Getting Your Podcast on YouTube

How to distribute/publish a new podcast on YouTube and YouTube Music and key differences between YouTube and other podcast directories.

Updated over a week ago

YouTube, a popular content platform, now supports the direct distribution of audio podcasts and episodes via RSS feeds to both YouTube and YouTube Music. While this update simplifies the process of getting your show on YouTube, it's important to know that it operates differently from other podcast directories. This guide will help you navigate these distinctions and successfully submit your podcast on YouTube.

In this article:

Key Considerations for YouTube Distribution

Types of Podcasts That Can Be Imported Via RSS Feeds

YouTube's RSS upload tool is primarily for audio podcasts, as the platform does not support the import of video content via RSS feed. Instead, the tool converts the audio files on your RSS feed into static image videos using your podcast's cover image or unique episode images. Therefore, it’s important to note that even if you have a video RSS feed enabled for your podcast, only audio content will be sent to YouTube. If you would like to have video content on YouTube, you need to create or upload separate videos directly within YouTube. You can then organize these videos into a podcast playlist, as described in this YouTube article.

Ad-Free Requirement

To comply with YouTube’s Terms of Service, content uploaded to the platform cannot contain advertisements. Therefore, dynamically served and programmatic ads cannot be present in your podcast episodes. However, host-read promotions or sponsorships are permitted, provided you inform YouTube and tag the relevant episodes accordingly. For further details, refer to YouTube's Paid Product Placements and Endorsements policy.

Show and Episode Updates

Unlike many podcast directories, YouTube's RSS tool imports your show and episodes only once and then caches them. While new episodes published to your RSS feed will be sent to YouTube subsequently, most edits to show or episode details won't be reflected in YouTube automatically. Instead, YouTube requires all edits to your show or any edits to already published episodes, besides their titles and descriptions, to be made directly on YouTube after the RSS feed is initially imported.


YouTube's analytics differ from traditional podcast directories, measuring views rather than downloads. Therefore, YouTube view counts cannot be aggregated into your overall podcast analytics and won't reflect in your hosting provider's numbers. If you want to monitor your podcast’s performance on YouTube, you will need to access those analytics on YouTube. For further insights into hosting provider versus YouTube analytics, see this Podnews article.

Before You Start – Preparing

To submit to YouTube and YouTube Music you will need to have:

Submitting Your Podcast to YouTube Via RSS Feed

Sign into your YouTube account to get started. Once signed in, click YouTube Studio in the left side menu or click your avatar in the top right corner and then select this option from the dropdown. In YouTube Studio, click Create at the top right, then select the New Podcast option in the dropdown. Select Submit RSS feed to start the process, which has these steps:

  1. Accept Terms: Accept YouTube’s terms of service.

  2. Enter RSS Feed: Copy and paste your Zencastr RSS feed here.

  3. Verify Ownership: In this step, YouTube will send a code to the email address that is in your RSS feed. You need to enter the code that was sent to proceed.

  4. Upload: Determine which of your episodes to send to YouTube with choices being all existing episodes on the RSS feed, episodes published since a selectable date, or only future episodes. At this point, you also need to inform YouTube if your episodes contain any host-read ads by selecting the paid promotion option.

  5. Visibility: Read details about how episodes will be uploaded to YouTube.

What happens next: After you complete the above process, YouTube starts uploading your episodes, which can take a few hours to a few days. Unlike other podcast directories, your show will not be automatically listed on YouTube/ YouTube Music. Instead, you will have to manually publish your show once the episode upload completes.

Publishing Your Podcast on YouTube

After you submit your RSS feed to YouTube, you will receive an email from them when all episodes have been uploaded and copyright checks have been completed. Please note this can take up to a few days. When you receive this email, sign into your YouTube account and navigate to YouTube Studio. In YouTube Studio, click Content in the left side menu and then select Podcasts from the channel content options at the top. Locate your podcast and click Publish next to it.

And that’s it, your podcast is now on YouTube!

For a detailed overview of the submission and publishing processes as well as editing episodes on YouTube after your podcast is listed there, we highly recommend checking out this YouTube article and video about delivering podcasts using an RSS feed.

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