Podcasting is not something you master from the start. You can only grow along the way. Unfortunately for some, this means having to go through a number of podcast hosting companies. But switching to another can not only be quite tedious but also detrimental if not done right. In this episode, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard provide a smart guide to help you switch your podcast host without losing listeners. Tom and Tracy are both well-familiar with this dilemma, having picked up the pieces themselves many times for their very own clients. They share great insights, tips, and tricks to help you go through the process without falling into the common issues that could cost you. From listings to analytics and everything in between, Tom and Tracy have you covered. So tune in to learn the best practices to keep your show safe. Remember, you don’t have to lose your listeners; you only have to switch hosts the right way.

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A Smart Guide To Switching Your Podcast Host Without Losing Listeners

We are going to cover an interesting topic that not everybody needs to deal with, but it’s something that you might come across. You may not be happy with your podcast hosting company. We are going to give you a smart guide to switching your podcast host without losing listeners because we hear this on the other side. We end up picking up the pieces many times when it has been done badly and done wrong when you’ve switched podcast hosts. All of a sudden, your feed is gone. Your listeners are gone. Everything went wrong for you. We want to prevent that. We’re giving you this smart guide to switching your podcast host.

Thank you, Tracy, for introducing that topic. I thought I would very briefly state why you might want to switch your podcast host or what are some conditions under which that might either need to happen or might be a choice. We have had two podcast hosting platforms disappeared and go out of business in 2022. That’s the first reason you might need to do it. One hosting company announced to all their podcasters, “We’re going out of business. You need to switch your host by January 31st, or your podcast will cease to exist.” That’s a pretty scary one in my book.

There’s the more positive one where you might be switching to a hosting company that’s going to offer you an advertisement. When your contract fails or doesn’t do what you expected it to do, which happens also very frequently with those companies that offer that, as soon as you can, you can’t wait to leave them and move back over. They don’t make it easy for you.

If you are not doing everything yourself and you have a producer editing your audio and doing things for you, and you change producers or you’ve been doing it yourself and then you finally work with a producer, they may tell you, “You have to host on this platform. I only work with that platform.” I want to tell you right off the bat that’s a bunch of garbage. You don’t have to do that.

There might be some conveniences, advantages, or a good reason why you might want to do that if you want to make it easier on your producer, but anybody can publish your episodes on any platform. There are platforms that have more features, better analytics, ad insertion that you have control of, automatic intro and outro, some editing features, and all sorts of things or a unique player. We have the ShowCastR at Podetize that has some advanced capabilities that aren’t available on other platforms.

In full disclosure, which you glossed over right there, Podetize is a hosting company. While we are giving you advice on how this works, we’re a hosting company that works pretty differently. We developed most of those products and services because we have seen them go wrong so often. We’re providing you the framework to do this, but it doesn’t matter whether you come to us, although some of these things do not apply if you move to us because we take care of it for you.

That’s true. I was going to address some of that. People that host with us don’t have these problems because we do it all for you. We have picked up some pieces of some bad situations of podcasters that weren’t served properly by another host. When you decide to leave them, they’re like, “You’re dead to me.” They aren’t going to help you.

Why don’t we talk about some of those things? Now that you said some of the reasons you might want to switch, why don’t we address some of the things that could go wrong that could cost you?

Some of the pitfalls are things you want to make sure you avoid. Before we’re done with this episode, I’m going to go through a list of best practices in the order in which you may want to do things so that you avoid some of these. One of the number one pitfalls or errors I see a lot of people make when they switch a podcast host is they say, “I’m on a new host. I have to register it on Apple again.” That’s a big no-no.

You end up with two feeds.

You don’t necessarily end up with two feeds, but you do end up with two podcast listings on Apple. You search for the name of your show, and you will see two of them there. You’re like, “How did that happen?” I’ve seen people that have changed hosts 2 or 3 times and have had 3 different listings on Apple. That is a very unfortunate situation you want to avoid because while there’s nothing inherently wrong with there being three listings, people can get your show through any of them if it’s done properly.

Footnote, when we get to what we call a 301 redirect for your podcast, we haven’t gotten there yet. As long as it has been redirected properly, all three of those listings will have your latest episodes. The problem is confusion. You will find that the oldest listing is where all your reviews and your ratings are, and the new one has none. It doesn’t put your best foot forward and make the best impression. When people search and find your show and there are three listings. They click on one, “It has no reviews. People must not like this show.”

 

FYB A Smart Guide to Switching Your Podcast Host Without Losing Listeners | Switching Podcast Host

 

You could end up with listeners in some of those other ones. When you do get this adjusted, fixed, and consolidated, they disappear.

Here’s the unfortunate and frustrating pitfall of ending up with more than one listing of your show on Apple. It can happen on other apps too. Most often, we see this on Apple because people do tend to register their shows, or a producer will register it for you again when they shouldn’t. When you have more than one listing on Apple, people are going to find it and start listening to each of those listings.

What I want everyone to understand is you can ask Apple nicely, threaten them, or be angry with them but they will never merge two or more listings into one. They do not have that capability in their software system. You either need to leave them all there and live with it, which I don’t think is a great situation, especially when one has 50 ratings and reviews, and one has none or 1 or 2.

It’s not putting your best foot forward and not making the best impression. The only thing Apple will let you do is delete listings. You can delete the duplicate ones that probably have fewer listeners. The problem is those people won’t even realize you’ve deleted it. You’ve cut them off. Their Apple podcast listening app won’t serve them up to the next episode that publishes. It’s an unfortunate situation. It is completely unnecessary.

We want to prevent it from the beginning. We don’t want to do it.

Beware. If your show is already on all the listening apps when you change hosts and if it’s done properly, you do not need to register your show on those apps again. That’s something not everybody knows.

Any hosting company or any producer who tells you otherwise is outright wrong on that. That does not need to happen. If you’re registered once, you are registered.

Another footnote to that is to make sure you have control of your Apple listing, or the company that syndicated you to Apple is willing to transfer that to you. It is easier a lot of the time. At Podetize, we register our customers’ shows on Apple for them, but we also are completely willing to transfer that ownership to the podcast host or the owner of the podcast.

They can still give us access to it through our Apple account, but that doesn’t always happen. We find some producers and other hosting companies end up holding that Apple listing hostage. You don’t end up easily with control of it. There’s a way to yank it from them. There’s a way to do that, but you have to at least have control of the RSS feed. I’m getting too deep in the woods on that already.

For Apple listings, you get some help if you don’t know. Seek some advice. You don’t want to end up with multiple Apple listings. It causes confusion. It’s unnecessary and ultimately not in your best interest. I have seen it where a show gets so far down that road where they’ve got so many listeners, ratings, and reviews on more than one, “It’s going to be confusing to people but I’m going to leave those two listings up forever.”

I have had other customers though say, “I don’t care. Stick with the original one. Kill the old one. I’m going to rip the Band-Aid off and deal with whatever pain that is if listeners are not finding me. They may have to resubscribe to the original one but I only want one because I don’t want that confusion.” Enough about Apple listings. Let’s talk about something that is often on people’s minds when they switch hosts, and that’s analytics.

 

 

People think that they’re going to lose their statistics when they switch hosts.

Most of the time, they do, quite honestly.

Let’s be honest about it. Most of the time, you do lose your statistics. We do not have that here at Podetize. They do not lose their statistics when they come here to Podetize. That is something that we decided when we were going to create a hosting company. We were not going to allow that to happen because why would anyone choose to come to us if they were going to lose their statistics? There are many hosting companies out there that say, “That’s the cost of leaving us. We want you to lose them.” That’s why you’re going to choose them.

They want to make it more painful for you to move. In all of them, you can export the analytics. It’s that none of the platforms have a way to import analytics from another platform. At Podetize, we do. We built that in from the get-go. You can have your historic play or download numbers per episode and in total from another platform. I don’t know of any other host that does that other than us. We also do it for you. We just need the exported spreadsheet of analytics from the old platform. We can import them into Podetize. You continue to build on the old numbers going forward.

The number one thing to remember is you can export your data and keep it. That’s a good practice in and of itself. Export your data and make sure you save it no matter where you’re going. In our particular case, we will take care of it and import it for you. That’s not an ongoing issue for us.

I’m going to move on from analytics. Here’s another thing that you probably haven’t thought of. This is only if you’re on a platform where you have ads inserted into your episodes. Not every platform does this. Podetize has the ability for you to have ads deployed into all your episodes. I’m not talking about what we call programmatic ads that are streamed on the front end. I’m talking about ads that end up being at least temporarily a part of the downloaded MP3 file.

Before you move platforms, you have to make sure you remove all those ads from your episodes. Otherwise, when your show gets imported to the new platform, it’s imported with those ads in it. The only way to remove them is to edit them out the hard way. If you’ve got 50 or 100 episodes that have ads in them, it’s going to cost you some money or an awful lot of time if you do it yourself. There is a way to remove all ads from your episodes before your show is imported to another platform.

This is something that we have to remember, especially if you come from a platform where you move to them so that you can have ads put in. It doesn’t have to stay there. That’s something that you may not realize. Those ads don’t have to stay there. There might be a way to remove them.

That’s as long as they’re being added with a software system that’s part of the platform. If they have been edited the hard way, and they’re going to live there forever, you made that choice when you did it. They’re going to live there unless you edit them out. Now that I mentioned something in that about the ads before you import your show to another platform, I want to explain what that means.

Every show has an RSS feed. That is the mechanism your episodes are delivered to every listening app. Your show identity or the listing is made available to every listening app. When you move from one platform to another, you might be thinking, “Do I have to re-upload all those episodes one at a time?” No. Pretty much every podcast hosting service has the ability to take an RSS feed from another platform, read it, and import all your episodes into their platform. We do it at Podetize.

All we need is the RSS feed. You paste it into a field and click Import. In 5 or 10 minutes, it depends on how many episodes you have. We have one show imported to our system that had over 1,500 episodes. That took fifteen minutes to import, but it will do it all for you. It will duplicate every episode, every title, every description, and all the details of each episode into the new platform and duplicate it, which is great because you don’t have to redo any of that work.

 

 

You don’t have to do it manually.

Although there are a couple of pitfalls that you want to be aware of in doing that. While it makes it easy, there are things you may end up copying over from the other platform that you didn’t realize are being copied over that are not in your best interest. One of those key things is an episode web link, which you will find if you’re an Apple Podcasts user as a listening platform.

In every episode, there’s the title, the description, some links, info, and then this link called episode webpage, which in the world of Podetize production, it goes to a unique blog post for that episode. We have talked about this in some ways when we talk about platforms that try to hijack your traffic or benefit from your listener traffic. There are some platforms that will create a webpage on their website.

I’m going to go ahead and name a few. Libsyn does this. Podbean does it. There are lots of different platforms that create a page on their website for every one of your episodes. They put that link in that episode web link field for the episode. When you’re on one of those platforms that do that, when you import your feed to another platform, they don’t change that episode webpage link. You could move from Libsyn to Podetize, and that link for each episode is going to go back to a Libsyn page, which is not in your best interest.

That’s not going to happen here because we will fix it for you. You just need to message us and let us know. We will take care of it on our end for you if it didn’t fix itself automatically in the process. Sometimes it doesn’t. In the import process, it doesn’t always fix itself. You message us, and we will take care of it for you.

At Podetize, we care about these things, and we’re watching for them. When you move from one platform to another, pretty much they’re like, “You’re on your own.” Those links are going to come in, whatever they are.

It’s automation. If it was in the feed, it’s going to still be in the feed that way. You need to recognize that. In full disclosure, if you do decide to leave Podetize for whatever reason, I hope you don’t, and we have done this for you and put your blog link in there, your blog link should be fine because it has nothing to do with Podetize. We won’t let you put in our hosting platform. We don’t hijack it. We don’t want that. We want you to have your blog link as your episode link. When you move from Podetize to somewhere else, you should be fine.

There’s nothing you would need or want to change in that regard. The other one you want to watch out for is the official email address for your show. A lot of platforms put an email address in your show listing. This is the show level, not the episode level. You have your show cover art, show title, show description, and copyright line. There’s an official email address line for the show. If you haven’t put in a specific email of yours that you want as the public-facing email address for the show, the other platform will put in an email address for their platform.

I’ve seen this on Transistor, Libsyn, Podbean, Captivate, and all sorts of different platforms. We don’t do that at Podetize. There’s no reason to do that. It’s not in your best interest. If there’s a temporary reason to do it because you’re needing to get some service from Apple, and we’re communicating with them on your behalf, we might do it temporarily but we would always put it back. All too often, I see shows come in with an email address for another platform or another producer.

If someone else was in control of your listing and created it for you, you want to be aware of these things and double-check, “Are all these details in my best interest? Is it set up the way it should be?” You have to look at those things because when it imports, it’s going to come over in whatever it was from the other platform. You can fix things like that either before you import the show to a new platform or after because those things are changeable in the show settings. It’s very important. We should talk about whether people need to worry if they’re going to lose listeners when they change platforms. Aside from analytics, that’s probably the number one concern.

Losing stats is a big anxiety point. Losing listeners is an even bigger anxiety point because you don’t want to lose your listeners. We talked about what happens when you have multiple feeds. There is a potential for losing listeners there. Assuming that doesn’t happen when you move hosts and your RSS feed, are you going to lose your listeners?

FYB A Smart Guide to Switching Your Podcast Host Without Losing Listeners | Switching Podcast Host

Switching Podcast Host: Pretty much every podcast hosting service has the ability to take an RSS feed from another platform, read it, and import all your episodes into their platform.

 

If it’s done properly, no. That is a caveat. I can’t speak for what other platforms do. If you’re going to a platform that’s truly a DIY or do-it-yourself platform, and they don’t provide any support for moving your show and importing your show, I can’t speak for what they do. I can only speak for our experience and what we do at Podetize. When your show is imported to our platform, we make sure you don’t lose any listeners. What I’m here to say is there’s no reason you should, as long as it’s done properly.

When you come to Podetize, we will do it for you, but the listeners or the subscribers are at the app level. I want to make sure that’s clear. People subscribe to your show through their favorite listening app, Apple, Spotify, iHeart, or Goodpods. It doesn’t matter. There are so many obscure apps these days. That’s at the app level. Behind the scenes of the app, your show is fed to the app by the RSS feed. This is going to get too technical for some of you, and I apologize if it is. The mechanism to update all the apps globally, anywhere that it is syndicated, is to redirect the RSS feed. It’s called a permanent 301 redirect done at the old host level. We do this for our customers if you give us your login credentials to your old platform.

It doesn’t get messed up because it can happen. The 301 redirect model is continuity.

Let’s say you were on Podbean. When I listen to Apple Podcasts and press play, what does the Apple app do? It goes to Podbean and says, “Play me that episode.” What the 301 redirect does, which would be put in place at Podbean to go to Podetize, when I as a listener play that episode, it goes to Podbean. Podbean says, “Don’t come here. Go over to Podetize. That’s where you will find it.” It immediately plays and the listener has no idea. That’s the point. Your end listener is still subscribed to your show because they’re subscribed to your show through the app, not your host.

On the backend, that redirect tells the app, “Get all the information from the new host, not the old host.” All the apps will eventually update their system so they no longer look at the old host. They look at the new host. That’s why when you do change hosts and redirect your show, you need to leave the old host live for a few weeks. We recommend three weeks, so all those apps update before you shut down the old host.

That means that at some hosts, you will be paying for two places. Let’s be clear about that.

There’s an overlap for a month at most.

It’s one of the reasons that we very often offer free 30 days when someone signs on with us so that there is that allowance of the overlap period. That can happen there, but it is one of those things where you will want to make an overlap purposely so that it can make sure that it is done correctly. The apps all update. Before you cancel your old host, doublecheck that it has happened.

I do have a list of best practices I want to share with everyone before we’re done with this episode. One of those things is specific to Apple. In our experience looking at all the 1,000-plus shows we have launched and then others that we host on our platform, the vast majority of podcast listens are coming through an Apple listening app. There are very few shows that’s not the case. I could count them on the fingers on one hand for whatever reason. There’s a unique circumstance. Between 50% to 90% of podcasters’ listens in our experience are coming from Apple. It’s the most important one you want to make sure is properly switched.

Apple and then Spotify can sometimes be flipped depending on your show. This is one of the good reasons why exporting your stats, doublechecking them, and knowing where they’re coming from helps you be efficient at who and where you care about checking.

Let me go through the best practices.

When you have more than one listing on Apple, people are going to find it and start listening to each of those listings. Click To Tweet

Before you go through the best practices, I want to recap this for everyone. Losing listeners doesn’t need to happen. It needs to be done correctly so that there’s a permanent 301 redirect. When that happens, within about three weeks, everything should be cleared through all the apps, and that shouldn’t happen. Losing listeners doesn’t need to happen, but it is a concern that many podcasters have when they switch hosts. If you do it wrong, it will happen.

We have had people leave a platform. Let’s say Blog Talk Radio. These internet radio networks are notorious for this. You move your show from them but they say, “We own the Apple listing. You don’t.” That’s wrong, but they will try to tell you, “You just put it back on Apple again.” You’re then starting all over with listeners. You don’t want to do that. It doesn’t have to happen.

Losing listeners doesn’t have to happen. Losing stats does frequently happen. It doesn’t happen on Podetize but it does frequently happen in other places. Some podcasters don’t care about that. It’s not important to them, and that’s fine. You choose what you care about in the process of things. If you’re looking to do advertising, at any point in the future, you do not want to lose your stats. I want you to think that through. Your historical stats matter in an advertising model that is a PPM, CPM, or whatever you want to call it. Those numbers that you might be using in the future for ad dollars will matter if you lose that. Think that through.

Advertisers are not going to advertise in the hope that you’re going to get a certain level of listenership in the future. They want to know what’s your history and what have you been getting per month. You can export all that from the old platform and have that data and transparency if you want to.

The third thing that you said is critically important. I want to reiterate and make sure everybody heard that. It is that if you have what we call dynamic ad insertions or ads being inserted in some streaming way or model way where they end up attached to your file, you want to make sure that you remove them before.

Before you import your feed to a new platform because then your MP3 files coming clean aren’t burdened with those ads that probably will become outdated at some point. You’re then free to insert new ones on the new platform as long as they have that capability. You put them in and take them out. The point is you don’t want to burden yourself with either having to spend the money or the time to remove old ads the hard way, which means editing software offline and re-uploading a new MP3 file. If you’ve got a hundred or a couple of hundred episodes, that’s going to be tremendously laborious and/or expensive to pay someone else to do it.

The first thing you said is about episode links. Knowing that they’re there, you may have to update them. You may need to check web emails and all those things but they are fixable in one way or the other without a lot of labor and time. You can either do it before you move or after you move. It doesn’t matter but make sure you fix them at some point in the process. There was a fifth thing in there. What am I missing?

We talked about duplicate listings. That’s something that usually doesn’t happen before you move. It usually is an error. Honestly, I see podcast owners or hosts themselves doing it, assuming they need to. It’s an unfortunate error that they did not need to do. If you’re already on a listening app, you don’t need to do anything. Let’s run down the best practices. This is Tom’s list of best practices when you are going to move podcast hosts.

The number one best practice is, shameless plug, come to Podetize. We will do it for you. You don’t have to worry about it. If you don’t do that, here’s your list of best practices. Update your podcast website and email address in the show listing before you move. It makes it a little cleaner and easier. Remove all ads from the ad insertion system. Your episodes are the original MP3 files they were before you ever put any ads. Turn off any ads system to make sure when you import that feed somewhere else that there’s nothing there.

Can you out a couple of hosts that are that way? Megaphone is like that.

Megaphone is one. Transistor is another. Even Podbean has some level of ad system. You have to check Libsyn. A lot of platforms have programmatic ads. Not all programmatic ad systems are the same. Some of them are only working when you’re streaming. That means they’re not permanently in your episodes but others are making it a part of the downloadable MP3 file. Make sure. If it’s part of the downloadable MP3 file, you have to turn it off.

FYB A Smart Guide to Switching Your Podcast Host Without Losing Listeners | Switching Podcast Host

Switching Podcast Host: Between 50% to 90% of podcast listeners come from Apple.

 

If you hear an ad on your episode and you click Download Episode, listen to it again. If there’s no ad in it, you’re good to go.

From any system, you can download the public MP3 file, and you will hear if the ads are in it. Remove ads first. Here’s a little thing I didn’t go into too much detail but if you have any episodes in your old platform because you’ve recorded ahead and you’ve edited them ahead but are scheduled to publish and have not been published yet, they will not import in your RSS feed. Beware of that.

Let’s say I published an episode this week. I have next week’s episode and the week after that is already scheduled. You think, “I’m going to import my feed into a new platform. Everything will come over.” Only the published episodes are going to come over. The ones that are not yet published but are scheduled to publish will not. You have two choices. You’re either going to wait until all those episodes have been published, and then import your feed to a new platform, or you’re going to have to re-upload those future scheduled episodes to the new platform there manually. Hopefully, there are only a few.

That’s why good practice is to have the overlap so that you can copy and paste and move over.

You need to have a little overlap. There are a couple of things before you import the feed. We’re going to get to what happens after you import the feed. This is the next big one. This is after. The next thing would be to take your feed and import it into the new platform. That’s something you need to do. Sometimes you can do it yourself. Sometimes you have to have them do it.

What about the stats?

The stats come after. There’s a very good reason why. I almost did that myself. You heard me hesitate. I was going to say something before the feed, and even I remembered that’s after the feed. Here’s the thing. Import the feed to the new platform. Once that’s done, double-check it. Make sure the same number of episodes are published in the old and the new. Make sure there’s no error. As long as the same number of episodes exist in the old feed and the new feed, then you’re going to do the 301 redirect.

A lot of times, you can do that yourself. What you’re going to need to do is take the new feed from the new platform and paste that into a 301 redirect feed in the old platform. In some platforms like Anchor and others, you have to email their support and request them to redirect it. You can’t do it yourself but they will do it usually within a day. Here’s the important thing. Once that redirect is in place, then you export your stats from the old platform because if you do it before you redirect it, you’re going to export all these files with all the downloads but there are new plays happening every hour, every minute, and every day. You will miss those. They won’t be in the export dock.

You want to wait until the 301 redirect takes place and then export the total.

The way you know that it’s taken place is in the new platform, you will start seeing stats accruing. This is not something you have to rush and do immediately. Do the 301 redirect, wait a day, make sure it’s there, and look in the new platform. If you have stats accruing, the redirect has worked. That’s how you know it’s worked. You’re not going to get stats accruing in the new platform if the redirect has not happened.

Once you know that has happened, then you can export your stats from the old platform. If you’re getting dizzy on all this tech stuff because it’s overwhelming, move your show to Podetize. We do this all for you. You will give us the login credentials to your old platform. We will export the stats at the right time. You don’t have to know, “Is it the right time? Is it too early?” We do it for you.

Losing stats is a big anxiety point. Losing listeners is an even bigger anxiety point because you definitely don't want to lose your listeners. Click To Tweet

Here’s the last thing in this list of best practices I want to share with you that you can do. It’s a choice. I probably would do it if it were my show. The 301 redirect automatically starts all the apps. It’s going to get new episodes. All the play requests go to the new host instead of the old host. Each app is supposed to and usually does update its systems with the new RSS feed.

I have seen it happen where that doesn’t happen automatically. Here’s a recommendation. This goes back to making sure you have control of your own Apple listing. Apple is the most important platform where most of your listens are coming from and already are probably. In the 301 redirect, Apple will start getting them from the new host and should update their systems.

I have seen it where the Apple system glitches and it doesn’t automatically do it, but as long as you have control of your Apple listing, or Podetize on your behalf if we have access to it, log in to your show through Apple Podcast Connect, which is the interface where you probably registered your show in the first place, or someone else did it on your behalf. You can go into your listing for your show on Apple and update right within that to the new RSS feed so that they won’t even be going to the old one and have to be redirected. You can put the new RSS feed in there for your show. It’s immediate.

Can you do that on Spotify too?

I don’t believe you can.

I didn’t think so.

At the time at least of recording this and my recollection of the interface, all you can do is claim your show as a host from Spotify. If another producer syndicated it there, and it’s technically under their producer account that it was submitted, you can claim your show and get access to whatever analytics are available through Spotify. I don’t believe you can just log in and update the RSS feed.

Spotify is constantly changing things. They may allow that at some point. You should check. Apple is the only one I know of that gives users that kind of control to not only update the RSS feed but also look at some special beta analytics that is only available by logging into Apple. Be aware of that. I would update my Apple listing on my own. Here’s the major best practice of what not to do. I can’t emphasize this enough.

Instead of doing this, don’t do this.

As long as your show has been on Apple, you see it when you look up in the Apple podcast listening app, your show is there, and you can play the episodes, then there is no reason to submit your show to Apple from the new host again. Please don’t. It’s going to cause you problems and headaches.

Tom, recap your steps.

FYB A Smart Guide to Switching Your Podcast Host Without Losing Listeners | Switching Podcast Host

Switching Podcast Host: As long as your show’s been on Apple, then there is absolutely no reason to submit your show to Apple from the new host again.

 

Here are the best practices. Update the website URL and email. Remove ads. Make sure that any future scheduled episodes are either already published before you import the feed or know that you’re going to have to re-upload them and reschedule them as future episodes in the new hosting platform. Import the feed then at that point to the new platform. 301 redirect. Go ahead and redirect the old service to the new RSS feed from the new service.

You do that at the old host. You put that in at the old host.

You’re putting in the new feed URL from the new host into the old host either yourself or if you have to reach out to their support to request it. You need to request it. Only after you confirm that has been done properly and after you’re seeing stats accruing in the new platform, then you export your old analytics. You export your download stats per episode ideally, and then the total number.

Here’s a second on that. Save them if you’re going to save them so that you have them so that you can use them if you need them. If you’re with Podetize, send them to us, and we will update all your episodes.

You may want them on your own so you know the historic download numbers. There are good reasons why you might want to save that to have that data in case you need it. Maybe you’re creating a show one-sheet and talking about certain stats. Update Apple manually if you have that access. That’s not a have-to but a recommendation.

Check everywhere and update Apple if you need to.

Do not submit your show to Apple again.

There we go.

I could have gone on a little deeper dive than I did technically on a few things. I probably lost half the listeners halfway through when I did that, but if you’re a do-it-yourself customer, pay attention to the details and understand them. My biggest concern is you don’t unintentionally trip on a landmine or fall into a pitfall of problems that are going to take you a lot of time and energy. You may have to make some compromises and sacrifices to undo something that you accidentally did. We’re trying to help you avoid that.

Here’s what I want to say at the end here. Tom gave a shameless plug for Podetize at the beginning, but here’s what I want. We are a resource to everyone in the podcasting industry. We want you to keep podcasting. We do not care if you host with us or produce with us. We want the industry to be rich with podcasters who don’t pod fade and don’t quit their show.

If you’re not a client, we may not get back to you within an hour but we will do our best to get you the answers that you’re looking for because we know that it matters. Keep this in mind. The reason that we developed the products and services the way that we did was because you should never have to worry about these things. They shouldn’t be a problem whether you’re coming to us or leaving us.

Losing listeners doesn't need to happen, but it is a concern that many podcasters have when they switch hosts. If you do it wrong, it will happen. Click To Tweet

It’s one of these things. When you get a bad haircut, you never go back to the salon again. Women out there are going, “Yeah,” but I guarantee you that men have done this with a barber. You get a bad haircut. Your scalp is showing. You will never go back there again. You don’t tell them that they did a bad job. You just walk away and cut ties. That’s what happens when you want to leave your host.

You’re upset, and you want to cut ties. You don’t want them to know, but what we’re here to tell you is here at Podetize, we want to know because we don’t want you to do this wrong. We understand that there are reasons you might need to leave us. There might be financial reasons and advertising offer reasons. We want to support you in moving and helping you so that you continue podcasting because we know in the end, you’re probably going to come back to us. At some point in the future when your show or the economy rebounds, you’re going to come back to us because we supported you.

We don’t want you to cut ties with us and not talk to us because we cannot fix this, we cannot make it right for you, and we cannot make sure that the transition is smooth if you don’t do that. That’s where we are. That’s the customer service that we like to uphold a level of. You won’t get that elsewhere. I can pretty much guarantee it, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t reach out to us for assistance. We are here for you.

I don’t know of any other podcast hosting company that has a customer service phone number published on their website in the footer. We do. That’s because that’s who we want to be. If we’re all busy with customers, we may have to get back to you. You may have to leave a message, but there’s a phone number if you want to talk to someone. That’s the level.

Don’t be too surprised. Tom occasionally calls people back who aren’t clients because it’s a sales opportunity, but he also wants to understand what’s going wrong because it makes a difference in the services that we provide. Tom is our CTO. He handles our technical side. He does want to know what’s going on.

That’s another good point. The last little point, and we can end on this, is that we have had a couple of very serious companies that had podcasts before us, and they were hosted on other platforms. They liked our service and the features of our platform. They wanted to move but they were seriously warning us, “I can’t afford to lose listeners. The engine that runs marketing for my business is this podcast. If we’re going to move to you, you need to be sure this is done right.”

The reason we know all these best practices and we have experienced all sorts of problems is why we developed the best practices. Those shows transferred successfully without a hitch. A lot of them had problems with duplicate listings we helped them unwind and get back to the one listing on Apple that they wanted. Experience counts for something in this.

This was a much longer episode than we intended here but this is a lot of complexity. It requires explanation and other things. The reality is that it’s going to be broken up into pieces in our resource library. If you wanted to look up, “What happens when I get a duplicate feed?” There are probably little bits and pieces of this that will be posted there. Understand that our knowledge base is available to you. It’s our resource library. You can access that at the top of the website. You click Knowledge Base and you will end up in the right place. Thanks, everyone, for tuning in. We appreciate you. We want you to keep podcasting. The one goal that we have here at Podetize is to keep everyone going so that the industry becomes more valuable for everyone involved.

Thanks, everybody. Come back for another great episode next time on Feed Your Brand.

 

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