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Everything You Need to Know About iTunes

Start a podcast on iTunes and join more than 550,000 popular shows accessed by millions of listeners.

By James Mulvany | 14/09/2018

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With Apple being valued at over 1 trillion dollars, it’s evident that associating your podcast with this brand will increase your listenership. Learning how to start a podcast on iTunes will help you to access global audiences and achieve more recognition for your podcast. Here is some reasonably straightforward advice on how to publish a podcast to iTunes.

Why Submitting to iTunes is Essential

iTunes is home to over 1 billion podcasts and is notoriously the most popular podcasting platform amongst podcast listeners. iTunes is usually responsible for around 60% of a podcasts downloads but can even be as much as 90% in the vast majority of cases, so it makes sense that you’ve got to be on there. Most Apple users will already have iTunes and iTunes podcasting already installed on their devices so by putting your podcast on iTunes you make it slightly more accessible for your listeners. The biggest names in podcasting such as Serial, This American Life, Radiolab, WTF with Marc Maron, Answer Me This and Freakonomics are all on iTunes. To be listed alongside these famous and successful podcasts will make your podcast look even better.

Creating an Apple ID

First of all, if you haven’t already, make yourself an Apple ID as this will be the only way you can start a podcast on iTunes:

Podcast Name Conflicts

As there are thousands of podcasts already on iTunes, when you start a podcast you need to stand out from the crowd (and make sure you don’t clash with another podcaster). Make sure you have a unique podcast name that isn’t already taken. If you’re not sure whether your podcast title is unique, then have a look on iTunes to double check.

Album Artwork Dimensions

Every good podcast has artwork that draws in listeners and fits the right size required by Apple. Check that your artwork is between 1400px x 1400px to 3000px x 3000px and uses either a JPEG or PNG file format. Check out these for example:

Also, it goes without saying that your artwork shouldn’t include insensitive or inappropriate images, if it does then it will most likely be taken down. It's a good idea to think of your artwork before you start a podcast on iTunes.

RSS Feed

Next, create a valid RSS feed. These are links that contain information about all your episodes. If you’re not sure how to do this, then here’s how to create one. Alternatively, if you’re using WordPress, then you can create one easily with a plugin like PowerPress.

PowerPress is a plugin by podcast directory Blubrry that connects directly to WordPress. It’s a tool to easily create that all-important RSS feed needed to work with directories like iTunes, TuneIn, and so on. You will need to create an account with Blubrry so you can build your own RSS feed to ultimately start a podcast on iTunes.

Validating Your Podcast

As there are tones of new shows popping up daily, Apple needs to know your podcast is real. As part of their validation process, you will need to have at least three episodes and created at least one blog post featuring your podcast to be able to start a podcast on iTunes. If you haven't done this already, then put this on hold for the time being until you're good to go (you don't want to submit it without these requirements as it might be harder the 2nd time around).

Start a Podcast on iTunes

Once you’ve done all the steps above, sign into iTunes Podcast Connect.

If you’ve set everything up properly, then paste your RSS feed URL into the allocated box on the submission page. You should see a preview of your podcast. Click on submit and then you’re all done.

Waiting on Apple… Tick Tock...

The last thing to do is wait for iTunes to validate your podcast. This usually takes between 3 to 10 days, but has been known to sometimes take only a few hours. If you’ve done everything correctly then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Alternatively, you can always drop Apple a message to how things are coming along (but I wouldn’t hold your breath).

Podcast Not Found?

If you’ve done all this and your podcast hasn’t been validated by iTunes then it may be one of two issues:

  1. Apple cannot find your RSS feed.
  2. Podcast artwork pixel dimensions are incorrect and need adjusting (need to be between 1400px x 1400px to 3000px x 3000px).

Congratulations, you’ve successfully learned how to start a podcast on iTunes! Your podcasting opportunities are limitless now that you have posted your podcast to one of the biggest global platforms. Check out even more ways to expand your podcast reach and access those big companies by joining the Podcast.co newsletter.

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