How the 2019 Apple Podcast Category Changes Affect Your Podcast



2019 Apple Podcast Category changes affect nearly 75% of podcasts shows. Is your podcast affected by the change?

Chances are your podcast will be affected by the new Apple podcast category change coming this August. For podcasters worried about what will happen to your category listing on Apple podcasts, breathe easy: Apple will map removed subcategories to their top-level category. That means that if you do nothing and your category is affected, you will still, at the very least, be in a top-level category.

Take advantage of this opportunity! If your show can take advantage of the new categories, update your categories immediately. This change is an opportunity for your show to be of the first in these new categories. If you are a Blubrry.com hosting customer, please go to the podcaster dashboard, click on “Podcast Settings” then select your new August 2019+ categories. If you are a PowerPress user, please update to version 7.5 or newer, then go to PowerPress Settings, select the “Apple” tab and proceed to set your new August 2019+ categories.

The most affected categories include “Comedy”, “Education”, “Government & Organizations”, “Music”, “News & Politics”, “Sports & Recreation”, “Technology”, and “TV & Film”. Comedy, Music, News & Politics and TV & Film now have 37 new subcategories to grow into. Sports & Recreation was essentially re-factored and is now simply called “Sports”. Education had many of its subcategories eliminated, replaced with new more appropriately titled subcategories. Sadly Government & Organizations” and  “Technology” had their subcategories completely eliminated. The most shocking subcategory to be eliminated was “Podcasting” found under “Technology” since there are nearly 10,000 shows found in that subcategory today.

Before we dig further into the changes, the 2019 Apple Podcast category changes is a refreshing step forward with improving the organization of podcasts in the Apple podcasts directory. The last category changes were made way back in 2011, and even then, they were only minor changes. The 2019 Apple Podcasts category changes, though, are significant. So significant, you’ll probably re-read this article a few times to fully understand the scope of the changes.

Again: this update is significant! In August Apple will transition from 67 top and subcategories to 112. Every top-level category has been touched, either with the title being renamed or the addition or removal of sub-categories. Of the changes, 51% of the existing categories remain unchanged and 16% are renamed and the remaining 33% removed. There are nearly 70% more podcast categories. Wrap your head around that! 

Using data from the blubrry podcast directory—with over 700,000 podcasts—over 130,000 of these shows have at least 1 required category change. Over 55% of shows that use a top-level category as their primary category now have new subcategories to pick from. Nearly 75% of podcasts are affected by these category changes!

Top-level Apple podcast category changes

The current 16 top-level categories continue, however, 6 have been re-titled. 3 new top-level categories have been added. These new top-level categories include “True Crime”, “History” and “Fiction”. Fiction is the only new top-level category that also includes new subcategories.

Pre 2019 top-level categories:

  • Arts (unchanged)
  • Business (unchanged)
  • Comedy (unchanged)
  • Education (unchanged)
  • Government & Organizations changed to “Government”
  • Health changed to “Health & Fitness”
  • Kids & Family (unchanged)
  • Games & Hobbies changed to “Leisure”
  • Music (unchanged)
  • News & Politics changed to “News”
  • Religion & Spirituality (unchanged)
  • Science & Medicine changed to “Science”
  • Society & Culture (unchanged)
  • Sports & Recreation changed to “Sports”
  • Technology (unchanged)
  • TV & Film (unchanged)

New 2019+ top-level categories:

  • True Crime
  • History
  • Fiction

411 on secondary level Apple Podcasts categories

The secondary level category changes, or “subcategories” as Apple labels them, is much more complicated. Apple Podcasts almost doubled the number of subcategories from 51 to 93. We broke down the changes into 3 segments: removed, changed, and added.

The most ambiguous subcategory titles have been removed in favor of titles that identify the category better. For example “Other” under “Religion & Spirituality” has been removed.

Apple Podcasts subcategories that have been removed

Apple removed 22 subcategories. Shows that fall into these subcategories will now default to their top-level category noted.

  • Business
    • Business News (shows will now appear under Business, see note1)
    • Shopping (shows will now appear under Business)
  • Education
    • Education Technology (shows will now appear under Education top category)
    • Higher Education (shows will now appear under Education top category)
    • K-12 (shows will now appear under Education top category, note2)
    • Training (shows will now appear under Education top category)
  • Government & Organizations (renamed to Government)
    • Local (shows will now appear under Government)
    • National (shows will now appear under Government)
    • Non-Profit (shows will now appear under Government)
    • Regional (shows will now appear under Government)
  • Health (renamed to Health & Fitness)
    • Self-Help (shows will now appear under the Health & Fitness top category, note3)
  • Religion & Spirituality
    • Other (shows will now appear under Religion & Spirituality)
  • Science & Medicine (renamed to Science)
    • Medicine (shows will now appear under Science top category, note4)
  • Society & Culture
    • History (shows will now appear under Society & Culture, note5)
  • Sports & Recreation
    • Amateur (shows will now appear under Sports)
    • College & High School (shows will now appear under Sports)
    • Outdoor (shows will now appear under Sports)
    • Professional (shows will now appear under Sports)
  • Technology
    • Gadgets (shows will now appear under Technology)
    • Tech News (shows will now appear under Technology)
    • Podcasting (shows will now appear under Technology)
    • Software How-To (shows will now appear under Technology)

Note1: We recommend mapping “Business News” to News > Business News
Note2: We recommend mapping “K-12” to Kids & Family > Education for Kids
Note3: We recommend mapping “Self-Help” to Education > Self-Improvement
Note4: We recommend mapping “Medicine” to Health & Fitness > Medicine
Note5: We recommend mapping “History” to the new top-level category History

Apple Podcasts subcategories that have been changed

Apple has changed 11 subcategories. Shows that fall into these subcategories will not be affected other than appearing in a retitled category.

  • Arts
    • Literature renamed to “Books”
  • Business
    • Management & Marketing renamed to “Management” (see note1)
  • Education
    • Language Courses renamed to “Language Learning”
  • Health (renamed to Health & Fitness)
    • Fitness & Nutrition renamed to “Fitness” (see note2)
  • Games & Hobbies (renamed to Leisure)
    • Other Games renamed to “Games”

Note1: We recommend marketing only podcasts use the new category Business > Marketing
Note2: We recommend nutrition only podcasts use the new category Health > Nutrition

Apple Podcasts subcategories that have been added

Apple has added 67 new subcategories. These categories expand upon most of the top-level categories

  • Business
    • Entrepreneurship (new!)
    • Marketing (new!)
    • Non-profit (new!)
  • Comedy
    • Comedy Interviews (new!)
    • Improv (new!)
    • Stand-up (new!)
  • Education
    • Courses (new!)
    • How To (new!)
    • Self-Improvement (new!)
  • Fiction (new!)
    • Comedy Fiction (new!)
    • Drama (new!)
    • Science Fiction (new!)
  • History (new!)
  • Health & Fitness
    • Medicine (new!)
    • Mental Health (new!)
    • Nutrition (new!)
  • Kids & Family
    • Education for Kids (new!)
    • Parenting (new!)
    • Pets & Animals (new!)
    • Stories for Kids (new!)
  • Leisure
    • Animation & Manga (new!)
    • Crafts (new!)
    • Home & Garden (new!)
  • Music
    • Music Commentary (new!)
    • Music History (new!)
    • Music Interviews (new!)
  • News
    • Business News (new!)
    • Daily News (new!)
    • Entertainment News (new!)
    • News Commentary (new!)
    • Politics (new!)
    • Sports News (new!)
    • Tech News (new!)
  • Science
    • Astronomy (new!)
    • Chemistry (new!)
    • Earth Sciences (new!)
    • Life Sciences (new!)
    • Mathematics (new!)
    • Natural Sciences (new!)
    • Nature (new!)
    • Physics (new!)
    • Social Sciences (new!)
  • Society & Culture
    • Documentary (new!)
    • Relationships (new!)
  • Sports
    • Baseball (new!)
    • Basketball (new!)
    • Cricket (new!)
    • Fantasy Sports (new!)
    • Football (new!)
    • Golf (new!)
    • Hockey (new!)
    • Rugby (new!)
    • Running (new!)
    • Soccer (new!)
    • Swimming (new!)
    • Tennis (new!)
    • Volleyball (new!)
    • Wilderness (new!)
    • Wrestling (new!)
  • True Crime (new!)
  • TV & Film
    • After Shows (new!)
    • Film History (new!)
    • Film Interviews (new!)
    • Film Reviews (new!)
    • TV Reviews (new!)

For a full list of the new podcast categories from Apple, please visit the Apple Podcasts Categories page.

Analysis of the changes

After reviewing the changes and comparing the number of podcasts that appear in the various subcategories, we have determined the changes Apple has made will be a net positive for most shows. These new categories and subcategories will now have their own top 200 shows featured within them, which will give over 13,000 podcasts top 200 exposure in the Apple podcasts directory. So, while change can be scary sometimes, in this instance you actually now have a better chance to gain more exposure. Which means it might make it easier to grow your audience.

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