Who has control of your podcast’s RSS feed? Blubrry posted an informative blog about why it is so important for podcasters to own their RSS feed. Losing control of it can result in big problems.
In the early days of podcasting, podcasters promoted their shows by pointing people towards their show’s RSS feed. It was located on their website, and looked something like: yoururl.com/feed. Listeners would come to a podcaster’s website to listen to and download episodes.
Over time, things changed. Today, podcaster are found on Apple Podcasts or Google Play. Listeners generally go their first instead of directly to the podcaster’s page. In addition, there are some podcasting hosting companies and services that take control over the RSS feeds of the podcasts that are using their service. This situation is often presented to new podcasters as an easy way to get started.
However, there are problems that can happen when a podcaster does not have control of their RSS feed. For example, it is possible for Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and other places where people find podcasts to one day decide to remove your content. If that happens to you, the thing that will save your content from disappearing from the internet is its RSS feed that is on your own website.
Another reason that podcasters should take control of their RSS feeds is because it is entirely possible that the service you have placed it on could one day disappear. Such is the case of Mevio. In September of 2005, it acquired Podcast Alley, which was a place where podcasters could host their podcasts for free.
In 2014, Mevio abruptly closed down their service. There were a lot of podcasters who were frantically trying to move their shows somewhere else – and others who missed the deadline and lost everything. I remember there being a lot of very upset podcasters who were unable to find another host for their content before Movie closed.
Keeping control of your RSS feed ensures that your podcast will remain accessible to your listeners.