Want to join the ever-growing podcast community? Have interesting things to say or a unique viewpoint on something? Want to publish your podcast on iTunes for the world to enjoy? If you answered yes to any of those questions, this tutorial is for you!
iTunes is still dominant in the streaming space and is used by millions of people to access their media. While music may be the most popular media used, podcasts must come a close second. There are thousands of them on iTunes that are listened to by many millions of people. I don’t have a podcast but I know someone who does so this tutorial uses their efforts for our gain.
This guide assumes you have the podcast already as we’re about publishing it to iTunes, not creating it. You will also need an Apple ID in order to upload the podcast to iTunes.
For a successful submission to iTunes, you will need your podcast, a cover image of 1400 x 1400 px in JPEG or PNG format and a label or description.
Publish a podcast on iTunes
Apple and iTunes are well known for having high barriers to entry into their ecosystem and podcasts are no different. There are a series of publishing requirements that Apple mandate for anyone wanting to publish a podcast on iTunes. It makes sense to learn those requirements before you begin. Most of the requirements are sensible. The podcast should be original, not incite hate, not be racist or include any copyrighted content. The page linked above tells you all about it.
Once you know what is expected of you and you can abide by those rules we can get your podcast ready. Apple has a helpful page on podcast best practices if you want to do some research beforehand.
You will need to host the podcast somewhere accessible to the internet. Lots of people host it on a WordPress website but you can host it on a cloud service such as SoundCloud. Wherever you host your podcast, you will need the RSS feed that links to it in order to add it to iTunes. You will also need an image, description and any further information you want to add to the listing to hand.
- Navigate to Podcast Connect and log in.
- Select the ‘+’ icon in the top left of the dashboard.
- Paste your podcast RSS feed URL into the box and select Validate.
- Check the next screen for errors as iTunes checks the link and the podcast to ensure it’s ready to list.
- Select Submit once everything is ready.
Apple Podcasts are manually moderated and can take up to 10 days to be checked and approved. Apparently it rarely takes that long and usually completes within 3-4 days depending on time of year. Once approved, Apple will email you to let you know.
Managing Apple Podcast validation errors
According to my friend, in the beginning it is very easy to submit a podcast that won’t pass the initial validation checks. Here are some simple ways to make sure yours passes first time.
Bad RSS feed URL
The RSS feed URL you submit to Apple Podcasts needs to work in order for your submission to be validated. Once you copy the feed URL, you can check it yourself in advance with the W3C Feed Validation Service. Paste your RSS URL into the box and select Check. If all is well, the feed URL is fine.
If you check the RSS feed URL as above, you shouldn’t see this error. This is another error that indicates the RSS URL isn’t correct. It could be a misspelling, extra space or something else. Check again with the Feed Validation Service if you see this error.
The image you upload with your podcast has to meet three standards. It has to be a JPEG or PNG image, have identical width and height and have a width and height greater than or equal to 1400 and no greater than 3000 pixels. If these settings are correct and the artwork still won’t validate, save it as a PNG if it’s a JPG and try again.
That’s all there is to publishing a podcast on iTunes. As long as your content is suitable for the public, your RSS URL works, your description does you justice, you have hosted your podcast somewhere and can read the Apple Podcast rules, you’re ready to go. Good luck with it!