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Submit a Podcast to the Podcast Index (2023) - Riverside.fm

You’ve submitted your new podcast to all the usual places, like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. But what about the Podcast Index?

There are dozens of podcast directories out there—and if you’re serious about expanding your audience and diversifying your show’s reach, you need to submit your show to as many of them as possible.

And the Podcast Index is more than a directory. It also prioritizes giving creative control back to podcast creators—from free speech issues, to open-source tagging, to direct monetization opportunities. In this post, we’ll give you everything you need to know about the Podcast Index, why you should make sure your show is listed there, and how to submit your podcast if it’s not there already.

What Is the Podcast Index?

The Podcast Index is an open, categorized database of podcasts that was established in 2020. It was created by software developer Dave Jones and media personality Adam Curry, who’s known as “The Podfather” since he’s been widely credited for making podcasting popular.

Why Was Podcast Index Created?

According to the site’s own mission statement, the Podcast Index was created to “​​preserve, protect and extend the open, independent podcasting ecosystem.” It’s an independent directory developed as an alternative to other podcast directories like:

The platform was created as a response to concerns over other popular podcast platforms’ growing influence and editorial control over podcasts. For instance, Apple Podcasts removed Alex Jones’s content in 2018 because it constituted hate speech. 

The creators of Podcast Index feel that such restrictions constitute censorship, which is why they created an alternative directory that claims free speech as its highest priority. 

What Is Podcasting 2.0?

Podcasting 2.0 is the project spearheaded by Adam Curry that includes the Podcast Index as a directory. It also includes an attempt to update the HTML tags all podcasters use. 

Most podcast hosts and directories use the standard set of tags Apple Podcasts uses, but Podcasting 2.0 and other podcasters in 2020 began adopting new tags, including:

  • <podcast:transcript> which points to a transcript of the episode
  • <podcast:funding> which points to sites where listeners can financially support the show
  • <podcast:person> which lists the people involved in creating the episode or show

While some shows are becoming siloed into specific platforms (think: Spotify-only podcasts), the Podcasting 2.0 project is working to move away from the control of “big tech” and return podcasts—down to their RSS feeds and HTML code—to their open nature.

How Does the Podcast Index Benefit Podcasters?

The Podcast Index values free speech and is anti-censorship in all forms, which some would argue is a good thing for podcasters. While many podcast apps like Apple Podcasts and Spotify have editorial control over which podcasts are allowed on their network—and even what types of speech are allowed—the Podcast Index makes no attempt to control podcasts in its directory. 

Instead, with Podcasting 2.0, the Podcast Index provides an open and restriction-free platform for free speech. The goal of the Podcast Index is to build a stable infrastructure that creators—and not “middlemen” like Spotify and Apple Podcasts—control. 

Beyond the lack of editorial regulations, the Podcast Index is also revolutionizing podcast monetization

Traditionally, podcasters rely on brand sponsorships that pay them to read advertisements on their shows. But Podcast Index leverages Bitcoin and the Lightning Network to create a “Value 4 Value” system. In this setup—similar to platforms like Patreon—listeners can transfer money directly to their favorite hosts. 

The Value 4 Value monetization model is as populist as the Podcast Index’s stance on free speech. Listeners simply pay what they wish in an open-ended pricing framework.

How to Submit Your Podcast on the Podcast Index

If you’d like to add your show to the Podcast Index, the first step is to make sure it’s not already listed there. The Podcast Index is a large database, so the odds are good that someone has already added your podcast. Simply navigate to the Podcast Index homepage and type the name of your podcast into the search bar.

If you don’t see your show listed in the Podcast Index, you can follow one of the approaches below to submit your podcast to the Index yourself. 

Option #1: Submit to the Podcast Index Using Your Host

The easiest method is to submit your podcast to the Podcast Index through your hosting platform. 

Your podcast host is the site where you upload podcast content so that listeners can download and subscribe to new episodes. It’s also the place that issues your RSS feed, which is the link that you should share with as many podcast directories as possible so that listeners can find you. 

Most podcast hosts make it easy to submit your show to directories through your user dashboard. For instance, if you use Buzzsprout as your hosting platform, you can add your show to many directories by navigating to your user dashboard and clicking the Directories tab.

To add your podcast to the Podcast Index, you can start by checking your podcast host. Many hosts already support the Index (and Podcast Index provides a full list here). 

Option #2: Email the Podcast Index Directly

If you can’t see an option to submit your podcast directly through your hosting platform, you can always email [email protected] with a copy of your RSS feed URL and a quick request that they add your show to their directory.

If you’re not sure how to access your RSS feed, check out this article for more information: What is an RSS Feed, and How Does It Work? 

Option #3: Submit a URL Through the “Add Feed” Page

Submitting a show to Podcast Index with an RSS Feed URL

Another easy option is to use the Podcast Index’s Add Feed page. Simply navigate to the page, paste your show’s RSS feed URL into the box, and click Add.

Option #4: Submit Your Podcast Using HTML

Podcast Index submission with html

If you’re more tech-savvy and want to ensure every tag and line of code is in its proper place, you can visit the Podcast Index’s API overview page for instructions for adding your show from the back-end.

FAQs on Podcast Index

Are there indexes for podcasts?

There are many indexes, or podcast directories, available. A podcast directory is simply a database of podcasts where users can search for and listen to shows that interest them. These directories aggregate podcast information using RSS feeds.

Some of the most popular podcast directories include Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and the Podcast Index.

How do I add podcasts to the Podcast Index?

In all likelihood, your podcast is already in the Podcast Index. After all, it’s a large, open-source database for podcasts. 

But if you don’t see your show on the site, you can easily add it by visiting the Add Feed page and pasting the show’s URL into the box. This method works whether you’re the podcast owner or just a fan that wants to add your favorite show to the Index.

Is there a podcast directory?

Yes, there are several podcast directories online. There’s no one “master database” of podcasts, but Apple Podcasts and the Podcast Index are widely considered to be two of the most comprehensive directories available.

What is the most popular podcast site?

According to an eMarketer survey, Spotify finally overtook Apple Podcasts as the most popular source for podcasts in 2021. Spotify had 28.3 million listeners that year, while Apple fell slightly behind with 28.1 million listeners. Spotify is projected to widen that gap within the next few years, with over 24 million listeners by 2025.

Podcast listeners on podcast directories
Image source: eMarketer

Final Thoughts

If you’re a new podcaster—or you’re trying to increase the listenership of your existing show—it’s absolutely crucial to submit your podcast to as many podcast directories as possible. 

You can’t rely on interested listeners to search out your website by name. Instead, you’ll need to be listed on a popular podcast directory so that your target audience will find your show when searching for new podcasts.

In short, podcast directories like the Podcast Index help get your show discovered by a wider audience.

Not only is the Podcast Index an extremely comprehensive database of podcasts, it’s an open-source platform that prioritizes giving the power back to podcast creators instead of to “middlemen” like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. With the Podcast Index, podcast creators can also take advantage of the Value 4 Value system to get financial support directly from listeners.

Of course, getting found on a podcast directory is only half the battle; you also need quality content that your target audience will be happy to listen to. At Riverside.fm, we’re invested in your growth and success as a podcaster—which is why we created an affordable, easy-to-use recording software that gives you professional-quality sound and video, every time. 

Start recording with Riverside today! 

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