Evolving Anchor distribution to meet the needs of new creators

Over the past few years, Anchor has helped millions of people all over the world share their voices far and wide, including some of podcasting’s biggest creators. As a result of so many more people podcasting, the space has rapidly changed. New platforms and services for audio are emerging seemingly every week, giving creators more choices to make than ever before.

As the size and diversity of the podcast landscape has quickly grown over these past few years, so too have the needs of the creators contributing to the space. This includes making thoughtful decisions about how and where their podcast is distributed, heard, and monetized. To meet this growing need for advanced publishing controls, Anchor will soon be changing the way new podcasts are distributed when they are created.

If you’ve already distributed your podcast through Anchor, these new changes will not affect you. If you’re a new podcaster, or you have a podcast and are thinking about switching to Anchor, the new distribution process for some platforms is going to give you more control than in our previous offering — ultimately to put you fully in the driver’s seat for your show’s publishing settings. Read on for more about the new process and our thinking behind it.

We’ve heard from creators that it’s increasingly important for them to submit their shows to listening platforms (including Apple Podcasts) themselves, rather than Anchor doing so on their behalf. We’ve recognized that by doing so, it will make it easier for creators to access many of the new features and services podcast platforms are offering. So, starting later this summer, we’ll help guide new creators on how to submit their podcast for review to Apple Podcasts and other platforms themselves through a series of detailed and easy-to-follow steps, rather than Anchor doing it for them.

It’s worth noting that we’ll still submit your show to Spotify automatically — since Anchor is part of the Spotify ecosystem, we’ve been able to integrate immediate distribution directly, so you’ll still have direct access to your show’s Spotify account, tools and data.

As more and more new audio platforms emerge and look to capitalize on the growing audio space, it’s important that creators have control over which platforms are aggregating their content from the web (and in some cases, building their own businesses on top of creators’ content without their consent). Currently, when a creator launches a new podcast on most podcast creation platforms (including Anchor), the platform automatically generates an RSS feed and publishes it to the open web. This published RSS feed makes it possible for any platform or website to ingest the RSS feed, and display and even monetize the content. This can happen without explicit permission from the creator. As part of our distribution update, we will only generate an RSS feed if the creator explicitly wants one (and we’ll present clear options on how to do so at the time of publish). This will ensure that each creator can explicitly choose to publish their podcast with an RSS feed (therefore enabling any platform to ingest, display, and monetize that content) rather than it happening automatically without the creator’s consent.

If you’re already an existing Anchor creator and would like to opt out of your RSS feed being published and available to be ingested by any platform, you may reach out to us at any time to request we change your distribution settings to your liking.

We feel this change will give new creators more control over their work and its presence in the world. And we’re always open to feedback (that’s why we’re doing this!), so please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or thoughts.

Co-Founder, Anchor and Head of Podcaster, Spotify