How To Rock Your Podcast Art: Part One – Tech Tips

You’ve spent countless hours coming up with a great concept for a podcast, recording, editing, publishing, and promoting. But your show still isn’t getting the traction you’d like. What’s going on?

In a time when iTunes and other directories act as virtual catalogs, allowing potential listeners to browse and select based on what grabs their eye first, success isn’t just about having a great idea and a high-quality show. You must also grab attention visually.

Here at Blubrry, we’ve had plenty of experience with both great and terrible podcast artwork – and everything in between – and we’ve got some suggestions for how to optimize yours to be attractive, eye-catching and relevant to your audience. In this post, we’ll be delving into some of the necessary technical issues of creating podcast art, and in a follow-up post, we’ll go into the creative design principles you need to know.

5 Tech Tips You Need To Know To Rock Your Podcast Art

  1. Your Show Cover Art is the image that appears in directories, like iTunes, Google Play and Blubrry. The current iTunes recommendations are 3000 X 3000 pixels, in order to look good on Apple TV. If you are a PowerPress user, you can use the Google Play setting blank and it will automatically pull your iTunes image. (This is what we recommend.)
  2. Keep in mind that all podcast art must be created in the RGB color space. RGB (Red-Green-Blue) is the color of the light that is emitted from the screen to represent a pixel of the image. Avoid using the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) color space. That’s meant for printing, and if you use CMYK for your podcast artwork, the image could show up as poor quality when resized or viewed on different screens and devices. Note: If you change the iTunes image without changing the file name, it might take some time (possibly even months) for iTunes to update the image in the iTunes Podcast Directory. Please contact iTunes Support if you are having issues with your image changes not appearing in iTunes.
  3. Your Individual Episode Image is the artwork that appears when a specific episode is being played. It can be unique to each episode (if you don’t upload a specific Episode Image, your cover art will appear instead.) Episode images need to be saved into the media file in the form of tags (ID3 tags for mp3) following the production of the media file. It should be smaller than the show cover art image – a good guideline is 600 X 600 pixels – because a larger size could cause problems with your iD3 tags being read by iTunes and other directories.
  4. Make sure your images look good scaled down to as small as 60 x 60 pixels. Text might not be readable at that small size, but the logo/text should still be recognizable. iTunes scales images to as small as 30 x 30.
  5. Your iTunes Show Cover Art should be saved in JPEG (.jpg) format to optimize the file size. A detailed PNG format image at 3000 x 3000 can exceed 1MB in size, which is known to cause issues with applications including iTunes. More importantly, the larger the file is, the longer it takes to load.

In our next post on this topic we’ll cover crucial design tips to make your artwork stand out and represent the high quality of your show!