You’re nearing the finish line for your podcast. The strategizing, planning, recording, and editing are finally done.
Now it’s time to get your creation to the ears of your target audience. This is achieved through an essential component of the podcast process: Publishing your show on podcast directories.
Much like you would have used a phonebook back in the day to look someone up, a podcast directory helps you find relevant podcasts that you can listen, subscribe, and rate and review, all in one place (depending on the platform).
When it comes to getting your show in front of your listeners through podcast directories, it’s really a numbers game. It’s a simple equation: the more places you can get your podcast to show up for listeners, the more exposure you’ll be rewarded with.
So does that mean you should just upload your podcast to any old podcast directory and call it a day? As we’ve already mentioned, it’s a numbers game, so in a sense—yes! But don’t worry, there are tools out there to automate the majority of this process for you.
But at the end of the day, it’s about listening to your audience and understanding the directories that they prefer using. To get you started, we put together a list of the top 15 podcast directories that you should publish your show on.
CoHost Tip: If you’re interested in learning how to get your podcast on all the major listening apps, consult our guide.
What is a podcast directory?
First things first, what is a podcast directory anyway?
A podcast directory is a listing containing a large volume of podcasts, usually upwards of 100,000 shows in total. Depending on the podcast directory, users may have access to a variety of different tools, features, and functions to help them find, sort, organize, and of course, listen to their favorite shows
As you can imagine, the more podcast directories you add your podcast to, the more listeners, subscribers, ratings and reviews you’ll be able to amass.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the top podcast directories in 2023.
Spotify is a popular music app for iPhones and Androids. Many people use Spotify as their go-to podcast directory since they can keep their music and podcasts all in one place, while others prefer to keep the two separate.
As of October 2023, Spotify is the top listening app with ¼ podcast listeners choosing Spotify as their preferred listening app. Additionally, Spotify skews significantly younger than Apple Podcasts. For people aged 65+, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts are most preferred after the radio.
Looking for advertising capabilities? Create compelling ads with Spotify Advertising.
Contrary to popular belief, Apple didn’t invent podcasting, but they were certainly one of the first players to hit the field when they added podcasting to its music software back in 2005. It’s undisputed that Apple Podcasts is the second most popular podcast directory today, with 28.5 million monthly users.
As of September 2023, iOS 17 brings episode art and a new Now Playing experience to Apple Podcasts. This comes with a few other advancements including search filters and the ability to connect subscriptions to top apps from the App Store.
Apple Podcasts offers a variety of advertising and promotion options. Check them out here.
iHeart Radio is the number one podcast publisher around the world with over 250,000 podcasts like Stuff You Should Know and Disgraceland. It stands as an all-encompassing digital audio streaming platform, boasting a vast repertoire of more than 850 stations and a staggering user base of 128 million people.
iHeart extends its accessibility to over 250 different devices, ensuring a seamless listening experience for all.
Reaching 9/10 Americans a month, iHeart has a variety of competitive advertising options.
If you’re hoping to reach Android users with your podcast, Podcast Addict is another essential podcast directory to list your show. Podcast Addict holds the top spot among Android podcast apps, boasting a remarkable 10 million downloads and 500,000 reviews. This feature-rich platform provides cloud backup, powerful audio customization, and the convenience of offline listening.
On Podcast Addict, there are 2 different ad placements available:
- The main screen that allows users to search for a new podcast
- A specific category when the user browses podcasts by category
Calling itself an app “for listeners, by listeners,” Pocket Casts is a great listening platform for anyone who likes a little extra customization. Partially owned by NPR, the platform is full of nifty tools and personalized elements so listeners can find shows they’ll love and organize their favorites in a way that makes sense to them.
PocketCasts offers a variety of advertising options to get your show in front of some of the most lota listeners.
With over 259,000,000 volumes of content, Castbox is one podcast directory you won’t want to miss out on. The app works across Android, Apple iPhone, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Carplay, and Android Auto, so you know you’ll be reaching a broad audience through Castbox.
Castbox distinguishes itself through SEO and AI-enhanced functionalities, simplifying the search experience for its users. When you choose to showcase your podcast on Castbox, you gain entry to the Creator Studio, equipped with podcast analytics and social capabilities that empower podcasters to interact with their audience.
Currently, Castbox does not offer any advertising options.
As part of Amazon, Audible has all the latest hit podcasts and classic favorites. Plenty of listeners like to keep their podcasts with their audiobooks using Audible, so this is another podcast directory you won’t want to skip.
As of 2023, Audible has amassed 55 million avid listeners. The best part? Listeners can enjoy these podcasts without requiring an Amazon Prime or Audible subscription.
3rd-party podcasts may include advertisements, endorsements or sponsorship messages. Audible cannot remove or disable these ads.
While it may represent a mere 0.1% of podcast downloads, securing inclusion on this platform opens up distinctive avenues for your podcast's reach, including accessibility in unconventional locales like Tesla vehicles.
TuneIn allows for advertising, but users must meet their guidelines laid out here.
The Podcast Index
Created by one of the inventors of podcasting, Adam Curry, and developer Dave Jones, the Podcast Index is a podcast directory designed to protect and preserve the indie podcast ecosystem. The platform does this by steering clear of advertising completely, and remaining free and open for any creators to use.
This index system not only verifies information within pre-existing directories but also facilitates seamless submission directly through your chosen podcast hosting platform.
The Podcast Index does not have advertising capabilities.
SoundCloud functions as both a social network and a streaming platform, providing users with the ability to engage through comments, likes, and shares of the audio content they're enjoying. The app is available across the web, iOS, Android, Sonos, Chromecast, and Xbox One, so you’ll be reaching a broad audience base through SoundCloud.
While Soundcloud is excellent for fostering audience engagement, it may fall short in catering to podcasters' needs, lacking the automatic upload of your existing episodes via your RSS feed.
SoundCloud provides advertising support for brands and creators. Learn more about their advertising options here.
PlayerFM is a multi-platform podcast directory that helps listeners find new shows they’ll love. It lists over 20 million free podcasts across different hosting sites, which helps it maintain a diverse and eclectic selection of fascinating pods. Additionally, PlayerFM has an array of advanced search features that make it perfect for discoverability.
PlayerFM helps you and your team build out an advertising strategy for their platform. Submit the form and learn more here.
As one of the largest podcast companies in the world with over 60 million monthly active users, Acast is another important podcast directory to add to your list. The platform provides hosting, analytics, ads, growth support, and more, making it a great full-service option for all podcasters.
Acast has an audience-first approach to advertising. Simply select your objective and start advertising on the platform.
Making use of advanced search functionality and an extensive podcast database, Podchaser is an excellent podcast directory for listeners hoping to discover new shows. It offers a tool for listeners to build a feed of their favorite shows, as well as a list of the most popular shows that should be on your radar right now.
Audiences have the opportunity to explore a podcaster's dedicated pages, where they can access the podcaster's most recent episodes and guest appearances on other podcasts. Furthermore, podcast hosts have the ability to incorporate merchandise offerings through their own virtual storefront, all while gathering valuable insights and feedback from their dedicated listeners.
"Airchecks" has been announced – a novel measurement tool for advertisers by Podchaser. This innovative tool is designed to identify keywords and patterns within ongoing campaigns, providing valuable insights for advertisers. Learn more about this tool and their advertising options here.
Pandora is a prominent player in the audio streaming industry with over 52 million active monthly listeners. A subsidiary of SiriusXM, the platform offers an extensive collection of podcasts in addition to its music streaming services.
What sets Pandora apart is its distinctive personalized listening experience, powered by the innovative Music Genome Project technology. This sophisticated algorithm delves into individual listener preferences, enabling the creation of tailored playlists and recommendations that align with each listener's distinct tastes.
Spreaker by iHeart, offers a podcast player application compatible with both iOS and Android devices. This app boasts a plethora of personalized listening features and provides comprehensive analytics tools for podcast creators.
It serves as a comprehensive solution for podcasters, facilitating recording, publishing, monetization, and podcast distribution, all within a single platform. Users can access a wide selection of top-quality podcasts without any subscription fees. Notably, as of 2023, Spreaker's professional podcast platform is available to content creators at no cost.
Spreaker has an Ad Exchange program, ads get automatically and dynamically inserted on your content.
Podcast hosting platforms
To make the publication process easier, we highly suggest leveraging a podcast hosting platform with automatic publishing to podcast dictionaries. This automation not only saves time and effort but also maximizes your discoverability and reach.
In short, podcast hosting platforms create and maintain a standardized RSS feed. This feed is then submitted to multiple podcast directories, enabling your content to be automatically updated and accessible to your audience across the globe.
Here are a few of our favorite podcast hosting platforms:
CoHost is a podcast analytics, hosting, and audience insights platform. It goes beyond simple distribution to various podcast directories, offering you an extensive set of data and insights to assess your show's performance, understand your audience, and gauge its reception.
CoHost has simplified podcast hosting for effortless podcast management, publishing, and team organization.
Some key hosting features include:
- One click publishing: Publish your episode across all listening platforms including Apple, Spotify, Google, and Amazon.
- Customized media players: Embed your podcast episodes into any website and customize your media player to fit your brand.
- Multi-show management: Switch between client or brand shows without ever having to log out of your account.
- Team collaboration: Invite team members or clients to CoHost while maintaining permissions control and account security
PodBean has become a very popular podcast hosting platform and is ideal for beginner to intermediate podcasters. With unlimited hosting and bandwidth, it is suitable for high-volume podcasters.
Here are a few more key features:
- A user-friendly website builder to create a custom podcast site.
- Built-in monetization options like patron support and a marketplace for finding sponsors.
- Supports video podcasting in addition to audio podcasts.
- Allows you to record and publish episodes directly from your mobile device.
Anchor is a free podcast hosting platform, making it ideal for podcasters o a budget. They aso offer recording and editing tools within the platform for streamlined episode creation.
Here are some more key features:
- Distributes your podcast to multiple directories automatically.
- Basic analytics to track your podcast's performance.
- Monetization options through listener support and sponsored segments.
For more hosting options and an in-depth comparison, check out our full list of the top podcast hosting sites.
Expand your show’s reach with podcast directories
Whether you're a podcast creator looking to expand your reach or a devoted listener seeking fresh, engaging content, these directories provide invaluable resources. From established giants like Apple Podcasts and Spotify to emerging platforms catering to niche interests, there's something for everyone.
If you’re looking to take your podcast to the next level, our helpful team of audio experts is always happy to chat!