrew Says Podcast. His YouTube channel, which is one of his podcast distribution spaces, was shut down in June 2021 (it seems as though the ban was for criticizing YouTube's algorithms). And yes, YouTube can be a podcast distribution space, just ask Tom Webster of Edison Research. For more information, watch Bandrew's video about how the ban affected him.
This unfortunate experience is a good reminder to the rest of us that our podcasts need to be in many distribution spaces, especially if you have funding connected to your podcast. Because he had his podcast in many distribution spaces, including in The Podcast Index, he was still able to keep publishing. And his podcast was still available.
Who Will Monitor the Podcast Index?
With freedom comes the potential for differing opinions. As with any expressive or creative medium, what is considered acceptable and unacceptable is not clean cut. Unfortunately, these content struggles transfer over to podcasting in general, and The Podcast Index, specifically. Some people say that if no one is monitoring a distribution space, then unsavory topics or ideas can't be stopped. Though I'm not going to go into this debate in depth in this post, it's important that you know it exists.
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2. And, It's About The Podcaster Getting Paid
Value for Value is a crypto driven listener-to-podcaster payment system. In some ways it's a reaction to the advertising and membership spaces in podcasting, that either cost the podcaster a lot in fees, while often closing the content off to listeners who don't or can't pay for the content. It's crypto, so it's complicated. This interview that Dave Jackson did recently with Adam Curry, (The Podcast Index's founder and The Pod Father), explains more about this aspect of The Podcast Index. Don't worry if you're not that tech savvy. Dave and Adam keep the conversation understandable for us.
What is Podcasting 2.0?
Podcasting 2.0 is the name of a weekly podcast that Adam and Dave make. It's also the overall name for the movement they've started with The Index. There are many players in this space, and I'd like to briefly share their reasons for getting involved.
Why is Podcasting 2.0 Important?
Freedom of Choice
“Whilst it's early days for Podcasting 2.0, it's important to focus on listener experience, creator choice and opportunity when building out this next phase of the medium. We chose to work with Dave and Adam on integrating Podcasting 2.0 tags into the Captivate hosting platform so that podcasters have the all important choice of how they want to use the tech around them to build their podcast and provide a high-quality and evolving experience for their listeners.”
-Mark Asquith, CEO and Co-Founder of Captivate.fm
Freedom Of Speech and Open Access
“The freedom of podcasting is critical. Adam and Dave and everyone else contributing to Podcasting 2.0 are creating the infrastructure which ensures podcasting will remain free and not be held hostage by walled gardens.”
Freedom of Tags
“The Podcast Index is a great resource for independent podcasters to find tools and services to keep their podcast running and grow their audience. As other companies are trying to lock down podcasting, it's important that we maintain free open access to the tools that up and coming podcasters need. Headliner is listed on Podcast Index's supporting apps page for our utilization of the Soundbite Tag. “
-Oliver, Co-Founder of Headliner
How to Get Your Podcast Into the Podcast Index
First, check The Podcast Index. Many podcasts are already in the Index. If you're podcast is not in The Index, follow one of these two sets of instructions.
- Check with your podcast host. The easiest way to get your podcast into the Podcast Index is through your podcast host. Here's a list of podcast hosts and apps that support the Index.
- If #1 is not an option, then email your RSS feed and a quick, “Can you please add my podcast to The Index,” message to The Podcast Index folks at [email protected] to submit your podcast.
The Podcast Index doesn't have a submission form for process yet. But, they are hoping to have one by the end of summer 2021.
If you're tech savvy, you can go to this page, and find the code and such to submit your podcast.
Ultimately, you don't have to choose between which directories to add your podcast to. The choice is not really about directories, it's about freedom of expression. We want you to express yourself. Your stories matter, so get them out there to as many places as possible, including The Podcast Index.
Spend less time on podcast production and more time on outreach
We are all time strapped, right? When you do a new task you run the risk of not doing another task. Don't worry, we've got you. Here's a way to make the editing and production even easier. It's a production app – Alitu – which automates processing and helps you with editing. It’ll take your interview recording, polish it up, add your theme music, allow you to easily add a spoken intro or outro, and then it’ll export and publish it to your Podcast host of choice. You can also edit out any mistakes or side-tracks if you need to! So save time on production with Alitu and transfer that time saved to adding your podcast to more distribution spaces like The Podcast Index.