Submit Your Podcast to Pandora: Step-by-Step Guide
Pandora made some big waves in the podcasting community when they announced that their popular internet music platform would also feature podcasts.
While the initial rollout did not allow for individual podcasters to submit their show, that is no longer the case. Now anyone can submit their podcast to be considered for Pandora.
Because their algorithms rely on both machine learning and human curation, not all podcasts that are submitted will be selected for inclusion. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the application process to give you the best chance of being selected!
Filling out the Intake Form
To submit your podcast to Pandora, fill out their submission form.
Some of the fields required are pretty straightforward - information like your name and the name of your podcast - but there are others that aren’t as clear. Refer to the information in this blog when you come across a field you aren’t sure how to answer.
RSS Feed URL
Pandora will use your RSS feed to bring in your current catalog of podcast episodes and keep your feed up to date. Your feed should look something like this - https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/123456.rss
For Buzzsprout users
Your RSS feed URL is available under the “iTunes & Directories” tab in your dashboard
Most likely the answer is you. If you’re producing this podcast for a company or someone else, list their name instead.
Is this show branded content?
Is your podcast, in its entirety, sponsored by or branded for a company that is paying you for the podcast? Branded content is different than traditional host read ads or dynamic ads.
Suggested Main Category
The categories Pandora lists are slightly different than the categories in Apple Podcasts, but they are relatively close. Just choose the category that best fits your podcast.
Similar to the main categories, the subcategories Pandora lists are different than the subcategories in Apple Podcasts. Choose the subcategory that best fits your podcast.
What would be the “perfect” category for your podcast?
What host or CMS do you use to publish your show?
CMS stands for “content management system.” If you use a podcast host, choose your host from the drop-down menu. If your host is not listed, choose “Other” and then type your host in the next field.
How often do you release your podcast?
In the drop-down menu, choose the option that best describes your publishing schedule. If you have a unique podcast that doesn’t fit any of the options available, select the one that is the closest.
- Do you post three times a week? Choose “5x Weekly.”
- Do you post two times a week? Choose “Weekly.”
Average Episode Length in Minutes
This is a ballpark figure, so it’s not crucial to be right on the dot. Just provide an approximate average length.
If you have different kinds of episodes with vastly different lengths, choose the length that corresponds to your more popular episodes.
Number of New Episodes per Year
How many episodes will you publish this year based on your current publishing frequency?
Average Downloads per Episode (30 day window from premiere)
How many downloads does an average episode get in the first 30 days? If your podcast host doesn’t provide that specific stat for you, look at the current numbers for the episodes you published around a month ago.
2017 & 2018 Total Downloads (US Only)
Pandora wants to know how many United States downloads your podcast has received since a majority of their users are in the US.
For Buzzsprout Users
In your Location Stats, how many plays have you gotten in the United States over your last 10 episodes? Divide that number by 10 and then multiply it be the number of episodes you published that year.
Example: 3,000 plays in for the last 10 episodes. 50 episodes per year.
(3,000 / 10) x 50 = 15,000 total downloads
If the United States is not listed in your Top 10 Countries, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a third-party sales partner, who is it?
If you use a company to find sponsors for your podcast or use software for dynamically placed ads and they are providing the ads (Voxnest), put their name in this field.
Do you include markers for locations of the ads in your show audio file?
Pandora wants to know if their software will be able to find your ads automatically just by scanning the file.
- If you use ID3 tags to identify different segments in your show, select “Yes.”
- If you use a special tone, stinger, or background music for your ad reads, select “Yes.”
- If you use the Chapter Marker feature in Buzzsprout to identify your ads, select "Yes."
- Otherwise, select “No.”
What file format does your show use?
If you use a podcast host like Buzzsprout or Libsyn, choose “MP3.”
If you host your podcast on your website and it’s not an MP3, choose “Other.”
What’s the sample rate?
The standard sample rate for podcasts is 44.1 kHz, so if you use a podcast host choose "44.1 kHz."
What’s the bitrate?
Choose the bitrate that corresponds to your podcast. If you have a custom bitrate, select the option that corresponds to your podcast.
If you use a podcast host, they can tell you what bitrate they use for your podcast.
For Buzzsprout Users
If you are on one of our standard plans, choose “64 kbps mono.”
If you are on an upgraded stereo plan, choose “128 kbps stereo.”
How loud is it?
Do you manually set the loudness for your episodes in your audio editing software or a third party software like Auphonic? Choose the option that corresponds to your podcast.
If you use the podcast standard -16 LUFS, choose “More than -17 LUFS.”
Is your true peak max volume more than -2dBTP?
Do you use compression when mixing your podcast episode? Do you process your episodes through Auphonic? Do you make sure your audio doesn’t have any clipping? If any of these are true for your podcast, choose “No.”
Do you have clipping in your final episode file? Choose “Yes.”
Not sure what clipping is? Read this article to learn about audio clipping and how to avoid it.