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Top Podcast Directories to Help Grow Your Audience in 2020

We’re more than halfway through the tumultuous year of 2020, but one shining light is that the podcast industry continues to thrive amidst the chaos and confusion that’s prevalent the world over. Perhaps you, like many others out there, have used this time of quarantine and lockdown to start a podcast. And if you’ve honed your topic, researched and bought your equipment, and maybe you’ve even hit record on your first episode, you now need to get your podcast out into cyberspace and into the ears of your audience. Simply put, you need to put your podcast in a place where it can be found by your intended listeners. This process really involves two steps. The first part involves finding a podcast host. In short, a podcast host is the place where your podcast is stored on the web. (BuzzSprout, PodBean, and Libsyn are three top examples of podcast hosts.) With the help of your host, you will then be able to distribute your podcast to podcast directories, which brings us to Step Two and the focus of this post – getting your amazing podcast listed on the wide variety of podcast directories available in 2020. 

Podcast directories are really just a centralized place where your listeners can find, listen to, or download your podcast episodes. But it really is vital that you get your podcast listed on the top podcast directories as this is the most effective way to reach new listeners. But just which directories should you be submitting your podcast too? If you’ve done any research on the topic, you’ll know there are quite a number of options available, and it can be difficult to know just where to start. But we’ve done the groundwork for you! We’ve compiled this list of the top podcast directories to submit your podcast to in 2020.

Related read: How To Start A Podcast 2020 Edition

1. Apple Podcasts

If you only submit your podcast to one directory it should be Apple Podcasts. (But you should definitely submit to more than one!) Listing your podcast on Apple Podcasts should be your first order of business as you prepare to launch your podcast for two reasons. First up, the approval process can take some time, which could affect your launch schedule.

Pro Tip: When you start the submission process for Apple Podcasts, make sure you’ve covered all the bases and that your podcast meets all the submission requirements. This will help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Secondly, Apple Podcasts is really the Godfather of podcast directories, the Podfather, if you will. And while other players are gaining ground, Apple Podcasts still accounts for a huge number of podcast downloads. But more importantly, so many other of the more niche directories pull their listings from the platform, so in order to have your show listed in these smaller directories, you’ll need to have listed your podcast in Apple Podcasts first. 

2. Spotify

No doubt about it, Spotify is making a name for itself in the podcasting sphere. If the recent massive, exclusive acquisition deals, from Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian, and even Michelle Obama, are anything to go by, Spotify is certainly looking to dominate the audio domain. They are, therefore, another directory where your podcast should definitely be listed in 2020. And in many countries, Spotify is the most popular platform for audio content, and so your podcast will be available to many keen listeners if it can be found in this directory. The submission process is straightforward, provided you meet all the submission requirements, so check these out to make sure you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s and you should have no problems. 

3. Google Podcasts 

As the staple podcast directory for Android users, you should also submit your podcast to Google Podcasts. The platform has certainly upped their game of late, and have rolled out an advanced, newly designed app, which they have also made available for iOS users. The app makes it easier for listeners to find their favorite podcasts, and using the power of Google algorithms, their podcast recommendations promise to get their users exactly what they are looking for, which could just be your podcast! Probably the strongest drawcard for listing your podcast on Google Podcasts is that your podcast will show up as results in Google searches, so if you’ve got your SEO up to scratch, your show will pop up whenever your topic or niche is searched.  

Related read: How To Improve The Discoverability Of Your Podcast

4. Stitcher

Your next stop should be Stitcher. Stitcher has been around for quite some time, and is still a popular and beloved podcast app of choice for many avid podcast listeners. This app will get your podcast in the ears of many new listeners as the app works on iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, and Smart speakers, but it can also be integrated with over 50 car models. It can also be used in any vehicle with Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto so you can control Stitcher right from the dash of your car – just one of the reasons Stitcher is the app of choice for those who listen to their favorite shows (which could be your podcast!) on the go. 

5. Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts is another great place to list your podcast. This is because it’s a sleek, user-friendly app, full of amazing features, and has experienced a surge in popularity. With its great search features, easy-to-use interface, and handy playback features, it’s winning podcast listeners over on the daily. Not only has Pocket Casts invested heavily in curation to make discovery easy, but their human-curated recommendations list means that listeners trust the nominees as they are featured based solely on merit. Submission to Pocket Casts is easy, as they pull from the Apple Podcasts directory. And if you’d like to get your show featured on the app’s list of podcast recommendations, you can submit your podcast by following the instructions here

6. Overcast

You should also make sure that your podcast features on Overcast. Overcast is another beautifully-designed, yet more niche podcast app, and is the app of choice of many serious podcast connoisseurs. It’s a nifty podcast player, with features such as Smart Speed, Voice Boost, and Smarter Playlists. These unique features help your audience listen to more podcasts in more places, try new shows (including yours!), and completely control their listening experience. With all these features and much more, it’s easy to see why so many podcast-lovers are choosing this app to enhance their listening experience. The app is only available for iOS users, but the great news is that when you list your podcast with Apple Podcasts, it will automatically appear in Overcast within two days of its Apple listening. This means that you’ll be able to reach new listeners with very little effort on your part – except the creating of your amazing podcast episodes, of course.   

7. TuneIn

TuneIn is a popular choice due to it being available on most platforms and devices. While it doesn’t boast any of the features popular with other podcast apps, TuneIn is a very simple and easy way to listen to podcasts. It is perfect for listeners on the move who like to take their favorite podcasts with them. One of their biggest selling points is their alignment with state-of-the-art technology – if you add your podcast to their listings, your podcast will be available to listeners with Tesla cars or Amazon’s Alexa. So if your target audience is a tech fundy, listing your podcast on TuneIn is a no-brainer. 

8. PodBean

Submitting your podcast to Podbean will ensure that listeners can find your podcast with ease. And the PodBean Podcast app makes it easy to stream podcasts or download episodes anywhere, anytime. The app has some super useful features, and gives listeners the ability to personalize their podcast playlists with auto-updates and new episode notifications. As one of the top podcast apps on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store, having your show appear on the Podbean app could really help you grow your podcast audience. Another plus for listing with PodBean is their distribution and promotion features. You could also list your podcast on Podbean’s advertising marketing place where your podcast could be matched with potential advertisers.  

9. Pandora

Pandora is another place to list your podcast, and it makes this list particularly for its powerful recommendation algorithms. Using their Podcast Genome Project, the platform aims to offer their listeners personalized podcast recommendations based on their listening history. They have only recently made it possible for individuals to submit their podcasts to their directory, which now means that anyone can submit their podcasts to the platform for consideration. But while their recommendation game is strong, it can take a really long time for your podcast to be accepted (weeks in some cases) so this should only be one of the many places you submit your podcast to.

10. RadioPublic

Using their vast tools and resources, RadioPublic is a great place for brand-new podcasters and veterans of the industry alike. They have a host of useful tools for the podcaster and they offer podcasters a real opportunity to build their business and grow their listener base. RadioPublic puts a lot of emphasis on the monetization opportunities for podcasters and provides features such as the Paid Listens Program. Check out the plans to see if and how they fit your budget, and take a look at all the platform has to offer you as a podcaster.

11. Castbox

What sets Castbox apart is its incredible optimization SEO and AI (Artificial Intelligence) as a way to offer podcast listeners something truly unique. They have truly revolutionized the way directories do things. And one of the results is that the search process has been made so much easier for listeners! Castbox does draw their directories from Apple Podcasts, but you can also help the process along by heading to their website and manually submitting your podcast. You can also apply to have your podcast featured on the app. The platform offers some attractive features, such as robust podcasting analytics to help you measure your subscribers, streams, and downloads. They also enable commenting, sharing, and other social features that will engage your listeners and get you noticed. 

12. PlayerFM

Player FM is a multi-platform podcast app that helps listeners find their favorite shows and enjoy them when they want, even offline. With one account, listeners can listen to your podcast on many different interfaces. FM’s nerve center is based in the cloud, which ensures that episodes get updated faster. But what really makes this app stand out from the crowd is its focus on discovery. If you want to get your show on Player FM, simply follow the steps and instructions which can be found here

13. iHeartRadio

Last, but not least, on our list is iHeartRadio. This is a free audio streaming service, and with over 200 channels, it is one of the largest streaming radio and podcast directories available on the Internet. It is favored by many podcast listeners as they can customize their podcast playlists by choosing their favorite categories and setting up their listener profile. You can get your podcast listed on the directory by using the manual submission form here.

Closing Thoughts

Getting your podcast listed on the top podcast directories is the most effective way to reach more listeners and gain more subscribers for your show. While there has been a vast improvement with podcast discoverability, it is still one of the biggest challenges that podcasters face. That is why listing your podcast on the top podcast directories, as well as some niche options, is a definite must. These directories will make your show available and accessible to as many listeners as possible, and get them hooked on that amazing content you work so hard to create. So get all your details ready, and get submitting! Your listeners are just waiting to fall in love with your podcast!

Related read: Top Tools For The New Podcaster

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