Getting featured on Apple Podcasts can have a substantial impact on your podcast growth. Up to this point, no one knew exactly how to land that coveted spot, but no longer!
The team at Apple published an extremely helpful guide to get featured on Apple Podcasts. Make sure that you click through to that article, bookmark it and refer to it often.
In this article we’ll break down the 4 tips that Apple shares, with a little bit more nuance and why they matter to YOU. Think of this as the companion article
Tip 1: Use the promotional request form!
We’ll address the promotional request form below, but before we do, in reference to the article…
Note this key phrase that Apple uses about what type of submission it expects. It needs to be “focused on highlighting your noteworthy content.”
Before you even consider submitting your show, you need to be remarkably clear about your podcast: what it is, who it serves, who you are and if you have guests, who they are.
Most of all you must be able to answer these questions:
- Why does your show matter?
- Why do you matter?
- Why do your guests matter?
It might feel harsh to consider those questions, especially because we, at Libsyn, believe wholeheartedly that your voice, for its own sake, matters. Your work is intrinsically valuable.
Remember though, you need to pitch yourself to stand out amongst many others and Apple specifically asked you to “highlight your noteworthy content.” How are you, your show, your guest, your episode, noteworthy?
Get it down on paper. In fact, you can start doing this exercise even if you don’t want to submit your show to get featured on Apple Podcasts!
There is quite a lot of information that Apple requires you to submit in their form, and every bit of it is going to be informed by doing the work suggested above.
“Find the balance between providing enough information to help us consider your promotional request, and keeping the information manageable so that we can review quickly.”
Lastly, it’s not about writing a massive essay as your submission. Keep it clear, focused, relevant and on point.
With all that said …
- Is asking the @ApplePodcasts Twitter account to be featured a good way to be featured? NO
- Is PM’ing someone from the Apple Podcasts Team about your new podcast a great way to be featured? NO
- Is emailing the Apple Podcasts Team via their contact email address the first step to get featured? NO
There is a form. You fill out that form – completely. That’s it!
Tip 2: Submit eye-catching art
Apple loves visually appealing, eye catching artwork! Make sure that your artwork is the best that it can be and is up to spec.
Current show artwork requirements
- 1400 by 1400 px (minimum)
- 3000 by 3000 px (maximum)
- Must be square
- Under 500 kb
- Use sRGB color space
- JPG or PNG files only
If you are requesting a position in the top carousel in Apple Podcasts, it requires different artwork than your show artwork and a completely different format.
- Size: 4320 x 1080 pixels
- File type: Layered PSD
- Colorspace: Display P3, 16-bit
Here is what the Apple team has to say about that.
Make sure to submit featuring artwork that is visually distinct from your show artwork so that it does not appear repetitive. Think of this canvas as an extension of the audio content itself, communicating to the audience what to expect when they listen.
If all of this is new to you, and being featured in the top carousel is your prize, here are two suggestions to help you get the best artwork submitted.
Get to know PSD
Apple’s featured image template is provided as a zipped PSD file and they require that you submit a PSD file back to them. Here is their template. A PSD file will automatically open with the Adobe Photoshop program and you can add new layers to start creating your artwork. If you know Photoshop or already have a layered version of your current show artwork you can easily transfer to the template — yay! If you don’t, here’s where to start.
Take time to browse this page and head to the Hero section. That will give you a clear idea of what works the best in Apple Podcasts on both desktop and mobile.
Then get GIMP – it’s free. GIMP is a cross-platform image editor.
Search on YouTube for easy getting-started videos using GIMP.
Are there other options? Absolutely. In fact there might be too many options and some of them require you to invest a bit of money.
We wanted to offer you one choice, so you can get started quickly and not get bogged down by analysis paralysis.
If you are into upping your graphic design skills and looking for more, here are other options:
Photoshop (cross platform)
This is the tried and true app for all things digital image editing and design. There is a learning curve and a subscription.
Pixelmator (Mac OS)
A Photoshop competitor that does not require a subscription and is a one-time payment.
In case you are a heavy iPad user, this is a powerful graphic design, and art creation app for iOS.
Give yourself time to play around with graphics. In fact, even if you are not thinking of submitting any time soon, start playing with your show’s graphics, so when it’s time to get it done, you’re ready.
Hire a graphic designer
Developing a visual brand identity is not an easy task, especially when you’ve never done anything like it before.
If you have it in the budget, hire a graphic designer or head over to Fiverr to get it done for you! In the end, hiring out the graphics side of things might give you more time to focus on your pitch.
If you submit for a feature and don’t get it, rest assured the time and resources that you invested in creating more graphics for your show can be used in so many other ways:
- Headers for social media
- Social Media promotional graphics
- Website hero images
- Physical promotional materials: postcards, business cards, stickers, etc.
Tip 3 Optimize your episode title
What is metadata? Let’s break it down.
Metadata is at its core, information about other data. In the context of podcasting, it is information that tells your potential audience what your show is about. These are some examples of podcast metadata:
- Show title
- Show Description
- Author tag
Metadata matters when submitting for an Apple Podcasts feature because the majority of people will consume your podcast through Apple Podcasts, either for iOS or the desktop App and it needs to look good and easily convey as much information as possible.
The text bits that show up organically within the app when someone searches for a term or browses within the Apple Podcasts app are often limited.
Here are some screenshots of what one would see as a listener:
As you can see, depending on what device someone uses to listen to a podcast, they’ll see more or less information. The Apple Team is always looking to give the best experience to the end user, so streamlining your titles and descriptions is an important way to convey clear and succinct information.
Tip 4 Timing is key
Apple is strategically creating an experience for those that currently use Apple Podcasts and those that could potentially use Apple Podcasts.
Podcasts are content.
People tend to search for content based on their lives, and their lives are highly influenced by world events.
If you have a show topic or an episode topic that speaks to current world events, cultural events, or universal life events, that is gold for Apple Podcasts.
Here are some possible broad universally appealing topics:
- Starting a new year (resolutions, fitness, good habits)
- Election season
- Holiday season (summer break, Christmas, Chinese New Year, )
- The history months (Black, Women’s, Pride, Hispanic Heritage)
- Award shows
- The release of the last season of a popular show
Look at a calendar and your own publishing calendar. Are there times when your show will be talking about a topic that you know is going to get a lot of coverage in mainstream media or lots of people will be talking about?
Plan ahead. Commit to creating the best content that you can around that topic and submit the episode to be featured with plenty of time!
Requesting to get featured on Apple is no small feat, and many folks won’t be picked for those coveted spots but even if you don’t, all the work you put into it will be worth it.
Going through the process of getting specific and clear about your podcast and who your audience is will ultimately help you in promoting and growing your podcast in so many different ways.
Here is a quick TL;DR
- Make sure that you are absolutely clear and can communicate why your show is noteworthy
- Ensure that your show’s artwork is up to spec and you’re comfortable expanding your visual brand.
- Make sure you streamline your metadata for consumption and discoverability.
- Be sure that you feel it’s the right time to submit: calendar-wise, content-wise and cultural-wise.
We’d love to hear from you! If you get featured, take a screenshot and tweet at us!