Four ways to optimize your request for Apple Podcasts promotion
There are new shows and episodes launching every day — and Apple Podcasts wants to help podcasters, both creators and networks, find their audience. We’re always looking for new episodes, shows, and channels to feature for promotion. Our global team of editors reviews the ever-growing catalog regularly and hand-curates content to feature.
Below you can find out how to craft your promotional request to our editorial team, create compelling art, and time your submission just right to improve the chances of your show getting featured.
Tip #1: Use the promotional request form
We track all promotional requests through the promotional request form. To ensure your episode, show, or channel is on our radar, use this form and make sure the promotional request is focused on highlighting your noteworthy content. Make sure to include the specific information we need to promote your work.
Please note that in order to submit your show for promotion, your feed must be live on Apple Podcasts. When searching for your show in the promotional request form, enter the exact title of your content to generate more accurate search results. Be sure to choose a storefront where your show is available which may be different from where you want to be featured. Requests must be submitted two weeks in advance of the desired featured date.
What we often look for in content we feature:
- Fresh perspectives
- An unforgettable story
- Stimulating conversations
- Insight on niche or topical issues
- A compelling benefit for paid subscribers
The best promotional requests include these elements:
- Compelling subject line
- Engaging, but brief, synopsis
- Clear description of the podcast’s format, such as interview, narrative series, or conversation
- Brief background on the hosts and guests
- Brief overview of marketing plans with dates
- An art submission that meets our specs
- Details about how your content will appeal to audiences
- Why this is the best time for a feature from an audience’s point of view
- A description of any paid subscription benefits (exclusive, bonus, early access, or ad-free content)
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.
If your promotional request is not selected for a feature, we encourage you to submit a new request after six to eight weeks. Use these guidelines to make your next request the best it can be.
Tip #2: Submit eye-catching art
The first thing users see when they visit the Browse page is the carousel at the top of the page. This art — more than anything else — is what initially catches a potential listener’s attention.
Any request for a position in that top carousel requires an art submission for consideration. If the art submission isn’t included, or is not formatted correctly, it will not be eligible for a promotional spot in the carousel.
Take a moment to double check that the file you’re submitting follows our template for featuring art. Network and sponsor logos are not allowed on featuring art. We strongly encourage you to include art in the Hero template that is distinct from your show’s cover art. This will help create variety and interest while your show is featured.
The best art intrigues potential listeners, without competing with the other content on Apple Podcasts. The tone, colors, and images in the art should all work together to give potential listeners an idea of what to expect when they tap play. You can read more about Apple Podcasts art requirements, guides, and templates.
If you’re pitching an episode with a well-known guest, include a licensed or authorized image of the guest within the asset you submit. Do not upload art you don’t own the rights to, or use art or photos you have not properly licensed.
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.
Tip #3: Optimize your episode title
Features on Apple Podcasts take a number of forms, and in some cases, your metadata will be reflected as part of the feature. Here are a few recommendations:
- Keep episode titles brief and episode focused. Give listeners a taste of what to expect, in a way that makes them want to know more.
Leave episode numbers out of your title. Including them in your titles can cause more important information to be hidden from view and we’ve found that episode numbers do not drive listening. We recommend focusing on including descriptive titles for each episode. If you do want to include episode numbers in metadata, review our best practice recommendations for numbering episodes on Apple Podcasts.
Stick to the episode title. Leave out any information beyond the title of an episode. Don’t include dates, repeat the podcast title, or list credits. That information is generated automatically in other metadata fields.
Always keep the audience in mind. Posing a hypothetical question, stating a headline, sharing a guest’s name, or hinting at the next turning point in a narrative are all great approaches to crafting a title that will intrigue and compel listeners to hit play.
Tip #4: Timing is key
Finding the right timing can improve your chances of getting featured. There are multiple ways to time a feature for maximum impact with an audience. Consider the following when timing your promotional request:
- Apple Podcasts lead time and weekly updates. We refresh Apple Podcasts at least once a week in most countries or regions and the majority of updates are published on Mondays. If you request a Monday as the feature date, your request will fall naturally within our planning, which increases your chances of getting picked up. We also ask for at least two weeks of lead time, which allows us time to reach out to you if we need anything for your feature.
Your social, marketing, and PR plans. A feature on Apple Podcasts can be one important part of your marketing plans, but it should not be your only plan. Including your plans for social, marketing, and PR on the form can help us align with your other outreach. Also, share how Apple Podcasts mentions will be incorporated into these plans.
Consider the rest of your feed. Take a look at the larger picture of what your show has to offer when reaching potential new fans. A narrative series, for example, might have more success with a feature timed after a few episodes are published, allowing listeners to binge and become hooked. Keep an eye on the Browse tab and get a sense of the way similar shows approach this.
The news cycle. There’s a surprising amount of nuance around this aspect of your timing. Ask yourself what would make your content a standout feature in this moment. Being a bit ahead of everyone else doesn’t hurt, either. You can also consider requesting a feature at a time your content provides an escape from what everyone is talking about.
Whether you are submitting a promotional request for a channel, show, or episode, look at the form as a direct opportunity to help us understand what we may not know about your content. Be sure to provide all of the details we’ll need to take action right away if we do select your submission for featuring.
What’s next after your submission
After you’ve submitted your promotional request, there’s no need to follow up with us. If we need more information, we may contact you. And if you aren’t selected, try again in six to eight weeks with your next request. We’re committed to featuring and supporting amazing content from talented creators, all while giving audiences an incredible experience on Apple Podcasts.