How To

How to use Substack for podcasts

Substack is one of the most popular publishing platforms right now defining the new direction of subscription-based media. It allows journalists, writers, and experts to offer free or subscription newsletters directly to their audience.

Along with the newsletters though, Substack also allows users to host and distribute paid and free podcasts. Podcasts hosted on Substack are available not only through email and on one’s Substack site, but also on most podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Pocket Casts.

Set up a podcast on Substack

Podcasting on Substack

To set up a podcast on Substack, go to your Settings page and find the Podcast Settings section. Check the Enable podcasting beta option. Once enabled, all you need to do is upload cover art and enter the podcast details like including title, description, and categories.

Then, you can follow the simple instructions to ensure your podcast gets listed on major podcast apps. All you need to do is add the URL of your podcast’s RSS feed—that is shared by Substack—to each of the apps. It looks like this: (the XXXXX in the URL is your publishing ID). If you have paid subscriptions enabled, you can also have your paid subscribers use a private feed of your episodes in any podcast app that supports private feeds. The private feeds include all episodes you publish, both free and paid.

Once podcasting is enabled, on the posts tab, you’ll see an additional option to create New episode. You can record audio directly into the Substack editor or upload an MP3 file. Once you’ve added a headline and accompanying text, you can click Publish & Send Email. The episode will then go live on your Substack site and the podcast apps and go to your mailing list as well.

Import existing podcast to Substack

If you already have a podcast, you can easily migrate from your old podcast host to consolidate all your work on Substack. For your existing listeners, there will be no change and they’ll be able to access the podcast in the app of their choice like they used to.

To import your podcast, head to the Podcast Settings section, and click on the Import Existing Podcast button. Paste in your current RSS feed URL. You can find it from your current host or on your Apple Podcasts dashboard. Substack will show you a preview of your podcast. Make sure everything looks good, and once you confirm, Substack will clone all your old content onto your Substack. Note that none of your old content will be deleted.

While not a traditional podcast host, Substack is a good platform to offer a podcast that’s tied to a mailing list and published on your own website. And like Anchor, it’s free. Substack only makes money on paid subscriptions, taking a 10% cut of your subscription revenue.

6 thoughts on “How to use Substack for podcasts

  1. Question: If I were paying Podbean for their services prior to moving over to switching over to Substack… do I still need to keep paying Podbean? How does that work? I’d appreciate your insight.

    1. Nope, once you’ve redirected your feed and moved to Subtack, you wouldn’t need to pay for Podbean anymore.

      Do confirm with Podbean before the transition though.

    1. Substack is hosting. The monetization will have to be controlled by signing up on all distribution services like Apple Podcasts, etc.

      Podcasts are tricky that way. Unless you’re launching a paid podcast using a platform like Memberful.

  2. My podcast has been hosted by Libsyn for the last few years. Will my existing subscribers need to resubscribe or will subsequent podcasts automatically continue being delivered to their app library once I move across to Substack hosting?