Apple (previously iTunes) Podcasts Submission Requirements

Apple Podcasts Submission RequirementsBlubrry customers can submit directly to Apple starting fall of 2022. Learn more here via Delegated Delivery.

Before you can submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts (previously iTunes), as well as submit to other podcast hosting directories, please be sure your podcast meets the following requirements:

  1. Podcast artwork that meets Apple Podcasts requirements
  2. A unique podcast program title
  3. Selected one or more Apple Podcasts categories
  4. Valid email address for podcast feed notifications from Apple Podcasts
  5. Created at least one podcast episode
  6. Artwork, title, episodes meet Apple content requirements

Podcast Artwork Meets Apple Podcasts Submission Requirements

Your podcast artwork should be a square 1400 x 1400 image in jpg format. This size and format maximizes your exposure for both Apple as well as with Google, Blubrry Podcast Directory, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, IHeartRadio, and podcast apps.

Apple specifications allow for an image in jpg or png format with a size of at least 1,400 x 1,400 or as large as 3,000 x 3,000.

PNG images specifically must be saved in RGB color space (viewable in browsers), not the default CMYK color space (viewable but intended for print). PNG images that are not saved in the appropriate RGB color space will not be accepted by Apple. Typically an image with many colors, fades, or photos are inappropriately saved as a PNG. As a rule of thumb, if the image has minimal solid colors, such as a company logo, saving it as a PNG is acceptable. In all other cases, converting the png to a jpg will result in much smaller file size as well as saving the image in a screen viewing optimized format.

The 1,400 x 1,400 image size is the optimal image size that is compatible with all podcast applications and podcast directories. Podcast artwork image is resized to smaller thumbnail views for use in apps for various screens for search and playback. Making the artwork optimal for viewing when resized to a very small image is optimal. More importantly, a larger image does not enhance your ability to be discovered, improve your search ranking, or improve how your podcast is listened to.

Unique Podcast Program Title

Your podcast must have a unique program (show) title. Though you most likely have already picked out a great title, take a moment to search both Google as well as on the Apple Podcasts app to see if someone has a show with a similar, if not the exact title of your show. Exact matches are automatically rejected, while shows with similar titles may be rejected by Apple during the moderation process.

Apple Podcasts Categories

You might be wondering, “what should I set as my Apple podcasts category?” At least one Apple Podcast category is required to submit your podcast.

Apple categories are organized into top-level categories and optional sub-categories. When selecting a sub-category, you will automatically be included in its top-level category. When possible, select a sub-category as your first category to maximize exposure in both a top-level category and sub-category.

Your podcast, once approved by Apple, will be found in the first selected category and sub-category specified in your podcast. Additional categories and subcategories may be selected where desired, up to 3 total categories and subcategories. Most podcasts will most likely not appear in additional categories unless curated by Apple Podcasts staff.

Please see the Apple Podcast categories for a complete list of categories.

Valid Email Address For Podcast Submission

Apple (and other podcast directories) require a valid email address to be configured in your podcasts RSS feed. This setting, also referred to as your “iTunes email,” is used by Apple as well as other podcast directories to send you notifications and alerts to maintain your podcast listing. Apple specifically will send you 1-4 emails a year with announcements of new features, podcast requirement changes, or the worst-case scenario a de-listing notification. It is critical to provide a valid email address that is checked regularly. We advise using an email address with a service such as Gmail or Outlook / Office 365 email that provides good spam filtering as this email address will be publicly accessible from within your podcast RSS feed.

You Need At Least One Episode To Submit Your Podcast To Apple

In order to submit your podcast to Apple, or any podcast directory for that matter, you must have at least one publicly accessible episode. We recommend your first episode be in mp3 format with a constant bit rate (CBR), a sample rate of 44.1Hhz, and a bit rate of either 128Kbps or higher in stereo.

Each podcast episode should have a unique title, episode number, detailed show notes (blog post content), and an episode media file (media URL).

Media files can be syndicated in either audio (mp3 or m4a), video (mp4, m4v, mov), or book format (pdf, epub). For maximum compatibility, mp3 is recommended for audio, mp4 is recommended for video, and pdf for a book.

Content Requirements For Apple Podcasts Submission

Your content, including your show’s artwork, title, show notes, descriptions, and media does NOT include the following:

  • Content depicting graphic sex, violence, gore, illegal drugs, or hate themes.
  • Content that could be construed as racist, misogynist, or homophobic.
  • Explicit language without setting the <explicit> tag to true.
  • Self-censored language in titles, subtitles, or descriptions. Instead, these metadata fields must be written as intended. All words should be completely spelled out and should not be censored. Apple Podcasts automatically censors certain explicit words in titles (for example, f**k and s**t). Don’t insert the asterisks yourself unless they were included in the original title.
  • Irrelevant, non-descriptive, or spam content.
  • References to illegal drugs, profanity, or violence.
  • Third-party content or trademarks without legal authorization or usage rights.
  • The terms “Apple Inc.”, “Apple Podcasts”, “Apple Music”, “iTunes Store”, or “iTunes”.

A full list of requirements may be found on Apple Podcast Connects Requirements page.