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How do I get my podcast into the Apple Podcasts (iTunes) chart?

How to enjoy all the fame, riches, and admiration that comes with having your podcast dominating the Apple Podcasts (iTunes) chart!

‘Podcast fame’

If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely you’ve been excited by the prospect of learning how to get your podcast into the Apple Podcasts chart.

Or, maybe you’ve been setting outdated podcasting goals, and wanting to learn how to dominate the ‘iTunes chart’.

Are you currently tightly crossing your fingers in expectation of me giving you the big reveal on how to ‘cheat the system’? Are you wanting to get your obviously awesome show, that you’re really proud of, right up in the top 10 of the Apple Podcasts chart?

Or, the iTunes chart?

Well, I can tell you how you can do both.

Kinda.

Ooooh it’s so confusing. Let me explain.

The iTunes chart is the Apple Podcasts chart now

Yep. They changed the name.

It’s no longer ‘the itunes chart’.

Podcasts within iTunes are now under the “Apple Podcasts” branding.

That changed a while ago, but no one seems to want to move with the times.

The move to call it “Apple Podcasts” eventually took hold after trying to make the rebrand ‘stick’ for a couple of years.

And you will still find some people who continue to refer to it as “the iTunes chart”.

Getting into the podcast charts

Confusing branding aside, they’re not just letting any podcasts in that chart, you know!

When it comes to podcast charts, the fruity-sounding one is pretty much the only one that counts, in a similar way to how Radio 1 branded their top 40 chart back in the 90s, when my former mentor and boss Bruno Brookes hosted it).

Go ahead, spend all day Googling how their chart’s decided.

They cloak that algorithm in government-level secrecy, so for the sake of avoiding triggering your TL;dr response, I’ll summarise for you here.

The ‘secret’ to podcast chart success…

‘Officially’, (serious finger air quotes here) the Apple Podcast (‘itunes’) chart’s based on a top-secret, classified, and redacted formula which takes into account subscriber numbers, and how quickly they’re climbing.

Having managed a number of my own podcasts over the years, and working with a number of brands and podcasters recently, I’ve seen a lot of data.

The numbers do indeed support this official explanation.

‘Unofficially’, Apple are absolutely manipulating their front page, mostly to please podcast agencies who may or may not have paid for promotion, be it from influencers, blogs, or – cough – ‘podcast promoters’.

(I personally like to refer to them as click-farm scumbags. You can learn more about them, on my own podcast episode that’s all about promotion, here.)

Having no access to the chart-topping shows’ data (as is the case for everyone but their hosting company) there does seem to be a correlation between terrible shows (being promoted by bigger brands) and chart success.

I’m sure that’s just coincidence.

If the podcast has gone ‘viral’, and seems popular, it can often make it into the top 100.

A common myth

Podcast chart ranking is not based in any way on reviews.

In fact, a lot of the ‘top podcasts’ don’t have that many reviews and yet they still manage to make the top 10 list.

The system can also fall foul of the aforementioned scammers. In case you didn’t listen to the linked episode, allow me to give you the skinny. They’re usually freelancers on sites like Fiverr who use technology to boost a client’s listening numbers and subscribers quickly, which is what propels them into the chart.

For a day or two. Until Apple notices, and then kicks your podcast out.

If you’re lucky.

Banning your podcast from Apple Podcasts permanently if you’re not so lucky.

Of course, there’s no official confirmation of that, and Apple themselves refuse to be drawn on how their chart is compiled (which only bolsters the widely held belief that it’s bogus), so, getting in it should probably not be your main focus.

Oh, by the way, according to research, and even my own brief experience of making it in there (pictured above – “The Mourning DJ – number 9), getting in the ‘iTunes chart’…sorry, Apple Podcasts chart… makes little to no difference to your download numbers.

Nada. Zip. ZIlch.

Honestly.

See, below, one blogger’s graph demonstrating the totally underwhelming results he got from being featured on the podcast app’s front page. You can read his article for context, here.

The boring reality

It takes a lot of hard work and effort to get your podcast into the podcasting charts

I’m hoping that by now you’re realising you’re in safe hands with me and you’re looking to book in your launch strategy session

I’ve been podcasting for quite some time, and I know what works.

But let’s assume you’ve stumbled across my site by accident.

Fair enough.

I’ll say this.

Every podcaster you’ll speak to who’s had any kind of real results from podcasting will tell you; the only way to get noticed, is to produce quality content that people want to engage with.

I know.

Booooring, right?

Ok, so I’ve left you disappointed there’s no secret quick hack to getting in the Apple Podcast charts?

Don’t lose heart !

I’ve got lots of tips for how to get your podcast noticed, and maximise your chances of fabulous exposure.

And I can offer you podcast coaching that will talk you through those, if you book a session with me.

Even better, your first one’s free!

Click to book a session.

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