Apple Podcasts is one of the three largest podcast listening apps on the planet. If you’re starting a podcast, you will want to submit your show to Apple Podcasts to make your show accessible to the roughly 1.8 billion apple devices worldwide that pre-install the Apple Podcasts app.
To upload your podcast to Apple Podcasts you have to set up a podcast hosting platform and submit the RSS feed from your hosting site to Apple podcasts connect.
In this blog, we’ll walk you step-by-step through the process to submit your podcast in no time.
How To Submit a Podcast to Apple podcasts (Overview)
- Set Up a Podcast Hosting Platform to Create an RSS Feed
- Create a New Apple ID
- Log in to Apple Podcasts Connect
- Click “Add Show” to Submit a New Podcast
- Wait a Few Minutes, Refresh Page, and Click “Publish”
- Wait for Your Show to Be Manually Approved (3-8 Days)
- Success! Your Show is Live on Apple
Before You Upload to Apple Podcasts
Make sure your podcast’s RSS feed is optimized for Apple Podcasts before you upload.
Here’s a short list of the assets you need and the technical requirements they need to fulfill.
Assets You Need:
- One audio file — A trailer episode or episode one
- Podcast name — The title of your show
- Podcast description — a brief summary of your show, often including a link to your website or podcast email
- Podcast Categories — You can pick up to two categories or subcategories
Apple Podcasts’ Technical Requirements
- Cover art should be a square JPG or PNG image at least 1400x1400, ideally 3000x3000
- Audio Files delivered via RSS feed should be MP3 or AAC, mono or stereo
- RSS feed must include at least one episode, cover art, plus a title, description, language, category, and explicit tag. Most podcast hosting platforms will meet these requirements by default but make sure you have each of these items set up before submitting to apple.
- You can troubleshoot your RSS feed before submitting using the free Podbase Feed Validator tool here.
1. Set Up a Podcast Hosting Platform to Create an RSS feed
The first thing you’ll need to do to submit a podcast to Apple is to sign up for a podcast hosting platform to generate an RSS feed for your show.
There are a lot of great options available (over 100 actually) but we recommend getting started with RedCircle (free), Transistor, or Buzzsprout.
2. Create a new Apple ID
We recommend that you create a brand new Apple ID account for your podcast because it separates the podcast from your personal Apple ID account to keep things clean and professional.
If you try to go into Apple Podcasts Connect it will say “You need to finish activating your Apple ID before you can use it on Apple Podcasts Connect.” You are required to log into that Apple ID on Apple Music, accept their terms and conditions, and add your billing address before you can activate your Apple ID and submit a new podcast.
Follow these steps to activate your new Apple ID:
- Create a new Apple ID account here
- Open Apple Music on a laptop or desktop computer
- Sign in to your new Apple ID account by clicking “Account” → “Sign In” at the top window
- Accept the prompt to “review account info”
- Accept the terms and conditions
- Add your billing address (adding a credit card is optional)
If you don’t want to set up a new Apple ID you can save yourself a few minutes of time and just use your existing personal Apple ID.
3. Log in to Apple Podcasts Connect
Once you have your new Apple ID set up, log into Apple Podcasts Connect.
Fill out the short form and accept the terms of service to gain access to the app.
4. Click “Add Show” to Submit a New Podcast
When you first open the dashboard the account will look blank.
- Click “Add show” or the ⨁ icon to get started.
- Choose “Add a show with an RSS feed”
- Paste in your RSS feed from your hosting site
- Review the info, make any edits to your information, and click “Save"
5. Wait a Few Minutes, Refresh Page, and Click “Publish”
The app takes a few minutes to process the information that was submitted from the RSS feed. Wait 3-5 minutes then refresh the page. You should see a new button appear next to the save button that says “publish” whenever the processing is completed.
After you click “Publish” the status of your show will switch from Draft to Published in the top left corner.
6. Wait for Your Show to Be Manually Approved (3-8 Days)
Your show will be manually reviewed and should go live in Apple Podcasts within the next 3-8 days. In our experience, every podcast takes a different amount of time to get approved by Apple. But if your show isn’t available after 10-12 days, you can reach out to Apple Podcast’s support team for help.
7. Success! Your Show is Live on Apple
Once your show has been manually reviewed and approved by Apple you’ll get an email notifying you that the show is live. The podcast should be live on the Apple Podcasts app and the web version as well.
Apple Podcasters Program (Start a Subscription Podcast)
Image Source: Apple
Apple Podcasters Program is a new program inside of Apple Podcasts that lets creators pay $19.99/yr to create a paid podcast subscription to monetize their show. This new program is super flexible and gives you total control over your monetization strategy, what benefits you provide listeners, and how much you charge.
Here are a few high-level things you need to know about Apple Podcasters Program:
- It costs $19.99/yr and Apple pays you 70% of revenue from subscriptions (minus tax). After a subscriber stays active for one full year your revenue increases to 85%.
- Show: A show ****is an individual podcast made up of a collection of episodes
- Channel: A channel is a collection of multiple shows
- You can create as many channels and shows within Apple Podcasts Connect as you like, but one show can only be associated with one channel at a time.
- Subscription Models: There are three different subscription models you can use within Apple: (1) free, (2) freemium, and (3) paid
- Free shows pull in episodes from your RSS feed, do not require you to pay the $19.99/yr for the Podcasters Program, and are available freely to everyone around the world
- Freemium shows are a hybrid of free episodes (pulled in from the RSS feed) and paid episodes (uploaded directly through Apple Podcasts Connect). These are great for offering an ad-free and ads-included version, releasing new episodes early, or offering access to archived episodes behind a paywall.
- Paid shows are completely locked behind a paywall and require listeners to subscribe to unlock access.
- The three subscription models listed above apply to both channels and shows. You can create a free channel (every show inside is free), a freemium channel (some shows are free and some are paid), or a paid channel (every show inside is paid).
- Apple podcast subscriptions are available in 170 countries around the world
Apple's subscription program is very robust and easy to set up, but it’s not the only way to make money on your podcast. You can also set up a paid podcast subscription for listeners on Supercast, Patreon, or Glow.
Learn more about Apple Podcaster’s Program and watch an in-depth 14-min tutorial video here on Apple’s site.
Apple Podcasts Marketing Kit (and Extra Resources)
Apple has put together a set of really helpful resources for podcasters that you can take advantage of for free on the Apple Podcasts for Creators site.
- Create an embed player for your site - Generate an embed player that you can put in a blog post or on your podcast website’s landing page
- Social media post generator — Just type in your show’s name and they’ll generate a customizable image to promote your show on social media that you can download in one-click
- Articles on best practices to promote your show — Read blogs on how to make a podcast brief, packaging your show, recording a great trailer episode, and more
- Access detailed analytics — One of the benefits of submitting your podcast to Apple is that you unlock access to their powerful analytics dashboard to measure listener retention, comparative analysis of your top episodes, and a lot more.
Apple Podcasts Connect FAQs
How to start a podcast on Apple for free
You can start a podcast on Apple for free by signing up for a free podcast hosting platform like Redcircle to generate your RSS feed, submit that RSS feed one time on Apple Podcasts Connect, then wait for it to be manually approved within 3-8 days.
Is it free to upload a podcast to Apple Podcasts?
Yes. It’s free to add your RSS feed to Apple. However, you may need to pay for your podcast hosting platform unless you use a free service like Redcircle or Anchor. Additionally, if you want to create a subscription podcast you’ll need to pay an annual fee of 19.99 USD or 24.99 CAD.
How much does it cost to start a podcast on Apple?
It’s free to upload a podcast via an RSS feed to Apple Podcasts, but if you want to start a paid subscription podcast you’ll need to pay an annual fee of 19.99 USD or 24.99 CAD.
How long does it take for episodes to go live on Apple?
It depends, but typically episodes that are scheduled in advance will go live very close to the actual time you set (ex: 5 AM EST). Apple regularly refreshes its RSS feeds to pull in the latest information every day, so sometimes changing something in your podcast hosting platform will take a few hours or up to a full day to go live. You can learn more on Apple’s site here.