You’ve been busy working away, 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 always an immediate process.
This post was originally written in 2020. Since then, I’ve (anecdotally) found that it’s a lot quicker to see new content appearing in Apple Podcasts. Recently, I submitted a new podcast and it was available within the hour. New episodes seem to appear within the hour, too. I wonder if Spotify’s lightning-quick approvals have prompted Apple to up their game on this front?
As I say, this is anecdotal. I’d still allow for as much leeway as possible if you’re doing something time-sensitive. But you might be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your new podcast shows up!
What’s the Quick Answer?
- For new podcast episodes, around an hour. Sometimes quicker, occasionally longer. There’s a bonus caveat to this.
- For entirely new podcasts, around 2-3 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. As an added bonus, this makes your show available in a plethora of other listening apps too.
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 for a hosting provider. This is where you’d create the show, and begin uploading your content.
When you have your first episode ready (which can 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 there within 24 hours. However, the standard time for this is around 3-5 working days. Apple checks 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 of January, you’d ideally want to get the show listed in Apple Podcasts by mid-November.
Use Apple Podcasts Connect 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.
You can also validate your feed to make sure it all checks out. This can help identify potential problems that could lead to your show being rejected by Apple and other platforms.
How Long Does It Take for a New Podcast Episode to Appear in Apple Podcasts/iTunes?
It usually takes an hour or so for new podcast episodes to appear in Apple Podcasts. However, followers will generally have the episode in their queue shortly after publishing. This is another reason why asking your listeners to hit follow is one of the best Calls to Action you can use in your episodes. Your follower count also helps push you up the search rankings and charts.
Does It Still Take 24 Hours for New Episodes to Show Up?
Back in early 2020, there was a lot of frustration with Apple Podcasts’ unambitious “within 24 hours” timeframe. Here’s an email sent out to podcasters around that time. It still has some useful info about what to do if your podcast doesn’t appear in a reasonable time. However, it seems unlikely you’ll be waiting that long in 2023 – unless there are actually issues with your feed.
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:
- Click My Podcasts.
- 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.
- Check the time and date when your show was last refreshed.
- For artwork changes, make sure the new image file:
- Has a different name than the previous one.
- Meets the artwork requirements.
- 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.
- Note: Don’t refresh your show with every new episode or RSS feed edit.
How Long for a Podcast to Show Up in Spotify?
Spotify is Apple’s biggest competitor in the podcasting world. I’ve often seen new episodes and entirely new shows appear there just minutes after being submitted. This is probably the main reason why Apple has had to up its game recently. In any case, you should make sure your show is available on both platforms for maximum reach. Here’s how to submit a podcast to Spotify.
Summary: How Long Does It Take for a Podcast to Appear in Apple Podcasts/iTunes?
So if your podcast is completely new, allow for 3-5 days between publishing that first episode, and seeing the show listed and available in Apple Podcasts. It will probably be much quicker, but nothing is guaranteed.
As for new episodes, I’m seeing less than an hour for those, these days. And even quicker if you are following the podcast.
For all other updates, changes, and tweaks to your show (new cover art or an updated podcast description), I’d still allow for 24 hours for those to show up. Again, it may be quicker.
And 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 and promoting the episodes you’ve already published. Let the automated stuff take care of itself!