Have Apple Podcast Category Changes Affected YOUR Podcast?

A lot of changes have been made to the Apple podcast categories and sub-categories. New ones have been created. Old ones have been removed or split. Have you checked what impact that has had on your podcast?

What Has Changed?

I have chatted with a couple of podcasters recently, and neither of them had checked their Apple podcast categories. So I thought I would write this post, ‘cos I’m sure they are NOT the only ones!

Hopefully you received the emails from Apple Podcasts. They informed you of what was changing, and then later, that the changes had actually ‘gone live’. However, there are plenty of podcasters that don’t get emails from Apple Podcasts because they don’t have a direct account with them. That typically happens when your podcast hosting platform ‘does it all for you’. Emails get lost in junk too, don’t they.

Hopefully you also got an email from your podcast hosting account. They should have let you know about the changes and what they were doing to implement them. There have also been several articles in the varying daily podcast news emails and newsletters that come out.

Anyway, hopefully you have somehow discovered that the Apple Podcasts categories have changed and got round to doing something about it?

Why Check & Change Your Apple Podcast Categories?

If your podcast is appropriate you can use one of the many new subcategories. That’s a good opportunity to perhaps get ranked in a top200! All those old podcasts that ‘podfaded’ long ago but are still hanging about, it’s unlikely they will be updated for the new categories. Therefore, it could be a good opportunity for you to change, and perhaps rise in your new sub-category.

Within the Business category, the Management & Marketing sub-category was very crowded. It has been removed, and 2 new sub categories have been created. There is a sub-category for Management and one for Marketing. That is just one example.

Changing My Podcast Categories

Certainly my textile art podcast, Stitchery Stories has been affected. It’s main category is Visual Arts, under the high-level Arts category. It is typically ranked within the Apple Top200 within Visual Arts, in many countries around the world.

I also used the Games and Hobbies category. It was a really crowded category, a real ‘hotchpotch’ (a confused mixture). Anyway, thankfully Games & Hobbies has been replaced with a much more appropriate Leisure high level category.

So I have changed my second and third podcast categories to be the Crafts sub-category and the Hobbies sub-category, both of which are new under the new Leisure category. They are far more appropriate for my textile art podcast.

It was an easy change to make within the Settings of my podcast hosting account at Libsyn.

How To Change YOUR Apple Podcast Categories

If you haven’t yet reviewed the latest Apple Podcast Categories, or checked your podcast settings, or made any changes…. well, not to worry, here is another reminder ๐Ÿ™‚ And some simple step-by-step help.

Step One:

Check out the new Apple podcast categories and sub-categories.

Here is some more information from Apple Podcasts.
https://itunespartner.apple.com/podcasts/whats-new/100002564

Here are the current podcast categories and sub-categories
https://help.apple.com/itc/podcasts_connect/#/itc9267a2f12

Step Two:

Decide what category changes you need to make to take advantage of these changes.

Step Three:

Go make the change in your podcast Hosting account.

If you use Libsyn then click SETTINGS on your account Dashboard.
Scroll through to find the ‘Recommended Information’ section.
There are 3 dropdown boxes for Show Category1, Show Category 2 and Show Category 3.
Select the most appropriate ones and SAVE of course ๐Ÿ™‚

change apple podcast category in libsyn

Step Four:

Then you should check your RSS feed to check that the changes have been reflected in there.

Certainly within Libsyn you can click on your RSS feed and see what’s there.
Go to your Dashboard and under Quick Links, you will see your ‘Libsyn Classic Feed’
Click on that link and WOAH….a load of coded stuff appears.
You can read it and work out your categories.
You may not find that an easy thing to look at however…. I was a mainframe computer programmer for many years so stuff like that looks ‘normal’ for me ๐Ÿ™‚

A more user friendly way to check your RSS feed would be to use a feed validator such as the Podbase Podcast Validator
https://podba.se/validate/

You enter your podcast RSS feed url and off it goes and gives you a nice progress bar and nice green ticks when everything is OK. If something is wrong then it tells you.

Step Five:

Wait for the category changes to make their way through the podcasting ecosystem….

There are so many places now where our audience can listen to podcasts. Many will still pull categories from Apple, others many not. It might take 24-48 hours for the categories to update in Apple Podcasts. However, it seems to happen pretty quickly for me, I’ve never had to wait that long.

One place I did check was my Chartable account. This podcast analytics app pulls data from Apple and provides some nice charts around listening trends and data for your podcast, based around the Apple charts and categories.
I also asked them how to reflect the new categories.

Here is the advice from Chartable. Again it’s all very simple.

The new Apple Podcasts categories have a lot of podcasters updating their RSS feeds.
Here’s how to make sure your Chartable page is up-to-date:
1. Update your RSS feed with your hosting provider.
2. Visit chartable.com, then search for your podcast in the search bar
3. Click the “Request an update” link in the bottom of the right-hand sidebar
4. We’ll fetch your new categories from Apple. Apple can take 24-48 hours to fetch updated categories.
We can’t pick up your new categories until Apple does, so please be patient if it’s been less than 24-48 hours. ๐Ÿ™‚

from Chartable.com Helpdesk

In a podcasting nutshell – it’s not hard, and is important, so go and sort out your podcast categories today. ๐Ÿ™‚

Want Help Managing Your Podcast?

Podcasting seems to be in a permanent state of flux, ever changing. And that’s true, especially as new podcast hosting solutions pop up, new solutions for analytics pop up, new ideas for growing your audience pop up. There is always something new popping up.

Do you find it hard keeping up with podcast changes like this?

Do you prefer to get on with your business and only do the elements of your podcast that you enjoy?

Then why not schedule a call to discuss how I can help you with a monthly podcast management package.

About The Author

Susan

Straight-talking Podcast Advice & Practical Podcast Services For Busy Business Owners

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