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How Do I Move My Podcast Off Anchor.FM To A Legit Hosting Service Without Losing iTunes Subscribers?

This week was pretty traumatic for podcasters who were/are using Anchor.FM for their podcast hosting solution.  It was also a blow to podcasters who were considering the free service as a podcasting solution. 

If you missed the video I did, it discusses all about Anchor.FM's Terms of Service and whether you should be using it.

 Since making this video, a lot has been updated in the subsequent days and more questions have popped up about using the service.  Please make sure you're checking the pinned comment that I've placed on the video to help you understand what you're getting yourself into.

HOW DO I MOVE FROM ONE HOSTING SERVICE TO ANOTHER WITHOUT DISRUPTING MY ITUNES FEED?

Whether you're on Anchor.FM or not, this next part is really going to help you out...

I received comments and emails from podcasters who have been publishing their audio to Anchor.FM and are now looking to switch over to paid hosting.  However, they aren't sure how to make that transition now that they have audio already on Anchor. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to get you off Anchor and onto a new service:

START YOUR NEW HOSTING SERVICE

  1. Set up a Libsyn, Blubrry or host service of your choice.
  2. If you're a new podcast, record a new 5 minute episode that explains your move.  Make this the first episode that is seen when someone opens iTunes, Google Play, etc.  You're basically telling your audience you've moved to have more control over what is published and how it's published. Then, upload it.
  3. Upload remaining episodes to your host so people can continue to consume.
  4. Contact Anchor.FM and ask them, "I'd like to delete my account.  Please set up a 301 Redirect to my new RSS feed which is ___________."  As caution, make sure it's ok to delete the account and achieve a 301 redirect.
  5. Continue podcasting on your new host.

YOU DON'T CONTROL YOUR CONTENT ON ANCHOR.FM

Even though Anchor has said their users own the content doesn't mean users are able to "control" it.

One way Anchor.FM gets people to sign up for their service is to tell them that it's easy to create a podcast and put it into iTunes, Google Play, etc.  In other words, they do all the work for you so you don't have to mess with submitting your podcast to popular directories. 

As a podcaster, it's a right of passage for you to submit your podcast to different syndication platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify. You can't always have things done the easy way and not be done right.

Even though Anchor is doing the work for you, they don't tell you that you have control over the RSS feed AND the iTunes account where they are pushing your RSS feed. 

THE #1 REASON YOU NEED AN ITUNES ACCOUNT: RSS REDIRECT

When you set up a hosting account, you're given the RSS feed location you need to submit to popular syndication platforms like iTunes.  

And like most people, you have an iTunes account that allows you to purchase music, apps and services.

As you go through the process of submitting, you will be asked to submit your podcast RSS feed to http://podcastsconnect.apple.com.  Once you are able to access the dashboard of Apple's platform, you're almost immediately asked to submit your RSS feed by pressing the blue "+" button. 

An empty field is opened and that's where you paste your RSS feed. 

If you have your hosting service set up correctly, you can validate your feed and submit it to iTunes without problems.

After submitting, you should be in good shape, but that's not the best part.

YOU have control of this dashboard, not Anchor.FM.  Why is this important?

Let's say you get sick of your current service with Libsyn and want to move to Blubrry.  You now have the ability to jump into iTunes Podcast Connect and submit a new RSS feed within the same podcast program without losing subscribers.



The feed change is all behind the scenes and listeners won't likely notice a difference unless you let them know what happened. 

Bottom line is that you have control of the iTunes account and all other popular syndication accounts, not Anchor.FM. 

If you need to change the RSS feed with Google Play and Stitcher, you just need to contact their support team and they should be able to switch your old RSS feed to the new one.

I hope this has shed some light on why using a service like Anchor.FM might be more of a headache than what you're asking.

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