Podcasts, like other kinds of digital files, present significant preservation challenges. Given the way the vast majority of podcasts are hosted and distributed, there is a significant chance the work you produce today may not be available in the future unless you take the appropriate preservation steps.
Most podcasts are hosted on platforms that require a monthly subscription (as we discuss in greater detail on the Hosting & Distribution portion of the this guide). If/when you stop paying for this platform, or if your platform itself goes away, your files will be deleted and they will no longer be discoverable on the web or in various podcast listening apps.
The Design Lab and the U-M Library can help make sure your hard work is preserved regardless of what happens to your hosting service. Here are some ways to get started:
While we cannot offer podcast hosting and distribution at this time, U-M staff, students, and faculty can make use of Deep Blue, the U-M Library’s institutional repository, to ensure your work is available in the future. To to start the process of depositing your episodes in Deep Blue, please contact Research Data Services.
Once you have released your podcast, you can make sure it is preserved for posterity by adding it to the PodcastRE Database and Archive. PodcastRE is digital database and archive housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison which was developed as a way of capturing and storing podcasts and their metadata so future scholars will be able to research them. When your podcast is added to PodcastRE it will appear in the searchable database and your episodes will be archived, though the archived files themselves will only be available to researchers, or if the original podcasters if they request them.
You can also deposit your episodes at the Internet Archive. Please see their guide to uploading files and feel free to contact us at the Design Lab if you’d like some assistance with the upload process.
You can find much more information about the importance of podcast preservation, as well as good backup strategies for while you are making your podcast, as part of the Preserve This Podcast project. This project includes a zine, preservation resources, and its own podcast dedicated to making sure your podcast is available in the future.