Podcast Basics

When and How to Change a Podcast Name

8 min read

Are you wondering how to change a podcast name? It’s a daunting task, especially considering all the time and energy you spent producing content and growing your audience. Your name is your show’s identity. Will you screw everything up by making such a fundamental change?

Fortunately, a podcast name change isn’t like starting anew. Plenty of podcasts have changed their names without losing a single listener or suffering any damage to their brand.

In this article, we’re going to lay out some reasons you might change a podcast name and help you make sure a change is absolutely necessary. Then we’ll cover the steps to help you make the switch.

Reasons to Change a Podcast Name

Why might you want to change a podcast name?

  • You’ve rebranded your entire business and want the show’s name to match.
  • You picked a poor name in the beginning and now want something better.
  • There are hundreds of other podcasts with similar names and now you want something that stands out (in hopes to grow your audience). 
  • You have pivoted to a new audience and your old name doesn’t fit anymore.
  • Your current name no longer represents the values or mission of your brand.
  • You’ve niched down and your current name doesn’t make sense.
  • You want to expand the scope of your show, so your current name isn’t appropriate. 
  • Your name is associated with something inappropriate or offensive.
  • Your name isn’t quite offensive, but it’s associated with hot-button topics that you would rather not bring into your brand (like politics or religion). 

Should You Change a Podcast Name?

Before we get into the actionable steps, let’s talk about whether you should change a podcast name. 

Do you have a really good reason?

Before you update your RSS feed and start creating new artwork, make absolutely sure you want to change your show’s name. Changing the name is hard enough. Reverting a name change is even harder. 

Ask yourself why you want a new name. Do you intend to expand the scope of your show? Is your current name inaccurate or inappropriate? Do you hope to clarify your show’s message? Whatever your answers to these questions are, make sure they’re good. 

Is the problem really your name? Or is there a bigger issue?

If you’re struggling to grow your show, be careful about blaming your name. There might be a deeper issue at play, like the quality of your content, the pedigree of your guests, or your production value. Changing the name may not be enough to save the show, but it may introduce another obstacle in the way of growth.

Do you plan to make a minor change to your show?

Not all changes to your show require a change to your name. You can make little changes without going through a whole rebrand. For instance, if you just want to change your episode format (perhaps from a monologue shoe to an interview show), you probably don’t need a whole new name.

Do you plan to serve the same audience?

If you’re targeting the same audience, it’s critical that your new name continues to serve that group. You don’t want to make a change that alienates your existing listenership. 

If you plan to target a different audience, it’s smarter to start a whole new show. “But I have so much content published already,” you’re thinking. True, but it won’t appeal to the new audience, so it doesn’t help. In fact, it will most likely confuse them when they try to listen to old episodes. “Oh, this isn’t for me,” they’ll say. 

If you use Castos as your podcast host, all of our plans offer unlimited podcasts. Pay for one plan and host multiple podcasts on the same account

Is your show one piece of the puzzle?

A lot of podcasters started with a show and then evolved into a larger brand. That might include a membership site, a social media community, an e-commerce store, courses, public speaking, and other components. If this sounds like you, it’s smart to change a podcast name so it aligns with your larger brand. 

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Do you accept that you’ll lose some listeners?

No matter how careful you are, you are bound to lose some of your followers when you change a podcast name. A certain percentage of people (it’s impossible to know how many) will see a new name in their feed and immediately unsubscribe. Others simply won’t like the direction of your show.

Losing followers (and the subsequent lack of downloads) is tough. It can affect your partnerships, sponsorships, and your show’s revenue. This is another reason it’s so important to make you want to change a podcast name. 

How to Change a Podcast Name without Losing Your Audience

It’s not impossible to change a podcast name, but it’s a bit tricky if you already have an established show. Your goal is to prevent the loss of as many listeners as possible. Follow these steps to make your name change successful.

Study the mistakes of your initial launch

If you think back, you probably made some mistakes during your first launch. Maybe your artwork wasn’t clever enough. Maybe you neglected to notify your friends and family. Perhaps you weren’t active in as many niche Facebook groups as you intended.

Your renaming is the perfect opportunity to use everything you’ve learned to “relaunch” your show the right way. Focus on the marketing activities that are most effective and ignore the ones you know don’t work. 

Choose a name that’s clear, not just clever

Clever and witty podcast names are fun, but they often hurt your show’s discoverability. Opt for something clear. Potential listeners should have a good idea of what your show is about just from the title. 

Before you settle on a name, do some research on it. Google it a few different ways to make sure that it’s not used elsewhere or a reference to something that you would rather not be associated with.

Keep in mind that the name of your show and the name you put in your RSS feed don’t have to be identical. Sometimes it makes sense to put a name in the feed that creates more clarity, and then use the simplified title on your cover art and in written copy. 

For instance, “Gal Pals and a Bottle of Wine” may be a great name for your show, but it doesn’t help new listeners discover you. In your RSS feed, it would be smarter to name your show something like “Gal Pals and a Bottle of Win – Celebrity Gossip Show” to give listeners some more information. 

Prepare your audience ahead of time

It’s smart to give your audience a heads-up that the name of your show is about to change. This is especially important if the new name is drastically different from the old one. Send an email and create a few social media posts. Give your audience an opportunity to let you know if they like the name or if the name has any unintended meanings. 

In fact, it might be a good idea to record an entire episode about the name change. Explain why you want to change a podcast name, what it means for the future of your show, and when the change will take place.

If you like to collaborate with your audience, consider making them part of the process. Ask them to submit ideas for the show’s new name and have them react to different cover artwork.This will make your listeners feel valued, like they are a real part of your community. 

Change your RSS feed details

Your RSS feed is how podcast apps and directories know the details of your show. So if you want to change a podcast name, you need to change those feed details. Fortunately, this is simple inside your podcast hosting account. One quick change will update your name everywhere. 

Push the new branding everywhere

Once your feed is updated, you’ll need to visit any place that displays your current name and swap it out with the old one. That includes…

  • Your social media profiles (branded and personal)
  • Your email marketing templates
  • Your podcast website (domain, logo, and other branding)
  • Email signature

If you have the time, it’s also a good time to locate any mention of your old name and ask those sites or influencers to make the change for you. For instance, if someone mentions you in a blog post, ask them to edit the article to reflect the new name. Do the same to anyone who mentioned you in a highly-shared social media post. 

If you choose to change your domain to the new name, you’ll need to redirect all of your old URLs to the new ones. This is important for preserving Google’s understanding of your site and making sure old links still work. Ask your webmaster to set up some 301 redirects

Announce it – loudly

Your final step is to tell everyone about your name change. Don’t be coy about this. You need your entire audience to know the new name and why you decided to make a change. Send multiple emails, post often on social media, and notify any partners, affiliates, or reviewers. 

Most importantly, mention the name change on your show. For several episodes, it would be smart to include the old name for clarity. You might say, “Welcome to the Ecommerce Guru, formerly known as the One-Stop-Shop Podcast.” 

Fully commit to the name change

Don’t be surprised if the response to your name change is mild. The name of your show is more important to you than anyone else, so there’s a decent chance that most people just don’t care. They won’t be upset, but they won’t be excited either. 

But once you announce a new name, commit to the change. Don’t look back. Changing your name once is jarring for your listeners, but changing it a second time (even if you revert back to the original name) is even more confusing. 

How to Change a Podcast Name in Castos

To change a podcast name in Castos, first log into your account and click into the podcast that you would like to change.

Next, click on Podcast Settings.

In settings, expand the Feed Details tab. Enter your new name in the Podcast Title field. 

You’ll need to upload a new cover image as well. Depending on the extent of your name change (or rebrand), you may need to change some other fields on this page as well, such as the description, categories, website URL, host name, etc. 

Click Save Podcast Details when you’re done. 

If you want to change the feed slug (the actual URL copy), you’ll need to contact support. Changing the URL can break the feed, so someone on our team will need to help. 

Key Takeaway

It’s not impossible to change a podcast name, but as you can see, it takes a bit of work. If you honestly think a new name will help you show, go for it. Just make sure you think carefully before taking the plunge.

Action

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Dennis is a content marketer and web developer with years of experience helping startups and small businesses build their online platforms. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.

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