What is a podcast?

Podcasts are usually original audio shows on a variety of topics. Listeners can enjoy them any time, any place. For example, listen on the go, while commuting, or at home prepping dinner.

What is Apple Podcasts?

Apple Podcasts is the world's largest platform for podcast discovery and listening. Its directory includes over 650,000 shows with more than 20 million episodes. It is available in 155 countries with content in more than 100 languages. 

Apple Podcasts is available on iPhone, iPad, HomePod, Apple Watch, Apple TV, as well as via iTunes on macOS and PC.

What is Podcasts Connect?

Podcasts Connect is a platform used to submit and manage your shows, to gain insight into how users are listening to them, to download reports, and more. Have questions? Let us know.

What is Podcast Analytics?

It's a data visualization tool that gives you insight into how users are listening to your shows and episodes on Apple Podcasts.

What do I need to start a show?

RSS feed:
An RSS feed is a standardized web feed format used to publish frequently updated content. Specific to podcasts, it contains all the metadata, artwork and episode content of a show. This information determines how your show is displayed on Apple’s platforms. 

Create a feed that follows the RSS 2.0 specification and contains the required and the recommended tags. Also, ensure the server where your feed is hosted allows HTTP HEAD requests and has byte-range requests enabled. See an example of a well-formed RSS feed in Podcasts Connect Help.

There are many applications and hosting providers available to assist you in the creation of your show's RSS feed. Review our Podcast Partner Search for suggestions.

Content:
Create an episode. The vast majority of podcasts are audio format. However, video recordings and even text documents are also accepted file types. We support M4A, MP3, MOV, MP4, M4V, or PDF file formats.

For audio bit rate and loudness best practices and recommendations, see Podcasts Authoring Best Practices.

Artwork:
Create cover art for your show that meets the below specifications. While not required, you may also provide artwork for each one of your episodes.

  • Minimum: 1400 x 1400 pixels
  • Maximum: 3000 x 3000 pixels
  • 72 dpi
  • JPEG or PNG format
  • RGB colorspace

For additional content requirements, see Podcasts Connect Help

Users may see your show artwork in varying sizes depending on their device. Make sure your design is effective and square at both its original size and at thumbnail size. For show artwork inspiration, see the Top Shows chart.

Apple ID
To submit and manage your shows via Podcasts Connect, you'll need an Apple ID that is activated on the iTunes Store. Learn how to create an Apple ID and how to sign in to the iTunes Store to fully activate it.

Where is my show hosted?

Apple Podcasts is a directory of user-submitted shows available for download from third parties’ servers. You must host the RSS feed as well as your show's content and media files on your own web server or use a hosting provider. 

See Apple Podcasts Hosting Partners who can help you.

Do I need to use HTTPS?

Apple strongly encourages you to use a hosting server that supports SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). This security technology will allow you to generate an HTTPS RSS feed URL. For example, https://applehosted.podcasts.apple.com/hikingtreks.xml

In the future, HTTPS RSS feeds will be required for submission in Podcasts Connect and to access Podcast Analytics. 

Most major hosting services offer secure RSS feeds. They can also help you migrate your feed if the one you're currently using does not support SSL.

How do I test my RSS feed?

First, make sure your RSS feed meets the Apple Podcasts feed, content and artwork requirements. Then, test your feed by doing one or more of the following:

  • Use a third-party feed validation service to diagnose any potential problems with your feed. For example, https://castfeedvalidator.com/ or https://podba.se/
  • Open the Podcasts app, select Library. Tap Edit in the upper right corner, and then select "Add a Podcast by URL." Enter your RSS feed URL, then select Subscribe.
  • Open iTunes, choose File > Subscribe to Podcast. Enter your RSS feed URL, then select OK.
  • If you can successfully see your artwork and download and stream the content, then your feed is properly working. You can now submit it to Apple Podcasts for review.

Can I submit a test feed for review?

You should only submit your RSS feed after you successfully test it.

How do I validate and submit my show?

There are two ways to validate your RSS feed in Podcasts Connect — manually or by using a pass-through URL. For manual validation, follow these steps. You may also watch the Podcasts Connect Basics video tutorial:

  1. Within My Podcasts, click the plus sign “+”.
  2. Enter the RSS Feed URL in the designated field.
  3. Click Validate.
  4. Review and fix any validation warnings or errors, if applicable. Then, click validate again.
  5. If your feed validates successfully, Podcasts Connect will display a preview of your show.
  6. Review the preview. Pay attention to the artwork, as well as all of the details about your show and episodes — such as title, author name, description, and category.
  7. If ready, click Submit. 

For more details on pass-through URL validation, see Podcasts Connect Help.

Note for hosting providers: Implement the SubmitFeed parameter in your links to Podcasts Connect to allow for passthrough of the show feed URL. 

For example, https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/my-podcasts/new-feed? submitfeed=https://www.veryhungrytourist.com/show.xml will pre-populate the show's feed URL in Podcast Connect, ready for validation.

What happens after I submit my RSS feed?

After submission, your podcast will be reviewed by Apple for approval. This process may take up to five business days. You can monitor the status of your show in Podcasts Connect, or wait for a confirmation email.

If approved, the confirmation email will include a link to your show. This link will be live shortly after the email is sent. Your show will become searchable on Apple Podcasts within 24 hours. 

If rejected, review your RSS feed against our content and artwork requirements. You can also find more detailed reasons, specific to your show, in My Podcasts.

Why was my show rejected or removed?

We’ve highlighted some of the most common issues, with examples, that cause shows to get rejected to help you better prepare your feeds before submitting them for review. 

Review the feed, image and content requirements as well as Podcast best practices for additional reasons. You can also see specific details regarding your show’s status in My Podcasts in Podcasts Connect.

Incomplete metadata
These are some things to avoid:

  • Including placeholder text from your hosting provider. ​
    <description>New podcast weblog</description>
    <description>Cover art photo provided by [name]</description>
    <description>Description goes here</description>
    <description>Podcast by [author name]</description>

  • Repeating verbatim the title or author name in the description
    <title>The Very Hungry Tourists</title>
    <itunes:author>Dr. María Sánchez and John Appleseed</itunes:author>
    <description>The Very Hungry Tourists by Dr. María Sánchez and John Appleseed</description>

  • Incorporating irrelevant or spam metadata.
    <title>The Very Hungry Tourists | Travel | Explore | Learn</title>
    <itunes:author>Dr. María Sánchez, coach and travel enthusiast</itunes:author>​

  • Including episode numbers in show titles.
    <title>The Very Hungry Tourists Ep. 01</title>

Inaccurate language
The language spoken on the show must be congruent with the language specified on the RSS feed by the <language>tag. ​​​

Invalid artwork

  • Placeholder images from your hosting provider.
  • The iTunes Store logo, Apple Podcasts logo, or the Apple logo.
  • Visual representation of the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or any other Apple hardware.

How do I resubmit a feed?

Should your show fail our review process or be removed from our catalog, review your RSS feed and content to ensure compliance. Then, revalidate the feed and resubmit via Podcasts Connect.

For more information on how to troubleshoot failed, rejected, or removed shows, see Podcasts Connect Help for more information. 

How do I change my show's feed URL?

Depending on the status of your original RSS feed URL, you may have two options to change it — through the server where your feed is hosted or in Podcasts Connect. Most major hosting providers can help you with your host server when migrating your feed.

If you still have access and can manage the original RSS feed URL, follow the steps below. This will ensure that your existing subscribers are seamlessly migrated and are not affected by this process:

  1. Set the web server where your feed is hosted to return an HTTP 301 redirect response when it receives a request for the old feed.
    This response updates Apple Podcasts with the new feed URL and your subscribers continue to receive new episodes automatically.
  2. Use the <itunes:new-feed-url> tag in your new feed to point to the new URL.
    Important: Don’t set the <itunes:new-feed-url> tag to the Mirror URL listed in Podcasts Connect.

    For more information, see Podcasts Connect Help.

Notes: 
To ensure that most subscribers download your most recent episodes and receive the new feed URL, maintain the <itunes:new-feed-url> tag and the 301 redirect response for at least four weeks.

Make sure the original episode GUIDs are maintained and do not change. Failing to comply with these guidelines may result in duplicate episodes being shown to listeners, misrepresentation of data in Podcast Analytics, and may ultimately affect your show's status on Apple Podcasts.

If you no longer have access to the original RSS feed URL, you can take these steps in Podcasts Connect:

  1. Within My Podcasts, select the show in question.
  2. Enter the new RSS Feed URL in the designated field, then click Save.
  3. Click Update. Podcasts Connect will then validate your RSS feed.
  4. Review and fix any validation warnings or errors, if applicable. Then, click Validate again.
  5. Click Save, then Update.

Podcasts Connect updates your RSS feed URL and displays your show in the dashboard along with the Scheduled for Update status. Allow up to 24 hours for the change to complete.

I've changed my RSS feed URL. Will I keep my customer reviews and ratings?

Following the steps above will ensure that your reviews and ratings are not affected.

How do I remove my podcast from Apple Podcasts?

In My Podcasts in Podcasts Connect, you can either hide or permanently remove your show. You can also do the following directly on your RSS feed: 

  • Incorporate the <itunes:block> tag or,
  • Delete the feed from your server. Our system will automatically remove your show from Apple Podcasts after failing to connect with it.

I submitted my RSS feed, but I can’t find my show on Apple Podcasts.

After your feed is approved, you'll receive an email with the link to your show. Your podcast will become searchable within 24 hours.

Can I sell my show on Apple Podcasts?

Shows on Apple Podcasts can only be offered for free. Shows requiring an external user name and password are not allowed.

Where in Podcasts Connect can I change my show's metadata or artwork?

These changes are made directly in your RSS feed. An RSS feed contains all the metadata, artwork and episode content of the show and determines how it's displayed on Apple Podcasts.

Most hosting providers can help you update your show's RSS feed.

How do I update the audio or metadata of an episode I've already published?

These changes are also made directly on your RSS feed. Specific to updating episodes, make sure the original episode GUIDs are maintained and do not change.

What is a GUID?

Globally unique identifiers (GUID) are case-sensitive strings. Apple Podcasts compares episodes in a case-sensitive manner to determine and identify new content.

Apple recommends assigning an alpha-numeric identifier instead of the URL where the episode's asset is hosted as the latter may change. For example, 

<enclosure lenght="498537" type="audio/mpeg" url="https://example.com/podcasts/hikingtreks/Episode1.mp3"/><guid>aae20190418</guid>

It's very important for each episode to have a unique GUID and that never changes. Failing to comply with these guidelines may result in duplicate episodes being shown to listeners, misrepresentation of data in Podcast Analytics, and may ultimately affect your show's status on Apple Podcasts.

Why is the latest episode of my show not showing on Apple Podcasts?

Apple Podcasts monitors your show’s RSS feed to ensure any new episodes, artwork, or metadata edits are visible within 24 hours. You can see the last time your show was refreshed in My Podcasts in Podcasts Connect. 

If it’s been more than 24 hours, and your latest episodes or metadata edits aren’t visible, confirm that they have been successfully published on your RSS feed or on your hosting provider’s platform. Then, use Podcasts Connect to manually refresh your show.

How do I refresh my show?

To manually refresh a show, follow these steps. You may also watch the Refreshing Podcasts video tutorial:

  1. Within My Podcasts in Podcasts Connect, select the show in question.
  2. Click Refresh Feed within the show's detail page.

You’ll see Scheduled for Refresh here while the process completes. Then, your changes will be visible on Apple Podcasts.

My show was removed for technical reasons. How do I fix this?

Apple Podcasts routinely monitors your show’s RSS and all of its content. Should we ever fail to connect with your RSS feed URL or with any of the assets within it, our system will automatically remove the show.

You can use Podcasts Connect to resubmit the feed after you've resolved the technical issue. Remember to validate your feed to identify any possible issues. Your hosting provider should be able to assist you in rectifying any issues found.

How do I access Podcasts Connect?

To submit and manage your shows via Podcasts Connect, you'll need an Apple ID that is activated on the iTunes Store. Learn how to create an Apple ID and how to sign in to the iTunes Store to fully activate it.

For more information on signing in to Podcasts Connect, see Podcasts Connect Help.

Why are some of my shows are missing from My Podcasts?

Podcast Connect displays the shows associated with the Apple ID used upon sign in.

If you control the RSS feed yet you no longer have access to the Apple ID used to originally submit your show or wish to change it, contact us. Make sure to include the Apple Podcasts link and RSS feed URL in your support request.

To verify ownership, include your name and current email address in the <itunes:owner> tag in your feed. This information is for administrative communication and isn’t displayed on Apple Podcasts.

What is a Mirror URL?

A permanent link to your RSS Feed URL. Users subscribed to your podcast using the Mirror URL are redirected to your RSS Feed URL in Podcasts app and Apple Podcasts. This allows you to change your RSS Feed URL without losing users subscribed to your Mirror URL.

Why are some of my shows are missing from Podcast Analytics?

Podcast Analytics displays the 100 most recently modified shows that are managed by the Apple ID used upon sign in. If you no longer have access to the Apple ID used to originally submit your show, or wish to change it, contact us. Make sure to include the Apple Podcasts link and RSS feed URL in your support request.

Shows with no listener data are not displayed. 

How is Podcasts Analytics data collected?

Data is gathered from devices with:

  • iOS 11 or iTunes 12.7, or later
  • watchOS 5, or later
  • HomePod

To collect and display data, more than five unique devices must play the show or episode for at least five seconds.

Apple only displays data from users who agreed to share their diagnostics and usage information. All data is aggregated, and no personally identifiable customer information is shown.

For more information, see Podcast Analytics Requirements.

How many people are listening to my show?

Podcast Analytics displays the total number of unique devices that listened to your show or episodes. 

You could also obtain download information from your hosting provider. Contact your server administrator or web host for details on configuring Podcast Analytics. Many Apple Podcast Hosting Partners provide reporting.

How do I know that users are listening to my show?

The Podcasts app pauses downloads of episodes from shows which the user hasn't listened to. 

Episode auto-downloading stops 15 days after a user last views that show or plays an episode on any device the user is signed into. Episode auto-downloading also stops after 5 new episodes are unplayed on a single device.

iTunes for Mac and PC also has protections against unwanted downloads. After 15 days and 5 unplayed new episodes, new podcast episodes stop auto-downloading. After 45 days, the podcast metadata stops updating.

Where is my show available?

Shows on Apple Podcasts are available in several countries and territories. Learn if you can use Apple Podcasts in your country or region.

How can users search for my show on Apple Podcasts?

Users can search by the show's metadata such as the title, author name, and descriptions. If you can’t find your show on Apple Podcasts, check its status in My Podcasts in Podcasts Connect.

Contact us for further support.

How can I create a page that combines all of my podcasts on one page?

If you have multiple shows listed in Apple Podcasts, we can create a single page, called a “provider page,” to list all of your podcasts in one place.

To request a provider page, contact us. Include the following:

  • Podcast provider name (without extra information such as “Inc.,” “LLC,” and so on)
  • Apple Podcasts links to your shows 

How are shows selected to be featured on Apple Podcasts?

Featured content is chosen by our editors. All featured placement is solely at the discretion of Apple and is not guaranteed.

To suggest a promotion on Apple Podcasts, contact us.

Can customer reviews be removed?

Apple does not remove reviews for editorial purposes. You may request removal of reviews that contain profanity, hate speech, explicit or pornographic content.

To request removal of a review, contact us.

How can I report a show which is using my content without permission?

If you believe a show available on Apple Podcasts is in violation of your intellectual property rights, submit a claim to the Apple Legal.

What should I do if a user reports an issue with my show on Apple Podcasts?

If a user reports any issues with your show, direct them to Customer Support. This team will help resolve the issue directly with the user.

You will be contacted separately by Apple if the issue is related to your show and not Apple Podcasts or the user's account.