How to Change Your Podcast Feed in iTunes Without Freaking Out
This post is for changing a podcast that’s already published to iTunes. If you want to learn how to how to publish a podcast to iTunes for the first time then check out this post.
You’ve worked hard to grow your podcast in iTunes. You’ve got subscribers, positive ratings and great reviews. But now you need to change your podcast feed in iTunes. And you’re worried that you might lose everything that you’ve built. The last thing you want to do is start over.
There are several reasons why you might want to change your podcast feed. For most people, it’s because they’ve decided to change their podcast host. Maybe you’re moving from Libsyn to SoundCloud, or vice versa.
Whatever your reason, changing your feed in iTunes is a lot easier than you might think it is.
How to Change Your Podcast Feed in iTunes
Step 1: Register Your New Feed with iTunes
The first step is to let iTunes know what your new feed URL is.
If You Are Moving TO Libyn
- Go to the Destinations page and copy the Libsyn Classic Feed URL
If You Are Moving TO SoundCloud
- Go to the Content Settings page and copy the RSS Feed URL
Update iTunes Podcasts Connect
- Login to iTunes Podcasts Connect and select your podcast.
- Paste your new feed URL into the ‘URL’ field and click Save.
- Click Update to have your feed validated.
- If required, fix any validation warnings/errors then click update again.
You should now see a ‘Scheduled for Update’ status in the Podcasts Connect dashboard. It will take around 24 hours for the change to appear in the iTunes Store.
Step 2: Migrate Your Existing Subscribers
The second step is to update your old feed so that it points (or redirects) to the new feed.
If You Are Moving FROM Libsyn
- Go to the Destinations page
- Select ‘Libsyn Classic Feed’ from the left-hand navigation (under the ‘Feed’ section)
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and expand the ‘Advanced Options’ section
- Copy the text code snippet below and paste it into the ‘Extra RSS Tags’ field in Libsyn.
- IMPORTANT: Replace the text in red with the actual URL of your new feed.
- Click ‘Save’
iTunes should pick up this change in a few days, but allow up to 4 weeks before you cancel your Libsyn account.
If You Are Moving FROM SoundCloud
- Go to the Content Settings page
- Paste your new RSS Feed URL into the ‘Subscriber Redirect’ field:
Since SoundCloud allows you to hold onto a free account after you cancel your paid plan, you can leave this redirect in place for as long as you like.
If You Are Moving FROM PodBean
- Go to the New Feed URL page
- Paste your new RSS Feed URL into the ‘Subscriber Redirect’ field
- Click ‘Save’
Since PodBean also allows you to hold onto a free account after you cancel your paid plan, you can leave this redirect in place for as long as you like.
If You Are Moving FROM SquareSpae
- Go to your ‘Blog Page Settings’ and under the ‘Syndication’ tab, update the ‘Changing Your Feed URL’ field by entering the URL of your new Libsyn or Soundcloud feed.
- It’s recommended that you leave the SquareSpace site up and running with this new setting for 30 days, so iTunes has time to migrate your existing subscribers.
I hope this step by step guide made it easy for you to change your podcast feed in iTunes.
Have more questions or feedback? Post a comment below and let me know!
- Libsyn Destinations page
- SoundClound Content Settings page
- PodBean New Feed URL page
- iTunes Podcasts Connect
Thank you for this article. I didn’t use either of the methods described, but this guided me to the podcasts connect site, and it had an error on my feed! You guys rock, thank you!
You’re welcome Angel. Thanks for the feedback!
I am switching my podcast from my squarespace website to soundcloud but I do not want to lose my subscribers. how do I redirect my subscribers to my new soundcloud feed? also, is there a way to copy all of the podcasts over at once or do I have to do them all individually?
Caleb — thanks for the question. I’ve updated the post with the information you need. Just follow step 1 as described above and under step 2, you’ll see a new section for SquareSpace. –Omer
I want to move my iTunes subscribers from a server run by my AV person to Souncloud. Is process the same?
Yes, it’s the same process but your AV person will have to add the following to your EXISTING feed:
< itunes:new-feed-url >
< /itunes:new-feed-url >
Obviously, replace ‘http://www.yournewfeedurl.com/rss.xml’ with the actual URL of your NEW feed.
I am changing hosts from SoundCloud to Squarespace. If I follow the instructions you listed, will the reviews from my current podcast disappear when I change the feed url in iTunes?
Hey Josh — as per the “If You Are Moving FROM SoundCloud” section in this post, you need to make sure that your new Square RSS feed is added to the SoundCloud ‘Subscriber Redirect’ setting. And you need to leave the SoundCloud account up and running for at least 30 days after you switch. You shouldn’t lose any reviews, but by doing this, you’ll also ensure that existing subscribers to your podcast are switched with the new feed.
Thank you so much for this article. It was so helpful
This was a great article! Thank you so much 🙂
Thanks for this. Very helpful. I have a question about how it works for current iTunes subscribers. Will iTunes automatically change their subscription to the new feed once it’s redirected? Or will they have to play an episode in their own player in order for the redirect to occur? Wondering how long to keep the old feed active… especially if there isn’t a new episode that airs in that time.
As long as you’re new feed is valid and has at least one episode, then iTunes will accept that and will automatically switch to that new feed. I’d recommend leaving the original feed and redirect in place for at least 4 weeks to make sure that everything has switch over correctly with iTunes.
Great article – thank you!
My podcast is hosted on wordpress.com and I am moving it to a different wordpress.com site.
Obviously, I can’t get into the code (even if I knew how to!!) and the guys at wordpress support haven’t got a clue!
Can you help please?
You’ve got a few issues that you’ll need to address with moving to a different WordPress.com site:
1) Moving the audio (MP3) files: You have less than 30 episodes, so you just play each one and in your browser choose “File > Save As” to download each MP3 file to your computer. However, it looks like your MP3 files are hosted on a separate site (https://louisebadawiphotography.files.wordpress.com) so that’s where you need to download them from.
2) Recreate the show notes for each episode: You don’t have individual show notes pages, so you only need to re-create this page on your new site. And just make sure that the links to the MP3 files are updated to point to the new site e.g. instead of https://louisebadawiphotography.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/molep26.mp3, it would be https://WhateverYourNewSiteIsCalled.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/molep26.mp3
3) Create a new RSS feed: I’m not sure how you’ve created your RSS feed from your current site. But I assume it’s some type of WP plugin. You’ll need to do the same on your new site so you have a new RSS feed to give to iTunes.
4) Point Your Current RSS Feed to Your New RSS Feed: as per the instructions in this post, you’ll need to update your current RSS feed and add relevant code in there to let iTunes know to use the new RSS feed. The plugin you’re using for creating the RSS feed may have this functionality built it. It’s hard to tell without knowing how you are creating your RSS feed.
To improve the setup even more, I would recommend the following:
1) Don’t host your audio files on your WordPress.com site. Use the service like Libsyn or Soundcloud for this (plans start at $5/month). They will give you a number of benefits i.e. more robust hosting, easier management of your RSS feed, better analytics/reporting on who’s listening to your show etc. And if you ever move your site again, you won’t have to move your audio/MP3 files.
2) Use an audio player on your website, so your listeners have a better playback experience. When someone clicks on your episode, it opens a black screen with a small player. If you use an audio player, you can embed that on the page. Look at the example player on this page https://blog.libsyn.com/2015/12/16/libsyn-has-a-new-player/
I can’t thank you enough for taking alll the time to help me with my “rookie” issue and your sound advice is much appreciated.
Will have a look into it all now.
All the best and, again, thank you so much.
Hey Omer! Thanks for all of this information. I’m thinking of switching my podcast from Podomatic (not Pro) to YouTube. I’m figuring out how to get a YouTube RSS feed, but I was wondering if I have to re-upload every episode onto my YouTube channel before redirecting Podomatic’s RSS feed? I want to centralize all of my episodes onto YouTube and to maintain the episodes’ chronology and information (like which one is most listened to). How is that maintained in a transition? Or is that impossible?
I hope this is a reasonable question! Thanks so much, Omer!
Hey Bryan. I don’t have much experience in publishing YouTube to iTunes, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll need all your videos in your YouTube channel before you change the original feed.
Super helpful, thanks! Now that I JUST switched from Soundcloud to Podbean, will I lose my tracks in iTunes and need to upload all of my old tracks to Podbean for them to show up again? Or will they all be there and all of my new episodes will show up?
Hey Jonny – you’ll need to upload your old content to your new host.
Omer – great blog post.
I’m shifting from newrainmaker (copybloggers platform) to Podbean (or at least considering it…may do libsyn).
My question is this:
all my episodes were uploaded to newrainmaker before, which was also my website hosting platform. I’d like to delete those and move everything to podbean (or libsyn).
The problem is, I’ve been told if I do that – even if I follow your instructions on the redirect of the RSS feed, and even if I keep the old one active for a while…that deleting the podcasts off of my hosting platform would mess up / disrupt my rss feed….essentially forcing me to keep all my old podcasts on my new hosting platform.
So my question is:
If I set everything up inside my new podcast hosting platform: Podbean (or libsyn), upload all my old episodes to said platform, do the redirect like you said, keep the previous rss in place for several weeks…can I then delete all my podcasts off of the OLD platform without fear of losing all my reviews, subscribers, etc.?
Migrating from New Rainmaker is a bit more complex since you’d need to move both your podcast and WordPress site. That takes some planning and doing things in the right order. Unfortunately, without looking at your setup it’s hard for me to advise on this. But in general, I’d (a) leave everything in place on New Rainmaker, (b) setup a new WP site and podcast in ‘parallel’ and (c) thoroughly test before switching RSS feeds.
This article is very helpful! Thank you!! I currently have 40 episodes and the RSS feed going into iTunes is coming from Squarespace. So when I publish a new blog post in SS the episode goes live. What I want to do is have my feed coming from Libsyn instead. Once I have all of the episodes ready to go in Libsyn I can add that link into iTunes and then I need to update the info in SS as listed above. However, on the SS site it says this as the last step: “On your new podcasting site, add to the RSS feed.” My question is, where exactly am I supposed to be adding that in Libsyn? I add that on to the end of the classic feed link? Thank you for any help you can provide!
Here are instructions on how to complete the final step in Libsyn:
thank you so much!!
Thank you for taking the time to craft such a useful post! Much appreciated! I was trying to move from Cyberears to Podbean. I attempted to piece it together from the information you provided, but I’m struggling. Thank you for any assistance you can provide!
So if I want to switch from squarespace to lipsyn do I simply use the change url field in my squarespace blog settings? Do I still need to got to iTunes and other aggregators to update my rss? and if I want to continue using squarespace to host my website, can i then go back and replace the audio block with my lipsyn player?
Thank you for this great comprehensive article, it was super helpful. Personally, I have a podcast with 247 episodes. I have been using a plugin on the backend of my WordPress site called PowerPress to publish my episodes to iTunes. I have always used Libsyn for hosting but never for publishing. Now I want to use Libsyn for publishing as well. So I followed the first half of the instructions in this article and changed my feed URL in iTunes connect to my Libsyn feed URL. Now I’m trying to figure out the second half of the instruction as to what to do next. When you say set up a 301 direct, are you telling me to do that through BlueHost since that is who hosts my website overall or do I set up a redirect through PowerPress because that’s where my feed was originally coming from and being published through?
Hey can you help with moving content from anchor to using soundcloud?? I want new content on iTunes and old content. I submitted my rss feed for validation to iTunes but I don’t have anchor rss. well I cant locate it.
You’ll have to contact Anchor support. I took a quick look at their site. They provide information on how to switch TO Anchor but don’t explain how to leave their service.
I followed the steps and now it looks like I have two podcasts (duplicate) on iTunes. Please help? 🙂
It looks like you submitted a new podcast to iTunes instead of updating your existing podcast. You’ll need to go into iTunes Podcasts Connect and remove the duplicate podcast. Be SUPER CAREFUL to remove the duplicate, not the original or you will lose your subscribers and reviews.
Than you so much..So, is that as simple as deleting the duplicate podcast? I see a “Delete A Podcast” option below the duplicate podcast.
Our church, New Life Community Church of Pontiac, currently has two podcasts on iTunes each with a lot of episodes. In the next month, we’re switching to a different website company and I’m afraid we’ll lose access to our podcasts with the new website company. How do we go about making sure people can still access the podcasts through iTunes because the new company will have a different rss feed?
I’d love to help, but unfortunately it’s difficult for me to answer that question without understanding how your website and podcast feed is currently setup AND what will change after you switch to a different website company.
If you’d like me to look into this and give you accurate advice, then I’d suggest booking a consulting session.
Great Article. Have you ever heard of updating an RSS feed and then losing your ranking in iTunes? That’s what happen to me. I was #1 in a niche category and after I updated the RSS feed in podcastconnect on iTunes and BOOM I lost my ranking. If you search the name of my podcast its there and my downloads continue. Any advice? I don’t want to lose all the work I did for two years. Thx u.
I can think of two possible causes:
1. iTunes has not finished “re-indexing” your new feed and it might just be a matter of waiting a week or two for your original rankings to return.
2. iTunes might have been ranking your podcast based on specific keywords or phrases in your original feed that have now changed. In which case, I’d go back and make sure that all the podcast meta data is exactly the same in the new feed.
There might be other causes, but off the top of my head, the above 2 are what I’d look at first.
Thanks for this article, it’s very useful!
I’m wondering if you know if the old content is deleted once you move to the new RSS feed or it keeps the old content and adds the new feed content? Thanks!
Laura — the new RSS feed will NOT show your old content unless you also moved that content over to your new hosting service.
Hey, thanks for the article! I followed the instructions above to move from Libsyn, and pasted the new rss feed url in the “Libsyn Classic Feed” advanced options section under ‘Extra RSS Tags’ (as instructed above).
I noticed that the other destinations I have (Google Play, Spotify) also have a section under ‘advanced options’ that says “redirect feed to this web address”. Do I need to do the same for those destinations?
Yes, you’ll also need to update those other destinations to point to your new feed.
Thank you for your article. My problem is that for my iTunes podcast I submitted the RSS for my entire Spreaker account rather than for the specific show.
Now that I have started a second podcast, all the episodes from that podcast are also being published to the original podcast.
What I need to do is replace the profile RSS feed with the individual show RSS feed. I’m not sure if I can set up a redirect since I’m not moving from Spreaker to anything else but rather am stay at spreaker.
Do you think when I update the profile RSS with the actual show RSS that I’ll lose subscribers and all data?
Tom – I’d suggest contacting Spreaker support. They should be able to help you change the RSS feed without losing subscribers, ratings and reviews etc.
This was extremely helpful. I did all the steps to move from Soundcloud to Libsyn so hopefully that will work. My question is, do I have to leave the Soundcloud account active forever in order for the redirect to work? I won’t be adding new episodes to it now so I didn’t really want it up there forever looking like nothing new has been added. But I don’t want to delete it and have the redirect not work. Thank you
Hi Sarah — I’d leave it up for a month to be on the safe side. And then I’d contact Libsyn support to confirm everything looks good.