Every podcast needs a valid RSS feed. This is what you'll submit to Apple Podcasts and Spotify. A podcast hosting provider (like Transistor) will generate your RSS feed for you automatically when you upload your audio.
RSS originally stood for "Rich Site Summary," however, it's now more popularly known as "Really Simple Syndication."
A podcast RSS feed is a collection of episodes for a single podcast, formatted using a language called XML. When a listener views your podcast in their podcast player, the RSS feed is what provides information on your:
Podcast cover art
Episode MP3 location
Episode cover art
Episode show notes
Episode publish date
You submit your podcast's RSS feed URL to Apple Podcasts and Spotify in order to appear in their directory.
Here's an example RSS feed URL for a podcast:
This is where a podcast hosting company comes in. Their software allows you to create episodes, upload your recorded audio, add show notes, and publish your episode to an RSS feed.
Once you have a valid RSS feed, you can submit it to podcast directories and players like iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, and Stitcher.
In Transistor, you find your RSS feed URL in the "Distribution" section. However, we also provide an easy way to submit your RSS feed to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other major podcast players:
Now, every time you upload a new episode, your hosting provider (Transistor), will update your RSS feed. Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other players will, in turn, scan your RSS feed, see that there's a new episode, and update their directories.
To ensure your podcast's RSS feed is valid, you can use a validator like Podbase.