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How to get featured by podcast apps

How to get featured by podcast apps

2022.03.22

Getting featured by a podcast listening app is one of the most effective ways to grow your audience and get noticed by thousands of potential new listeners. The front page of a podcast app is coveted space, typically populated by big shows from major studios, publishers, and networks.

Luckily, there’s a way for shows with growing audiences to also get these highly desirable spots — by submitting a pitch. 

Many listening apps have a team of editors who carefully review pitches and decide which ones make the cut. These teams get hundreds of submissions a day, so if you want to get featured it’s important that your pitch is compelling, clear, and concise.

Understand the criteria

Each app will outline their requirements in the submission form. Take time to read through this and understand what they’re asking for so you can gather everything they need. 

For example, if you’re asking to be featured on a carousel or banner in the app, you may need to supply artwork that meets particular specs. Some apps require you to have a minimum audience size or a certain number of episodes published in order to be considered.

Before you start a submission, read through the forms, note everything you need to prepare, and make sure you qualify for selection.

Make your pitch compelling and relevant

The question you’ll get asked in every submission process is: “Why should your show be promoted?” 

A bad answer to this question would be, “because it’s good”. A good answer will provide context on what your show is about, how it stands out from the rest, and why it would be engaging for new listeners at the time of promotion. Think about what’s notable about your show, season, or episode — it could be a special guest or a timely topic, for example. 

Timing helps: Here’s a snapshot of Apple’s “New & Noteworthy” section from February 2022. Since the Winter Olympics were on at this time, 4 out of the 10 shows were Olympics- and sports-themed.

While your pitch doesn’t have to center on current events, it helps to be mindful of what’s culturally relevant at the time. 

But it’s not everything: Some topics never go out of style — here’s a great example of a description for an evergreen show about food:

Abandoned alleyways. Colorful characters. Mystery meat. Come along as we take you deep inside the food world of countries across the globe, exposing you to the fascinating stories behind dishes, ingredients, and chefs you've never heard of before.”

Emphasize how you’re going to promote your show/episode: 

Promotion is a two-way street. Most apps will ask you how you plan to promote the show/episode they’ll be featuring, so you should get familiar with their social media and be precise in explaining how you would leverage it. 

💡 Pro tip for Apple submissions: 

  • Detail any significant Apple Podcasts-specific marketing related to this promotion.
  • For example, note dedicated email blasts including number of recipients, keyword buys including spend budget, exclusive banner campaigns, radio or TV on-air mentions via voiceover or chyron, or print ads containing an Apple Podcasts custom URL.
  • Tag @ApplePodcasts on social and use your Apple Podcasts URL.
  • Use the official “Listen on Apple Podcasts” badges.

Where and how to pitch your show

Via submission form:

Apple Podcasts

Apple podcasts have the strictest guidelines on submission. Creating your pitch may be time consuming, so make sure to carve out enough time to complete this one thoroughly and thoughtfully. You’ll need access to Adobe Photoshop to create your branded images for promotion as Apple currently only accepts Layered PSD files.

How: Guidelines

Where: Apple Podcasts Promotion Request

Stitcher

In addition to advertising in-app, Stitcher is always looking for podcasters to feature in weekly and monthly newsletters, and podcasters putting out episodes relevant to current events and trends.

How: Best Practices & FAQs

Where: Stitcher Promotion Request Form

Castbox

For first-time applicants, Castbox specifies three prerequisites that must be met before a show is considered: 1) Your podcast can be found on Castbox. You can submit your show here; 2) You’ll need to Claim ownership; 3) You have to mention and tag them on Social.

How: Requirements & Qualifications

Where: Castbox Feature Application Form

Via email

Amazon Music 

Podcasters with content they’d like to promote on Amazon Music can submit requests to podcastpromo@amazon.com

Make sure to include at least two weeks notice and the following details in your email:

  • Publisher (or Podcast Network) name
  • Contact name
  • Series name
  • Series description
  • Promotion territory (Worldwide, US, UK, DE, JP)
  • Trailer release date
  • First episode release date
  • Release schedule (daily, weekly, etc.)
  • Desired promotion date
  • Social media accounts used to promote shows
  • Podcasts’ original working files (i.e. layered PSD file) and host headshot(s) (if applicable)

Pocket Casts

If you’d like to suggest your podcast for a featured spot, contact curation@pocketcasts.com.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Pocket Casts is mostly looking to feature new and emerging podcasts or podcasts beginning a new season, but no podcast is out of the question.
  • Podcasts must have at least 1-2 episodes (or one episode and a trailer) in the feed to be considered. Advanced notice of a new show is ideal, but they don’t pre-promote shows.
  • Submit your podcast with a Pocket Casts share link. If your podcast is not yet available on Pocket Casts, you can submit it here.
  • Before you submit, make sure that your show has a name, description, artwork and a well-formed feed.

Unfortunately Deezer, Spotify, Google and Overcast do not currently accept pitches.