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How Long Does It Take for a Podcast to Appear in Apple Podcasts/iTunes?

Tired waiting for your podcast to appear in Apple Podcasts? Here are the timeframes!

You've been busy working away on creating great content. Now, it's ready for the world to hear. You hit publish, and you want your audience to have it immediately. But, how long does it take for a podcast to appear in Apple Podcasts/iTunes? This isn't an instant process, unfortunately.

What's the Quick Answer?

  • For new podcast episodes, around 24 hours. Sometimes quicker, occasionally longer.
  • For entirely new podcasts, around 3-5 working days. Sometimes quicker, occasionally longer.

There are a few ifs, buts, and other pieces of vital info here, though. If you're still in any doubt, please read on.

What Do We Mean by “a Podcast”?

Many podcasters refer to their individual episodes as “podcasts”, but this can cause a bit of confusion. “A podcast” is actually the overall series, including all of the episodes.

If your podcast is new, and has never been in iTunes/Apple Podcasts before, then you need to submit the show to be listed there. This is a one-time-only process. Once you see your podcast listed in iTunes/Apple Podcasts, all your episodes (both old and new) will appear in there automatically.

How Long Does It Take for a Completely New Podcast to Appear in Apple Podcasts/iTunes?

If you're just starting out with your podcast, you need to sign up to a hosting provider. This is where you'd create the show, and begin uploading your content.

When you have your first episode ready (that could be a promo trailer, or Episode Zero), you can then submit your podcast to Apple.

Once you've done that, your show could be approved in there within 24 hours. However, the standard time for this is around 3-5 working days. Apple check each submission manually, so there's no set-in-stone time frame here.

During the winter holiday periods of late November, late December, and early January, this can be a lot slower. If you wanted to launch a new podcast and begin putting out episodes from the 1st January, you'd ideally want to get the show listed in Apple Podcasts by early November.

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Use this link: http://podcastsconnect.apple.com/ to monitor the status of your submission. Keep an eye out in your inbox for an ‘approved' or ‘rejected' email.

In our post about podcasts “disappearing” from Apple/iTunes, you'll see the reasons why a podcast might be rejected, and how to avoid that happening to you.

How Long Does It Take for a New Podcast Episode to Appear in Apple Podcasts/iTunes?

It takes up to 24 hours for new podcast episodes to appear in Apple Podcasts. However, subscribers will generally have the episode in their queue within 1-2 hours of it publishing. This is another reason why asking your listeners to hit subscribe is one of the best Calls to Action you can use in your episodes. Your subscriber count also helps push you up the search rankings and charts.

subscribe. how long for a podcast to appear in apple

As for the 24 hour time frame, let's hear it from the horse's mouth. This is taken from an email Apple sent out to podcasters recently.

From Apple Themselves…

Apple routinely checks each podcast RSS feed to detect new episodes as well as metadata or artwork changes. Our system will display these changes on Apple Podcasts within 24 hours after detecting them.

You don't need to perform additional actions — simply confirm the new episode or content updates are successfully published on your hosting provider's platform.

After 24 hours, if your new episode or content updates don't appear on Apple Podcasts, sign in to Podcasts Connect and follow these steps:

  1. Click My Podcasts.
  2. Check the Status section to confirm your show is Active. If your show is in a Failed Validation status, troubleshoot the issue and resubmit your feed.
  3. Check the time and date when your show was last refreshed.
  4. For artwork changes, make sure the new image file:
    1. Has a different name than the previous one.
    2. Meets the artwork requirements.
  5. If you've confirmed the above items, and it's been more than 24 hours since your podcast was last refreshed, select Refresh Feed. Podcasts Connect will schedule an update. Please allow up to 24 hours for this process to complete.
  6. Note: Don't refresh your show with every new episode or RSS feed edit.

Summary: How Long Does It Take for a Podcast to Appear in Apple Podcasts/iTunes?

So if your podcast is completely new, allow for around a week between publishing that first episode, and seeing the show appear in Apple Podcasts for the very first time.

And for all other new content, updates, changes, and other tweaks, allow for 24 hours for those to show up.

Avoid wasting your time monitoring these things each week. It all works smoothly 99.9% of the time, and if something does break, you'll soon hear about it.

Your podcast will benefit the most from your working on creating great content for your audience, or even promoting the episodes you've already published. Let the automated stuff take care of itself!

Need More Help?

It's good to be able to get quick answers, advice, and guidelines when something pops up with your podcast. That's why we run weekly live Q&A sessions inside The Podcast Host Academy. On top of that, you'll find all of our courses in there, from planning and launching, to promotion and monetisation. Have a look, and see if it's for you!

Written by:

Matthew McLean

Matthew is an audio drama writer and producer who enjoys talking about podcasts. He makes the tea at The Podcast Host, and is a loyal servant of adopted house rabbits.

March 2nd 2020