Podcaster’s Glossary

All the terms you need to know when it comes to podcasting!

There are surprisingly a lot of terms in the podcasting industry. Some you may intuitively know, like “category” or “download”, but others are more complicated like “ID3 tags” and “301 Redirect”. Not to worry, though! We’re here to help you become well-versed in podcast lingo.

Podcast Creation & Managing Terms
Podcast Analytics Terms
Monetization Terms


Podcast Creation & Managing Terms

Here we’ll cover terms that have to do with hosting your podcast and managing it on your preferred hosting platform.

  • Hosting: Every podcast needs somewhere to ‘host’ their show. This means having it on the web, essentially!
  • RSS Feed: RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” which refers to a collection of web feed formats that collect, combine, and populate updated information in a standardized way. For podcasting, This Feed is what gives the various podcasting apps information on your show including title, description, and other metadata. It also provides these apps with all the audio files for your show.
  • XML: XML is a markup language similar to HTML. RSS Feed formats information in the XML language.
  • Hosting Platform: The website in which you host your podcast (like RedCircle!)
  • Import: Import is essentially what it sounds like; the hosting website creates a copy of your entire show including episodes, descriptions, images, and other metadata.
  • Redirect/301 Redirect: A redirect, or a 301 redirect, is what moves your show from one hosting platform to another. So, when someone tries to visit your old RSS Feed, they get redirected to your new RSS Feed. You can think of a redirect as similar to moving to a new home address. You bring everything with you, but the address changes! 
  • Locked Podcast: In order to prevent unwanted copying/importing of your content, you can "lock" a podcast, which means the podcast cannot be imported into another account or another hosting company.
  • Metadata/ID3 Tags: All of the information that makes up your podcast. The title, the author, the category, etc. 
  • Category: Similar to a genre of music, a category describes the type of content you create.
  • Artwork: Podcasts have “show artwork” and “episode artwork”. Show artwork is the artwork for your entire show, while episode artwork is for each individual episode. These artworks show up on the various listening apps.
  • Episode Notes/Show Notes: These are your show description and episode description. A description is a summary of your show and episode.
  • Transcription: The script for your podcast. You can handwrite your own transcription, or use services to create a transcription of your voice recording.
  • Distribution: This is sharing your podcast with the world through listening apps. You share your RSS Feed with the listening apps in order for them to be accessible by listeners on those platforms.
  • Listening App: These are where listeners can hear your podcast. The most popular are Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. 
  • Embedded Player: This is a web player that can be added to personal websites. This web player plays all of your podcast episodes.
  • Back catalog: This is your library of episodes from start to finish.
  • Bit rate: The measurement rate at which bits of data (mbs, kbps, etc.) are shared.
  • Loudness (LUFs): LUFS is the measure of loudness for audio. It’s recommended that your audio be at -16 LUFS.

Podcast Analytics Terms

Next up are terms that are important to podcast analytics. These will help you understand the growth of your show.

  • Download: A “download” means that a listener either streamed or downloaded a portion of your podcast content for at least one (1) minute. The same device on the same network downloading the same content within 24 hours will not be counted twice.
  • IAB: A podcast measurement group that standardized how to measure podcast downloads and other analytics. They define a “download” as above.
  • Prefix URL: A Prefix URL is a trackable URL that's placed directly in the RSS Feed of a podcast. It allows third-party services, like Chartable, Podsights (Spotify Ad Analytics), Podtrac, and Podscribe to track all download requests that come through your show's RSS Feed.
  • Pixel URL: A link from a third-party company that helps you to track your off-platform ad campaigns. 

Monetization Terms

Finally, terms that you’ll definitely want to know if you’re thinking about monetizing your podcast!

  • Ad Format: The various types of ads that can be on your podcast, which include Host-Read and Programmatic.
  • Host-Read Ads: Host-Read Ads are pretty much what they sound like – you, the podcaster, read the ad to your audience.
  • Programmatic Ads: Programmatic Ads are similar to TV and Radio advertisements; a professional pre-recorded ad plays on your podcast.
  • Baked-In Ads: Ads that are added to your episodes during the editing process. These types of ads are permanent and can only be removed by editing your episode again.
  • Dynamic Ads: Ads that are dynamically inserted into your episodes through programs like our Dynamic Insertion feature. These types of ads are added after uploading your podcast to your hosting platform. They are not added to the raw audio file, either.
  • Insertion Point: The timestamp in your episode(s) in which Dynamic Ads are assigned to play.
  • Audio Block: The clips of audio that are dynamically inserted into your episode at the specified Insertion Points.
  • Pre-Roll: A piece of audio that is played within the first 25% of your episode(s).
  • Mid-Roll: A piece of audio that is played within the 25% to 75% time range in your episode(s).
  • Post-Roll: A piece of audio that is played within the last 75% of your episode(s).
  • Impressions: The number of times an ad was heard by a listener.
  • Categories: For Programmatic Ads, the category in which the ad falls under.
  • CPM Rate: Short for “Cost Per Mille” or “Cost Per Thousand”. This means if you have an ad with a CPM of $20 that reaches 10,000 listeners, then you receive $200 dollars for that ad.
  • Promo Code/Vanity URL: A personalized promotional code or URL that can be used by listeners to help track the success of the podcast campaign.
  • CTA: Short for “Call to Action”, this means telling your listeners to take an action. For example, “Sign up for a free trial” is considered a CTA.
  • End Dates – Soft/Hard: End dates refer to the date in which a podcast ad campaign ends. A campaign with a “soft” end date continues past the expected end date until the budget is spent. A campaign with a “hard” end date ends on that date whether it has fully delivered its downloads or not.
  • Pacing: How quickly an ad is inserted into a podcast. Ads can be evenly paced across the entire campaign, or be added as quickly as possible.
  • Frequency Capping: A cap on how frequently a listener may hear a specific ad.
  • Makegood: A re-do of a Host-Read ad campaign. These are typically done when there is an error in the ad or a cancellation.