I started using Anchor.fm as an easy way to publish Podcasts and have a place to host the content. It is pretty incredibly, but they do all that for free. So all you need to do is sign up for it and then get started by either uploading audio (I use GarageBand and then export) or you can do it from within the application itself.
But then you need to distribute the content. They do an automatic content distribution. What this means practically is that they do the automatic submission to some big catalogs like Google Podcast or Apple Podcast with the RSS feed of your podcast. That means when you create a new podcast, then ever site that subscribes to that feed will get a notification. For instance our RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is https://anchor.fm/s/11367f48/podcast/rss.
What happens when you don't get Apple?
The problem is that after all that although they have what they call automatic submission, it definitely isn't instant (it took a few weeks) and I never did get my Apple Podcast identification. They say it will take a while but it never did. Also they don't support TuneIn (which if you have a Tesla is the goto site). So you then have to do manual submission.
But it didn't work for Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or TuneIn. So I had to do those manually and then paste those into the Anchor Dashboard just so I had one place to see all the distribution forms.
So here is how to do manual distribution, it involves alot of creating accounts and adding meta data:
- Apple Podcasts Connect. There is a dedicated site for this and you sign up with your Apple ID
- Stitcher Content Provider. You go to that specific URL and become a Stitcher partner. This is mainly nice because they are in a lot of cars.
- TuneIn Podcast. This one is a bit of a pain because they want to take the program id and other things apart, but not too hard. It is a little confusing because when you do this, you will get sent an email that validates you have a legitimate account. In my case, I had to make sure that the email was included in the feed.
- Castbox. First, you check to make sure it is not already there then you claim ownership. In my case, it was already there. It is nice to have a unique name as there are so many podcasts, then you claim ownership right on that page. Note that for claiming ownership, you need to make sure your email is in the RSS feed as Tunein does. One detail here is that picking up the icon and images doesn't seem to happen automatically for sites like this although the other ones do have this.
Finally, they don't support YouTube which would be nice as a mechanism too, but there is a tool called TunesToTube that makes it easy to upload an MP3 to YouTube.
So of course distribution doesn't mean anyone is going to use it, but it is nice to have a place where all the content lives and Anchor lets you see the incredible number of plays that you are getting (in my case nearly 10 an episode of which 3 are me testing it!). Woohoo