How to switch podcast hosting platforms without losing subscribers

On Reddit, a user asked:

I am wanting to switch podcast hosting services. When I switch, will all the podcast directories upload new episodes when I put the link to my new RSS feed into the RSS feed redirect of the old host? For instance, after I switch services and upload a new episode via the new hosting service, will Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, Stitcher etc have the new episode listed?

Here's how to switch your host without losing subscribers on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Step 1: forward your podcast's old RSS feed to your new RSS feed

Podcast players (like Apple Podcasts and Spotify) pull your podcast's information from your RSS feed. A 301 redirect lets these apps know where your new feed is hosted.

On most hosting platforms, doing a 301 redirect from your old RSS to your new RSS is easy:

  • On Simplecast: go to "Podcast settings" and scroll to the bottom until you see "Advanced settings."

  • On Libsyn: go to your Dashboard and click on "Destinations." Click "Edit" for the "Libsyn Classic Feed." Click "Advanced Options" at the bottom of the page.  Paste in your new Transistor feed URL in the "Redirect Feed to this Web Address" input box.

  • On Buzzsprout: go to "My Profile" and then to the "Cancel/Redirect Podcast" tab. You should see an option that says "Redirect Your Podcast Feed."

(Want to migrate your podcast to Transistor from Simplecast, Libsyn, or Buzzsprout? Read this guide).

Step 2: update your RSS feed URL on Apple Podcast Connect

Marco Arment, the creator of Overcast, notes the importance of Apple Podcasts:

The iTunes Store’s Podcasts directory is the only one that matters, and being listed there is essential for podcasts to be easily found when searching in most apps.

Apple should follow the 301 redirect to your new podcast feed, but you can also update your feed address on Apple's Podcast Connect. Just log in, find your show, and paste in your new feed URL.

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Step 3: update your RSS feed on Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play

While most apps and directories (like Overcast, Pocket Casts, Castro, Breaker) will scrape Apple's podcast directory, there are a few other "walled gardens" that you'll need to update manually.

You can do this yourself on Stitcher and Google Podcasts, but there's no formal way to do this with Spotify. (At Transistor, we manually email our Spotify contact in London to do this for you).

Step 4: wait a few weeks before deleting your account!

After you've redirected your old RSS feed to your new feed, it's best to wait two weeks before you delete your old hosting account. Also, it can take 24-48 hours for Apple to propagate your new feed on their platform. Be patient!

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Published on August 1st, 2020
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