What is Apple Podcasts?
Apple Podcasts is the podcasting branch of iTunes. This audio streaming service provides millions of different podcasts and lets you search, download, and curate your collections. Formerly under the iTunes umbrella along with Apple Music and Apple TV, Apple Podcasts is now a dedicated space for podcast heads to discover and enjoy their favorite audio series, as well as submit their own pods. However, Apple Podcasts is just a directory for media, not an actual host. For podcast hosting — platforms that will store your audio files — you’ll need a separate platform (like Buzzsprout or Blubrry) that creates an RSS feed to plug into Apple.
What is an RSS feed?
Before you get your podcast onto Apple, you’re going to have to upload it to a hosting platform that provides you with an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, which is how a directory like Apple Podcasts publishes and distributes your podcast episodes. RSS feeds contain summaries of information from the hosting platform — like the show description, episode description, credits, etc. — along with that actual podcast media, which Apple Podcasts then reads and uses to publish your podcast.
How to upload your podcast to Apple Podcasts
Once you upload the actual media to a hosting platform and are armed with the RSS link, the process is fairly easy. Here’s how to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts:
- Create an Apple Podcasts account. Create a new Apple ID and log in to Apple Podcasts Connect. You can use your personal Apple ID if you’d like to keep them all together, but remember that you may have to share that information with cohosts or coworkers (and do you want them reading your iMessages?). This online dashboard is where you can manage your podcast and submit your RSS feed link for your show. You’ll need a valid credit card on file to access your RSS link, though it won’t actually cost anything.
- Choose your podcast host site. Because your podcast audio takes up digital storage space, it needs to “live” somewhere, so you can store it and share it with the platforms. There are many third-party hosting platforms (like Podbean or Libsyn) that will manage your podcast audio. Once you’ve picked one, upload your content to the hosting site and add in any show or episode descriptions.
- Check your audio format. For RSS feeds, Apple accepts either MP3s or AACs, though Apple recommends AACs for better audio quality.
- Upload an episode to your host. Before you can get your RSS feed link, you’ll need to have at least one published podcast episode, like a trailer or preview. Your hosting platform should provide a page to add the title, description, and other relevant information to help make your podcast more searchable, though this will look a little different for each hosting site.
- Submit cover art. Submit cover artwork (3000 x 3000 pixels) in a JPEG or PNG format for your podcast. Artwork must be unique and cannot contain blurry, copyrighted, pixelated, or placeholder images.
- Add your show. On the Apple Podcasts dashboard, click the purple “+” icon and select “New Show.” Click where it says “Add a show with an RSS feed.” Find where your podcast RSS feed URL is on your selected podcast hosting site, then copy and paste it into the appropriate box and click “Add.”
- Review your show details. Review all of your show information. Set your content rights, provide contact information, country availability, and a publishing date (if it’s not immediate).
- Wait. Once you click save, Apple will first take a few minutes to process your RSS feed and check for any misconfigurations. Once that’s processed, you can officially submit your show to Apple Podcasts for review. You’ll still have to wait until Apple approves your podcast before anyone can access your episodes, usually a few days.
Frequently asked questions
If you still have questions about submitting a podcast to Apple Podcasts, check out our answers to some common queries:
- Can Apple reject my podcast? Yes. Apple may reject or remove your podcast from its platform for failing to meet upload standards, such as uploading artwork that violates the guidelines, designating the wrong language, not designating explicit content or including hate speech in your podcast. Copyright infringements and info descriptions loaded with keywords (which Apple may mark as spam) can also get your content rejected.
- How much does Apple Podcasts cost for creators? Uploading your podcast to Apple is free, but with the Apple Podcasters Program ($19.99/year), you can upload audio without an RSS feed, offer paid subscriptions to your listeners, restrict content, and give your subscribers access to your archive.
- How can I upload more episodes to Apple Podcasts? When you’re ready to add another episode to your Apple podcast, head to your podcast hosting site and follow their specific instructions for uploading more episodes. If you use the Apple Podcasters Program, navigate to the Apple Podcasts Connect dashboard and select the show. Click “Add” and enter all the relevant episode data including the title, description, episode and season number, as well as any content warnings.
- How long does it take for my podcast to get accepted in Apple Podcasts? The time it takes for Apple to approve a new podcast submission varies. For some, it may only take 24 hours. However, some users report a 72-hour wait time, while others say Apple may take up to five business days to accept and display your podcast. If after 10 days your podcast has still not shown up in the Apple Podcasts directory, contact support.