Tag Archives: iTunes

iTunes Featured Podcasts for Black History Month



February is Black History Month. This year, iTunes chose to put together a list of podcast, books, TV, and more to “shine a light on current and historical leaders”. The selection is called The Black Experience. The list is a good place to find a podcast to listen to that is new to you.

Here is a quick look at some of the podcasts that iTunes featured:

Intersection is hosted by New Republic editor Jamil Smith. In his podcast, he explores how race, gender, and all the ways we identify ourselves and one another intersect.

Errthang Show! is hosted by Al Letson In his latest project, he takes all the things that are floating in his head and turns it into a mixtape of delight for you.

Another Round is from BuzzFeed. Hosts Heben Nigato and Tracy Clayton cover everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangos, and bad jokes, all in one boozy show.

The Read is hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle, who share their weekly “read” of hip-hop and pop culture’s most trying stars.

The Friend Zone is hosted by Dustin Ross, HeyFranHey, and Assante. They explore mental hygiene. You can send questions and inquiries to their show.

Our National Conversation About Race is from Panoply. Co-hosts Anna Holmes, Baratunde Thurston, Raquel Cepeda, and Tanner Colby host a lively multiracial conversation about the ways we can’t talk, don’t talk, would rather not talk, but intermittently, fitfully, embarrassingly do talk about culture, identity, politics, power, and privilege in our pre-post-yet-still-very-racial America.

The Combat Jack is described as the undisputed #1 HipHop podcast. The show features interviews with HipHop icons and the most in-depth conversations about music, news, culture and Race.

Race Wars is hosted by Kurt Metzger and Sherrod Small, who cut through all the layers of politically correct media spin to deliver hysterical and truthful opinions on social, racial and global topics.

So Well Spoken is hosted by Angelus, Mike, and Morris. They have a round table format to discuss race relations, current events, entertainment, and pop culture.


Best Podcasts of 2016 – According to iTunes



Apple unveiled its Best of 2016 list early in December. The list includes the best apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, and podcasts of 2016 across App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, and iBooks.

Podcasts hit an impressive milestone in 2016: globally, Apple listeners consumed over 10 billion downloads and streams over the past 12 months via iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and desktop.  Fresh Air from NPR is the top downloaded podcast of the year.

In addition, iTunes has put together a list of the Best Podcasts of 2016. This grouping of podcasts is described in iTunes as “favorites”. They are simply listed together in one group (and are not ranked against each other). Each is listed with a quote from iTunes explaining why it was selected.

The Best Podcast of 2016 list includes:

Revisionist History – hosted by Malcolm Gladwell – from Panoply
“No one turns history on its head like Malcolm Gladwell. We love his provocative take on everything from satire to Wilt Chamberlain”

How I Built This – hosted by Guy Raz – from NPR
“We were incredibly inspired by hearing the founders of Spanx, Instagram, and other start-ups explain how they made it big.”

In the Dark by APM Reports and reporter Madeline Baran – from APM
“This year’s huge breakthrough in the Jacob Wetterling abduction case fueled a fascinating look at why it went unsolved for decades.”

Jocko Podcast – hosted by Jocko Willink
“Leadership, fitness, military history – retired Navy SEAL Jocko and his guests turn any topic into a riveting life lesson.”

Anna Faris is Unqualified – hosted by Anna Faris
“Anna and her pal Sim have so much fun hanging out and chatting with celebrity friends, we can’t resist joining in.”

NPR Politics Podcast – hosted by NPR’s political reporters
“With their awesome insights and discussion, NPR’s political team kept us up to speed on a truly unpredictable election.”

My Favorite Murder – hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark – from Feral Audio
“After one episode, we adored this show like its hosts adore twisted tales and catchphrases. Their gabfests are always entertaining.”

2 Dope Queens – hosted by Phoebie Robinson and Jessica Williams – from WNYC
“We’ll crash this party anytime. Jessica, Phoebe, and their hilarious guests bring enough energy and fearlessness for 10 podcasts”.

Accused – Cincinnati Enquirer
“Powerful and thought-provoking, the story of Elizabeth Andres’ unsolved murder stuck with us long after the final episode.”

FiveThirtyEight Politics – hosted by Nate Silver and the FiveThirtyEight team
“For the kind of deep political analysis that goes state by state and stat by stat, we love listening to Nate Silver and crew.”

Heavyweight – hosted by Jonathan Goldstein – from Gimlet
“Jonathan Goldstein’s clever look at people’s hidden burdens (their “heavyweight”) is as captivating as it is moving.”

Pardon My Take – hosted by Big Cat and PFT Commenter – from Barstool Sports
“The hosts’ call-it-like-they-see-it sports talk made PMT our perfect companion through the Olympics, the World Series, and more.”


iTunes Announces Winter Content Submission and Holiday Support Schedules



iTunes logoEvery year, things slow down a bit at Apple during the holiday season. And 2016 is no different. Last week, Apple sent an e-mail to all registered iTunes Store content providers to let them know what Apple is planning for the rest of the year.

The e-mail has two sections that will be useful to podcasters. The first section is titled Winter Content Submission Schedules. These schedules are the dates that Apple staff will be available to review new submissions to the iTunes Store. Apple provided a handy chart that shows when you should submit a new podcast, depending on your projected launch date:

iTunes 2016 Winter Submission Dates

Note that this chart applies to the submission of new podcasts only. It has no impact on shows that are already listed in the iTunes Store. The e-mail from Apple also states, “If you plan on launching any Podcasts during this time, we recommend submitting your podcast for approval as early as possible.”

The second section of the e-mail that’s relevant to podcasters is the Holiday Support Schedules:

If you have questions or need support, you can always reach out to our Podcasts Support team. However, keep in mind that they won’t be available on the below dates, and Podcast approvals and response times on or around these dates may be delayed:

November 24 to November 25, 2016

December 24, 2016 to January 2, 2017

Make sure you keep these dates in mind if you’re planning on launching a new podcast before the end of the year or if you find you need help with an existing iTunes Store listing.


iTunes Connect Is Your New Podcast Dashboard



iTunes logo newAbout a year ago, I suggested that it was time for the iTunes team to create a dedicated user portal for podcasters. Perhaps someone over at Apple is listening. Last week, podcasters looking to add new shows to the iTunes Store noticed that the “Submit a Podcast” option that’s been available in the iTunes desktop application since Apple first added podcasts to the platform, was gone. A few days later, the option returned. Instead of opening a submission form inside the iTunes application as it has always done, clicking the “Submit a Podcast” link now opens a web browser that directs to the new iTunes Connect page.

iTunes Connect login

iTunes Connect prompts you to log in with an Apple ID and password. Once logged in, the site provides an iTunes Connect: My Podcast page that shows a list of all of the podcasts you’ve submitted to iTunes using your Apple ID. You should see any active shows under your account and you may see old shows that (for whatever reason) have been removed from the iTunes Store. Click on the album art for any of the shows and you’re taken to a new page that presents a short list of options: Refresh Feed, View in iTunes Store, Hide Podcast, and Delete Podcast. There’s also a field for the podcast’s feed URL (in the screenshot below, I’ve blanked the field – you’d normally see the current feed URL of the show in this field) along with the show’s status in the directory as well as the date/time of the listing’s last refresh. (Altering the text in the URL field activates a Save button on the right-hand side of the screen. Presumably, you could use this to update a podcast’s feed URL in the iTunes system.)

iTunes Connect podcast dashboard

Apple brought this new podcast dashboard online with little fanfare. It’s possible they’ve done this to cut down on some of the frequent support requests they receive (refreshing feeds, changing feed URL’s, etc.). This web-based system also makes it possible to submit podcasts using devices other than Mac or Windows computers. It’s the logical next step for what is still podcasting’s biggest directory to give a little more access and control to those of us who are providing its content. It’s a long overdue change.


iTunes Creates “10 Years of Podcasts” Essential List



iTunes 10 Years of PodcastsWhile the medium itself goes back to 2004, podcasting took a big step towards the mainstream when support for podcasts was added to iTunes in June of 2005. And love it or hate it, the iTunes Store and its podcast directory are likely to be central to the world of podcasting for a long time to come. In that spirit, the iTunes staff put together a feature page called “10 Years of Podcasts.” This special section focuses on podcasts that have been deemed “Essential” and as you can probably guess, it includes a lot of stuff from the usual suspects like NPR, The Nerdist, and TWiT. From iTunes:

Back in 2005, we were thrilled to bring podcasts to iTunes – and a decade later, we’re as excited as ever. We’ve gone from 3,000 shows to hundreds of thousands, seen the medium explode internationally, and watched hits like Serial and WTF with Marc Maron capture audiences like never before. As the world of podcasts has changed, podcasts have changed the world. Celebrate their success with our favorite shows over the past decade, spanning everything from longtime classics to emerging superstars.

It’s worth noting that this list isn’t celebrating shows that have been around for ten years. Rather, it’s a collection of shows from the last ten years that are still ongoing and (more importantly) liked by the iTunes Podcasts team.

Congratulations to iTunes on its tenth year in podcasting! Now, how soon ’til we get that user portal?


Get Your Reviews with the iTunes Podcast Review Manager Plugin



iTunes logo newPodcasters are always trying to get more iTunes reviews. And one good strategy for doing that is to read those reviews on your show as they come in. But the iTunes client itself doesn’t provide a good way to find and then follow up on reviews. But a new WordPress plugin called iTunes Podcast Review Manager could make the process of getting iTunes reviews a whole lot easier.

Using iTunes Podcast Review Manager is pretty straightforward. Install the plugin by using either the Add New Plugin feature in WordPress or manually downloading and uploading it. Activate the plugin and then navigate to the Podcast Reviews menu in the sidebar of the WordPress dashboard. From there, go to the Settings page and enter the iTunes Store URL of your podcast. It may take a minute for the plugin to find your first batch of reviews. Once it’s done, it’ll display those reviews in a table that can then be sorted by country, date, rating, username, title or review.

iTunes Podcast Review Manager screenshot
Screenshot of part of the iTunes Podcast Review Manager display window.

I’ve only installed and used the plugin once but it’s working well so far. There’s also a Premium tab inside of iTunes Podcast Review Manager but all it says is a premium service will be launching soon.

If you’re a WordPress user and you’re looking for an easy way to get your iTunes reviews, take a look at iTunes Podcast Review Manager. Keep in mind that free services like this have come and gone in the past. If you don’t use WordPress and/or you’d like to use an established service for collecting your podcast reviews, you should check out My Podcast Reviews.


iTunes Glitch Limiting Number of Displayed Episodes



An apparent glitch in the iTunes Store is causing only the most recent 20 episodes of all podcast feeds to be displayed within the iTunes desktop application.

iTunes Screen Shot

The bug appears to be limited to the iTunes desktop application only as both iTunes web listings and the iOS Podcasts app don’t appear to be affected. Also, this bug should have no impact on users who are already subscribed to a show’s RSS feed thru iTunes.

There’s been no official word yet from Apple as to why this is happening. Some have speculated that it’s due to backend work the company is doing on the iTunes Store in order to prepare for the launch of Apple Music. Regardless, if you’re a podcaster – don’t panic! All indications at this time show that this is only a temporary problem and it will be corrected soon.

We’ll keep this blog post updated with new developments as they come in.


Spotify Could Be the Next Big Podcast Directory



spotify logoDigital media platforms are all about one thing: content. Apple has known this for years, and that’s why the company has expanded its iTunes Store to include much more than just music. And while Apple was a trailblazer in its adoption of podcasting, other players have followed suit over the years. Now, it looks like Swedish music streamer Spotify is poised to add podcasts to its own platform.

According to Bloomberg Business, Spotify has held some talks with potential content partners that would bring podcasts to its streaming music player. It’s not yet known who these potential partners may be, or if the Spotify platform will be as open as the iTunes Store in terms of accepting podcast submissions.

The article notes that Spotify is already streaming some content similar in nature to podcasts:

Spotify, which hosts some podcast-like audio such as Spanish lessons along with millions of songs, plans to add more non-music programming, according to the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. While the discussions have occurred for several months, there is no firm plan or introduction date, one of the people said.

One problem that all music streaming services face is the high cost of licensing songs from major labels. Since podcasts are ostensibly free, Spotify adding them to its platform would be an easy way to bolster its catalog with a diverse array of content without having to cut big royalty checks to producers. Podcasting within Spotify may even include video, allowing users to switch between audio and video on the fly.

This news follows other recent moves by Spotify competitors. Last year, Apple acquired Swell, a spoken word-focused audio streaming app, and Deezer bought out Stitcher. It’s still unclear as to why the bigger companies in both those deals even made these moves. But in the end, it all comes down to the content. Everyone’s looking for more of it or at least, different ways to curate and distribute it.


5 Posts to Revisit from the First Year of Podcaster News



PCNNEW.fwToday marks the first anniversary of the unofficial launch date of Podcaster News (and that’s no April foolin’). We’ve presented a lot of news, how-to’s, and commentary on podcasting over the last year. And we’re looking forward to continuing that coverage into the future. I took a look back thru the Podcaster News archive and put together a list of posts from our first year that are worth revisiting. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Beware of Podcast Snake Oil Sellers Promising Riches: This is the first post I contributed to the site that really got some attention. During the first quarter of 2014, it seemed like everyone and their other had launched a podcast training course. This post was a word of caution to new podcasters that they should be weary of teachers/consultants who charge high prices with the promise of great “podcasting riches” down the road.
  • 54 Seconds (The Wadsworth Constant): Jackson Rogers wrote about “The Wadsworth Constant,” a kind of law that dictates that the first 30% of any online video can be skipped in order to get to the real content. The Wadsworth Constant applies to more than just video. There’s definitely a lesson here for podcasters, too.
  • A Decade of Podcasting: Podcaster News founder and executive editor Todd Cochrane takes a look back at the first ten years of his podcasting journey.
  • Is Swapping Reviews Hurting Podcasting?: Dave Jackson takes a look at something that’s really turned into a phenomenon over the last year; iTunes review swapping. Dave breaks down what swapping is and offers some commentary on why it’s really not helping anybody.
  • Norm Pattiz of PodcastOne: “We were looking at acquiring Stitcher.” – PCN Show 008: It seemed only fair to include at least one episode of our fledgling Podcaster News Show. This episode turned out to be a real bombshell as I was able to interview Norm Pattiz during last year’s drama between PodcastOne and Stitcher.

Thanks to all of the readers and contributors here at Podcaster News for making it a spectacular first year! If I missed anything memorable from the last twelve months, let me know in the comments.