Content Setup

Set up your show for a subscription

Starting in early May, channels and subscriptions will be available to anyone in the Apple Beta Software Program. This means they’ll be able to view published shows, purchase subscriptions, and listen to subscriber audio.

Learn more about the beta program

On Apple Podcasts we want to create an integrated experience with a single show page for everyone — subscribers and free listeners. If you’re a member of the Apple Podcasters Program, after you complete your agreement, you can create a channel and add shows with additional subscription benefits like ad-free listening, subscriber-only content, and early access to content.

In most cases, you’ll begin by submitting an RSS feed or choosing from one of your existing shows. Then, you’ll want to create an episode with subscriber audio in Apple Podcasts Connect before you publish a free listener version on your RSS feed. This ensures the correct rules are observed between free and subscriber-only access. Follow the guide below to seamlessly link subscriber and free audio.

Ad-free episodes

Subscribers will get premium versions of the same episodes delivered in your RSS feed without the ads. For an ad-free experience for new episodes, you should:

  1. Submit an RSS feed or select an existing, RSS-based show.
  2. Add a Show dialog in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  3. Create a new episode in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  4. The Episodes tab in Apple Podcasts Connect allows you to add a new episode.
  5. Click Add Subscriber Audio and select the ad-free subscriber audio file that matches the episode.
  6. To add audio, click Add Subscriber Audio.
  7. Publish the ad-supported version of the episode in your RSS feed. Choose one of the following to link your RSS episode to your subscriber premium audio in Apple Podcasts Connect:
    • Use the Apple Podcasts Episode ID, found on the episode details page in Apple Podcasts Connect, as your episode GUID <guid> in your RSS feed.
    • Include the same episode number <itunes:episode>, season number <itunes:season>, and episode type <itunes:episodeType> as the episode you created in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  8. After Apple has crawled your RSS feed, confirm both audio files are linked to the episodes in Apple Podcasts Connect on the episode detail page.
  9. If an episode in your RSS feed has the same number as an episode in Apple Podcasts Connect, the episodes will be linked in Apple Podcasts Connect.

Apple Podcasts will serve the ad-free version to subscribed listeners. Followers and everyone else will see the ad-supported episode.

Subscriber-only shows

Paid shows

Only your subscribers will have access to this show. You can restrict access on all episodes to paid subscribers, or you can make a few episodes available to everyone.

  1. Create a show in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  2. Add a Show dialog in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  3. Create an episode in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  4. The Episodes tab in Apple Podcasts Connect allows you to add a new episode.
  5. Choose whether to make it available to everyone or only to paid subscribers, and upload subscriber audio for your episode.
  6. Upload audio in Apple Podcasts Connect by clicking Choose File.

Extra episodes

Subscribers will get premium episodes which aren’t available in your RSS feed.

  1. Submit an RSS feed or select an existing, RSS-based show.
  2. Create an episode in Apple Podcasts Connect. Select your Episode Type (Full or Bonus) and restrict it to paid subscribers.

Episode availability

Early access

Subscribers will get episodes before they are made available in the RSS feed to everyone else. To set up early access:

  1. Submit an RSS feed or select an existing, RSS-based show.
  2. Add a Show dialog in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  3. Create an episode in Apple Podcasts Connect with an early access episode release date and restrict it to paid subscribers.
  4. In Apple Podcasts Connect, select if you want to make subscriber audio available immediately or at a later date.
  5. Publish the free version of the episode in your RSS feed at a later date. Be sure to do one of the following in your RSS feed:
    • Use the Apple Podcasts Episode ID, found on the episode details page in Apple Podcasts Connect, as your episode GUID <guid>.
    • Include the same episode number <itunes:episode>, season number <itunes:season>, and episode type <itunes:episodeType> as the episode you created in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  6. If an episode in your RSS feed has the same number as an episode in Apple Podcasts Connect, the episodes will be linked in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  7. After Apple has crawled your RSS feed, confirm both audio files are linked to the episodes in Apple Podcasts Connect on the episode detail page.

Archive access

Subscribers will have access to episodes which are no longer available to free listeners. To give your subscribers archive access:

  1. Submit an RSS feed or select an existing, RSS-based show.
  2. Add a Show dialog in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  3. Create an episode in Apple Podcasts Connect with subscriber audio and restrict it to paid subscribers.
  4. In Apple Podcasts Connect, manage access to your show by making audio available to subscribers only or to anyone.
  5. Publish the free version of the audio in your RSS feed. Be sure to do one of the following in your RSS feed:
    • Use the Apple Podcasts Episode ID, found on the episode details page in Apple Podcasts Connect, as your episode GUID <guid>.
    • Include the same episode number <itunes:episode>, season number <itunes:season>, and episode type <itunes:episodeType> as the episode you created in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  6. After Apple has crawled your RSS feed, confirm both audio files are linked to the episodes in Apple Podcasts Connect on the episode detail page.
  7. If an episode in your RSS feed has the same number as an episode in Apple Podcasts Connect, the episodes will be linked in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  8. When you’re ready for your archive content to become subscriber-only, remove the episode from your RSS feed. Subscribers will still have access to the subscriber audio versions of the archived content.