Most likely if you’re looking at this article you already know you want your podcast listed on iTunes. Though there are more and more places for people to find and stream/download podcasts, iTunes is still where most people find podcasts and also serves as the source for many other directories and apps.
It is important to be listed in iTunes, but you shouldn’t count on it as your sole means of promotion. Being in iTunes New & Noteworthy or rated high in your category can be great exposure for your podcast. However, it isn’t the only way (or even the best way) to build an engaged audience. Join our Podcasting Smarter group on Facebook for resources and conversations about building an audience and growing your podcast.
Steps for getting your podcast published in iTunes:
- Before you get ready to submit to iTunes there are many steps in setting up your podcast. This includes deciding on topic/content/format, purchasing equipment and getting editing software/assistance, creating your artwork and choosing where you will host your podcast media files (as well as whether you also want a dedicated website or section of your current website to house your podcast).
- Publish a podcast episode (or a few if you wish to launch with a certain number already available). Podcasts must be in M4A, MP3, MOV, MP4, M4V, PDF, or EPUB file formats for iTunes.
- Get a RSS feed for your podcast. Most people do this by hosting their files with a podcast hosting company, like Podbean. The hosting company will generate a RSS feed for your podcast and make it easy to follow the steps for automatic iTunes publishing. You can also self-host and create your own RSS feed. To check if your feed is valid before submitting to iTunes, you can use a service like Feed Validator. Correct any errors in the feed before submitting to iTunes.
*Make sure your podcast feed and artwork match iTunes requirements. You can also find out about the types of content iTunes prohibits here. In the iOS podcast app, your podcast will be shown with a background color which is derived from the elements of your podcast logo. Sometimes this results in a color you don’t like. You can consider modifying your logo accordingly to get the background color you’d prefer.
- In the iTunes store, find “Podcasts” and on the right sidebar and you will see a list of items including “Submit a Podcast”. Click there and you will be redirected to Podcasts Connect (or go directly to https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/), Apple’s podcast management area. You will need to login with your Apple ID (or create an account if you don’t already have one).
- Click on the “+” button to submit a new podcast feed. Validate and submit. You can check the status of your iTunes submission in Podcasts Connect. Approval times can vary.
- Once you register your podcast with iTunes, you will get an iTunes feed ID which you can input in your Feed/iTunes settings of your source. Your podcast will then be automatically updated by iTunes.
*You can view and manage all the podcasts you’ve submitted by logging into Podcasts Connect. Please note that there are sometimes delays with iTunes updating. If you have subscribers in iTunes, they will get your latest podcast but there may be slight delays in it showing up in iTunes.
Now that you’ve submitted your podcast to iTunes, it’s time to continue producing great content and building an audience! Check out the Podcasting Smarter podcast to hear podcasters share their stories about how they’ve grown their audience and what’s worked for them, along with challenges, resources and tips.