I’ve said it before and I will say it again, “iTunes is not the end all and be all of your podcast promotion.”
As in, setting up your podcast to appear on iTunes is not the only thing you need to be doing for promotion of your podcast. So many people lay a lot of weight during podcast launches on the iTunes piece and feel like “they made it” when their podcast appears in the iTunes directory. Yes, it is one piece of a strategy to get your podcast out there to the masses, to be found and heard. But it’s not the only piece.
But guess what, folks? iTunes, as we know it, is going away. Dun, dun, dun.
Hold onto your hats, it’s really not that bad. For whatever reason, Apple is doing away with the iTunes desktop app for Mac and replacing it with Apple TV, Apple Music, and Apple Podcasts. As of Fall 2019, when the next MacOS comes out, it will not support iTunes.
What does this mean, and more importantly when the change comes what will happen to all of your content (music collections, etc.), and how will this affect your podcast if you have one?
Well, all of your collected/purchased content will still be available through one of the apps mentioned above. For PC users, the iTunes desktop app will still exist for some time. So all good there.
For podcasters, if you are in the podcasting space already, you may know that Apple has been slowly making strides to push people towards using the vernacular Apple Podcasts over iTunes for a couple of years. But you still probably hear podcasters use the phrase, “Subscribe to my podcast on iTunes,” often.
So the biggest change for podcasts and podcast hosts is to begin to switch the way they tell listeners to find their content from iTunes to Apple Podcasts.
Why is that so important? For those just discovering your podcast, let’s say through your website, by using the proper podcast app names, they’ll be able to find your podcast quicker and subscribe. Remember, not everybody knows there is an Apple Podcast app on their iPhone. I know, the horror. :)
Oh, and the changes keep on coming. One more thing to be mindful of:
Apple Podcast subcategories are getting a makeover too.
There hasn’t been a full announcement or release from Apple yet, but they will also be removing, replacing, and adding subcategories on Apple Podcasts.
What does this mean for podcasters? Depending on the category your podcast is in, it may mean nothing. But if you have your podcast listed in the category of Self-Help, you’ll either need to be happy with being bumped to the primary category of Health or select a different category to appear in all together.
Going back to my first point when I began this article, Apple Podcasts is not the boss of your podcast. So don’t spend restless nights worrying about what category your podcast is now appearing in, in Apple Podcasts. Of course, for discoverability you want to be in a category that makes sense.
If you are using a podcast host like Libsyn, it’s pretty easy to change your categories right from the dashboard.
Change happens, especially in the world of technology. Be informed, inform your audience, and move forward from there.