Podcasts in Content Outline

If you are proposing a new PBS.org site, your podcast proposal should be included in your content outline. If you are proposing the addition of a podcast to an existing PBS.org site, please work with your PBS Digital Content manager as you would on other site features.

Proposals should include an explanation of the substance and format of content to be fed out as well as information about the frequency of updates and proposed outreach/promotion plans. Short-term podcasts are discouraged.

Producers should monitor podcasts to determine whether they are achieving the editorial goals outlined at the proposal stage. Podcasts not meeting stated goals should be modified to do so — or if the editorial goals have evolved, producer should discuss revised goals with PBS.

Podcast Presentation

Producers should include a discreet HTML page of their Web site that describes their podcasts, offers information about what podcasts are and how to subscribe. This page should also include text identifying how often the Podcast is updated (ie: "Podcast Name: X (Weekly Updates)"

Sample HTML podcasting pages on PBS.org program sites include http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rss/media/index.html and http://www.pbs.org/nbr/site/features/special/subdir/mind_and_money_podcasts/

(info) For recommendations about additional information and features to include on this HTML page, contact your PBS Digital Content manager.

Podcasts and Tune-in Promotion

Before and after the podcast, it is recommended that producers provide an evergreen tune-in message and the PBS.org Web site address. For example, "Tune in to American Masters on PBS on-air and online. Check PBS.org for broadcast times near you."


Producers can set up their own Feedburner accounts. Once the xml feed is ready, send it with a thumbnail image (must include a PBS logo) and description to your Content Manager and Kevin Dando (kdando@pbs.org) for approval. PBS will then test these items and let you know when it will appear on iTunes.

Podcast RSS Code Requirements

RSS code used to cast Mp3 files must be in accordance with PBS RSS standards, and comply with additional technical requirements specific to podcast syndication:

Podcast Metadata

All feeds should include appropriate metadata within the Mp3 to ensure easy integration into iTunes or other Mp3 systems. This will ensure files appear to users with as much detail as possible. For example, rather than a generic listing of "frontline1.mp3" or "newshour.mp3," files should be named something more transparent like "newshour_07182005.mp3".

Cross-Promoting Podcasts

Producers should link to http://www.pbs.org/podcasts from the podcasting page(s) of their sites to help increase cross-promotion of podcasts site-wide.

Podcasting Codecs

Podcast files must comply with the following codecs:


4 by 3 Content

  • H.264 800kbps
  • AAC-LC Audio @ 48khz
  • 15-24fps
  • 640×480
  • m4v or mp4 container

16 by 9 Content

  • H.264 800kbps
  • AAC-LC Audio @ 48khz
  • 15-24fps
  • 640×360
  • m4v or mp4 container

Audio Content

  • MP3 128kpbs
  • 44.1 or 48khz