Part 3: Podcast Distribution and Listeners

NOTE: This is Part 3 in a series. You can read Part 1 and Part 2.

You have your podcast strategic plan in place.  You have your first several episodes mapped out. Now you need to look at distribution so you can attract more listeners.

Podcast Distribution Plan

Start with your clients and prospects. Make sure they know about it and are invited to subscribe.

But, of course, they need to subscribe to it – and for the majority of people, that will be iTunes.  And to make that happen, you are going to want to check out this for details on how to make that happen.

iTunes is a biggie – but not everyone uses iTunes. For example, me – because I don’t own any Apple products and iTunes won’t work on my Android phone.

For people that have Android devices, there are a variety of different podcast apps to use including Pocket CastsOvercastPodcast AddictPodcast Republic, and more.

Now, one of the nice things about iTunes is that many of these podcast apps grab the RSS feeds from iTunes so you benefit from their strategy to mimic iTunes for Android users!

What follows is a short list, in no particular order, of the more popular hosting platforms that are used for distribution.  Some are fee-based, some have free plans so check them out and see what makes the most sense for you.


Survivor of some financial challenges in 2017, this is where we tested podcasts for DWS Associates. (We also tested iTunes.)  It’s easy to use and offers free hosting.  SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform based in Berlin, Germany that enables its users to upload, promote, and share their originally-created audio.


Billing themselves as the “leading podcasting and on-demand audio platform for hosting, distributing and monetizing content”.  AudioBoom works with more than 4,000 broadcasters, content creators and podcasters around the world ‐ including the BBC, Associated Press, NBC Sports Radio and Undisclosed ‐ hosting more than 12,000 content channels. (Source: https://audioboomplc.com/)

Omny Studio

Claiming to have made “enterprise podcasting simple”, they offer hosting, sharing, monetization opportunities and more.


Offers free audio hosting, publishing, distribution, and analytics – as well as paid plans.  Beyond that, they are a bit of a mystery – check out their site for examples.



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How to Build Your Audience in Other Ways

Here are a few tried and true approaches to take that can have a dramatic impact on your ability to build your podcast’s listener base.

Get Great Guests and Leverage their Base

One of the most effective ways I have found to build an audience is to provide them with unique access to well-known guest on your podcast.  Line up some “Star Power” and build on it with your promotional efforts so that listeners have plenty of advanced warning that this special guest will be on your podcast – and then after the podcast, leverage the content.

Let’s say you record the podcast on Monday, edit on Tuesday and the podcast goes live on Wednesday.

While editing, look for great quotes.  Start posting them on your social media accounts Tuesday evening as a teaser for the Wednesday Live.

Send out emails with quotes and images to your email base on Wednesday morning with a link to the podcast.

Use soundbites from the actual podcast on social media on Wednesday too.

Have the entire podcast transcribed so you can use it as a handout/give-away – as well as a source for a couple of upcoming blog posts, emails and maybe a whitepaper.

Transcribe Your Podcasts

Speaking of transcribing – you want to do this all the time because not everyone wants to or can listen to a podcast.  Check out rev.com and fiverr.com.

When You Launch, Launch Multiple Episodes

People love to binge – and there is nothing more frustrating than launching a podcast series with one episode and leaving everyone that excitedly went out of their way to make the time with one episode.

Get them hooked. Give them 3 or more episodes.

iTunes Review Giveaway Contest

Start a few weeks before your podcast starts and promote the heck of your podcast launch – offering prizes to those that leave a review on iTunes immediately after the first podcast airs.  (Well after the first 3 air, right? See above!)

The more reviews, and downloads and listens…the more iTunes pays attention and that helps you too.

Co-Promote with Partners

You say their name, they say yours…both audiences listen and growth occurs.  Ideally, this is a partner/vendor that also has a podcast so when they mention your podcast to their audience, it’s a group of people that enjoy podcasts so they are more likely to listen to another podcast.

But try it with emails/e-newsletters too – you never know until you test.

Be A Guest.

I mentioned being a guest back in Part 1 as a way to determine if podcasting was for you. Well, it’s also a great way to promote your own podcast once you launch.

And That’s How To Build Your Audience

Some of you might be thinking “Jeez, sounds like I am spending a lot of time promoting a podcast rather than my own business” – and that’s the line you need to be careful about crossing.

But to be honest, you find that line and do a good job managing both, the pay off can be significant.

So, did I cover everything? Miss anything? Mention something that has you wondering?  Feel free to add to the comments or email me directly!

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