Every podcast should be submitted to Apple Podcasts' directory. Unlike other platforms (like Spotify, and Google Podcasts) Apple still requires you to submit your podcast feed manually. You'll need to access Podcast Connect, and submit your podcast's RSS feed there.
Create an account on Apple Podcast Connect – this is Apple's dashboard for podcasters; you'll submit your RSS feed here.
Sign up for podcast hosting – you'll need a place to host your audio files and RSS feed.
Publish at least one episode – preferably a podcast trailer!
Fix common RSS mistakes – make sure your podcast is configured properly
Copy & paste your RSS feed URL – you'll paste it into Podcast Connect.
Wait for Apple to process your submission – it will take Apple Podcasts 5-10 minutes to process your details before you can submit it.
Submit your podcast to Apple for review – after clicking "Submit podcast for review" it can take up to 8 days for them to review it before they'll include you in their directory.
Promote your show – ask people to subscribe, listen, and review on Apple Podcasts.
This is Apple's dashboard for podcasters:
To use Apple's Podcast Connect, you'll need an Apple ID.
It's far better to create a new Apple ID that you'll use primarily for podcasting. This is especially important if you're creating a podcast for work. This is the account you'll be using to access Apple's podcast portal (Podcast Connect) and to see Apple's podcast analytics.
If you create a new Apple ID, make sure you verify it! You can do this by logging into the iTunes Store (on your phone or desktop) before you sign in to Podcasts Connect.
Podcast hosting is similar to website hosting. To host a website, you use a service like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress to host your website files.
The same is true for podcasting: to submit a podcast to Apple Podcasts, you'll first need to purchase podcast hosting.
On a podcast host (like Transistor), you'll be able to upload your audio files. You'll also edit show details, add cover art, create episodes, and generate an RSS feed for your podcast. It's the RSS feed that you'll be submitting to Apple.
You'll need at least one episode recorded (and uploaded to your podcast host) before you submit it to the Apple Podcasts directory.
Here's a tutorial for recording, editing, and uploading podcast episodes:
You'll want to make sure your podcast is configured properly. Specifically:
Make sure you've chosen at least one category.
Make sure you've uploaded your show's artwork. Apple requires artwork and recommends an image of 3000x3000 pixels. However, the file size can't be larger than 512KB.
You'll also need to have at least one episode published for Apple to recognize your feed.
To validate your podcast feed, you use the Podbase feed validator.
Once logged in to Podcasts Connect, click the purple "+" icon, and then select "New show."
On the next screen in Podcast Connect, you'll choose "Add a show with an RSS feed."
Now, you'll need to log into your podcast hosting account and get your RSS feed URL.
An RSS feed URL looks like this:
If you're using Transistor, you'll find it in the "Distribution" menu for your podcast:
Click the copy button to copy the RSS feed URL into your clipboard
Now, go back to Apple's Podcast Connect, and paste in your RSS feed URL:
At this point, Apple will need to process your RSS feed before you can actually submit it. This usually takes 5-10 minutes.
Refresh this page until it says that processing is complete.
Once your show's details appear, you'll also see a new button: click "Submit podcast for review."
If everything looks correct, click "Submit for Review."
Apple manually reviews each podcast submission. In 2022, it can take up to 8 days for them to review it before they'll include you in their directory.
You only need to submit your RSS feed to Apple once! Once you've been accepted by Apple, your episodes will automatically appear in their directory whenever you publish new episodes.
Once Apple approves your podcast, you can share the show with others, and add an Apple Podcast badge on your website.
If you're using Transistor for your podcast website, we'll automatically add a "Listen on Apple Podcasts" button to your subscription page:
If you want more information about promoting your show, I've written a guide here.
Apple's podcast directory is important, for three reasons:
It's featured prominently in the Apple Podcasts app and is shipped with every version of the iPhone (more than 1 billion iPhones are in use worldwide).
It's featured prominently in the desktop version of Apple Podcasts as well (not as important, but still significant).
Nearly every podcast directory (Podchaser, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Castro, Listen Notes ) uses Apple's directory as their "master copy." If your show is on Apple Podcasts, it should automatically show up on most of the other directories. (You can still submit your show manually to other platforms. I explain how here).
Remember: you don't upload your audio files to Apple Podcasts!
You'll need a podcast hosting company to host your MP3 files, edit your show settings, and generate a valid podcast feed for you.
Need help? Transistor customers get priority customer support. Sign up today, and we'll walk you through the whole process.