All posts by angelo

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 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.

PowerPress Plugin Users

We have a big update coming to PowerPress in the next few days with all these changes plus a lot more..

Please follow and like us:

New iTunes Podcast Directory Recommendations: What Podcasters Need To Know Now

The higher your podcast ranks in iTunes, the easier it is to grow your audience – so it’s crucial to keep up on and follow their recommendations.

This month, iTunes made a number of changes to the iTunes Store podcast directory that could have a direct impact on the success of your podcast.

Here’s what you need to know (and do) to comply with the new iTunes Podcast
Directory Recommendations:

iTunes Podcast Image Recommendation Change

Apple now recommends using a 3000 x 3000 pixel JPG or PNG in the RGB color space in a compressed format. Saving your image as a JPG with your favorite image editing software should automatically compress your image to optimize for mobile devices.

If you are saving your image as a PNG, please be aware that your image must be saved in the RGB color space. If the image is saved as a CMYK color space (used for printing), it will not be accepted by iTunes. (See our guide to logos, branding and theme for more information on color spaces and other crucial things to keep in mind while designing your cover art.)

The minimum size of 1400 x 1400 may continue to be used and will look acceptable on a tablet or phone – but while it’s not an urgent change, the larger 3000 x 3000 size will look best when viewed in the Apple TV podcasts app.New iTunes Podcast Directory Recommendations February 2016

iTunes Podcast Explicit Setting Change

Apple has changed the iTunes explicit setting. You must now select “clean” or “explicit” – the ‘no’ option is no longer available.

The “explicit” setting previously allowed for a 3rd option referred to as “no” (also referred to as “none” by some services). Nothing was displayed next to your podcast on iTunes if neither “clean” or “explicit” were set. With this change, there is no longer a neutral option.

If you don’t set your podcast as either “clean” or “explicit,” it appears that Apple will now make that determination for you. To guarantee that your content is marked correctly, please update your explicit setting as soon as possible.

The explicit setting is available both at the program/show level as well as the episode level. If all of your episodes are explicit or clean, you will only need to set this attribute at the program/show level.

We are still waiting on a response from Apple staff how to handle the situation with mixed explicit and clean episodes. We assume the previous behavior still applies:

  • If your program is marked “explicit,” then all episodes within that show are also considered explicit. A “clean” episode for an explicit show/program is not applicable.
  • If your program is marked “clean,” then all episodes are considered clean unless otherwise marked explicit.

The explicit setting is very important to maximize your distribution on iTunes. Some territories and countries such as India do not allow explicit content.

iTunes does enforce its explicit settings. Do not assume you can mark content as clean even though it includes explicit content – many podcasters have learned the hard way that mis-labeling your show will lead to being removed from the iTunes podcast directory.

Managing Podcast Submissions to iTunes has Changed

Podcast submissions to the iTunes podcast directory are now managed by the new Podcast Connect website. The new website allows you to submit new podcasts, as well as refresh, hide and delete your current podcast listings.

iTunes Podcast Connect

In February, 2011 Apple dropped the update listing protocol, leaving podcasters with no way to refresh their podcast listings on iTunes. The new Podcast Connect website includes a Refresh Feed option, we applaud and appreciate the addition.

Check back here at the PowerPress Podcast blog weekly for important updates and information that can help you improve your podcast’s chances for success!

Please follow and like us:

Temporary issue with iTunes listings limited to 20 episodes

Podcast show listings are currently limited to 20 episodes because of a temporary issue in iTunes. Apple staff are aware of and working on the problem. The problem only affects podcast directory listings in podcasts’ iOS app and desktop iTunes.

Subscribed users to your podcast can still see all of the episodes available in your podcast feed. The issue is only with directory listings (when viewing your podcast from within the iTunes store).

Once the problem is resolved, iTunes will once again display up to 300 episodes, depending on what you have configured in your podcast feed.

PowerPress users wanting to change their episode limit

The WordPress default displays 10 items (episodes) in feeds. You can override this default by going into PowerPress Settings >  Feeds tab and changing the value in the “show the most recent” setting to a larger value, as high as 300. Keep in mind that the higher you set this value the larger your feed’s file size will be. If you set this value higher than 50, we strongly recommend enabling the “feed maximizer” option, which ensures your large feed does not include blogging meta data that is not needed for podcasting.

Testing your podcast feeds

We recommend viewing your feed with the Firefox Web browser if you want to preview and test your podcast feed. Firefox specifically formats RSS feeds in a readable way and will display an error or a blank page if there is a problem parsing your feed. We no longer recommend using Feed Validator services. As of now, none of the feed validating services support secure (https://) URLs.

Please follow and like us:

Blubrry proudly partners with Appendipity Podcast Themes

Appendipity and BlubrryBlubrry is proudly partnering with Appendipity, a leading creator of WordPress themes for podcasters. The collaboration provides’s podcast media hosting and statistics clients standout themes that keep audio and video podcasts front and center in the marketplace. The professional, unique themes are optimized to work with Blubrry PowerPress, the leading plugin for WordPress, to leave a lasting impression on podcast audiences.

“At Appendipity we create, design and develop Premium WordPress themes specifically for podcasters,” said Joey Kissimmee, founder. “All Appendipity themes are 100 percent compatible and integrated with PowerPress to make your podcasting efforts as easy and seamless as possible.”

In addition to the initial collaboration, RawVoice will continue to work with Appendipity to inform them when plugin changes and upgrades will be implemented. This allows for effortless transitions for podcasters using both of the companies’ services.

“We are delighted that Appendipity, a leading-edge creator of themes in the podcast space, is the first template creator to specifically work with us to ensure smooth integration between PowerPress and their podcast themes,” said Todd Cochrane, RawVoice CEO. “We are pleased to recommend them.”

Please follow and like us:

Welcome to PowerPress 6.0, the future of podcasting is here!

Icon (Custom) (2)

Welcome to PowerPress 6.0! This major release includes a lot of new features, bug fixes and changes.

New Features in PowerPress 6.0

Subscribe Tools (PowerPress exclusive features): PowerPress 6.0 includes three new subscribe tools to help you convert your Web visitors into podcast subscribers.

  • Subscribe Page and Shortcode Embed: With the new subscribe page and shortcode, you can create a static page using an embed that displays a box, which provides subscribe options for the most common devices. You can create the page with one click that inserts a subscribe page template. The shortcode embed is responsive and features mobile device friendly buttons designed for high resolution “Retina” displays. Learn more about the PowerPress Subscribe Page and Subscribe Shortcode Embed.
  • Subscribe Sidebar Widget: We now include a “subscribe to podcast” sidebar widget. The widget features mobile device friendly buttons and includes a “More Subscribe Options” button that links to your subscribe page.
  • Subscribe Links: Below each player we now include subscribe link options that include iTunes, RSS and a “More Subscribe Options” that link to your subscribe page.

We believe the new subscribe tools included in PowerPress will be key to growing podcasts. Android now makes up more than 84 percent of the mobile market; we believe it is important to provide options to help you capture those audiences. We also understand the importance of recommending applications that are free and do not include intrusive advertisements either in the app or inserted into the media content. We found two Android applications that meet this criteria — BeyondPod and Podcast Republic __ and included them as subscribe options.

Official iTunes Subscribe Banner: In addition to the subscribe options above, we are excited to include the new iTunes subscribe banner. You can add the iTunes subscribe banner using the PowerPress subscribe shortcode with the itunes_banner attribute set to true. e.g. [powerpress_subscribe itunes_banner="true"]. Learn more about the Subscribe Shortcode Embed.

Podcasting SEO (PowerPress exclusive feature): Search engine optimization (SEO) features have been added to help improve discovery of your podcast on search engines such as Google, and in the iTunes podcast directory. Learn more about PowerPress Podcasting SEO Settings.

Playlist Player: The new playlist player in PowerPress built upon the WordPress playlist player designed specifically for podcasting. Styling and functionality is the same, though shortcode options are different. Learn more about PowerPress Playlist Shortcode

Migrate to Blubrry Podcast Hosting in three easy steps: One of the biggest complaints we had received was that it’s too hard and/or complicated to migrate a podcast. Not anymore! So as long as your media is currently online, our three-step migration process handles all the legwork for you.

Changes in PowerPress 6.0

Get the Flash out! Because of a lack of browser support for Flash in recent months and because Flash players are no longer actively developed, we’ve permanently removed Flow Player, Simple Flash, AudioPlay and Flash Player Maxi from PowerPress. The 1 Pixel Out player remains, though we now display a warning against its use.

WordPress 3.6 or newer: PowerPress 6.0 requires WordPress 3.6 or newer. Key features rely on base code not found in older versions of WordPress. For security purposes, we strongly recommend always using the latest versions of WordPress. Specifically, PowerPress 6.0 has been tested with yesterday’s release of WordPress 4.1.

iTunes Image requirements: Your show’s artwork now must be at least 1400 x 1400 and not exceed 2048 x 2048 in size. The previous specification recommended at least 1400 x 1400 and had no maximum size limit. Please ensure your artwork is within the new required minimum and maximum to guarantee your podcasts’ ability to be featured in iTunes.

iTunes over the holidays

In case you hadn’t heard, from Monday, Dec. 22, through Monday, Jan. 5, new podcast submissions to the iTunes podcast directory will require additional time for review and processing. New episodes during this time also may require additional time (possibly longer than the typical 4 hours) to appear on iTunes Store.

Thank you!

We want to thank our PowerPress users for your generous support, your ongoing feedback, feature suggestions and bug reporting. You have helped us provide the most powerful and feature-rich podcasting plugin for WordPress!

We would also like to thank the team over at Apple for helping us with the Subscribe on iTunes affiliate link and banner.

Keep it coming!

We are extremely excited about the release of PowerPress 6.0 because of what these new features, bug fixes and upgrades mean to you, our podcast family. We’re also excited to hear back from you about what you think: what you love and what you don’t love and how PowerPress 6.0 is (hopefully) making your media creation, subscription, migration and monetization that much easier. We also want to hear your ideas for the future. At Blubrry, we will continue to evolve to make podcasting the most dynamic, enjoyable and fruitful experience possible. Contact us through our contact form, on Facebook or on Twitter @blubrry and let us know how we’re doing.

Please follow and like us:

PowerPress 6.0 Preview of Podcast Playlist

We are hard at work adding new features to PowerPress. Here’s a sneak peek at the podcast playlist  shortcode feature for the video’s on the PowerPress Podcast. (There’s an audio playlist as well.)

Click here to preview the PowerPress Playlist.

This playlist was created by using the following shortcode in PowerPress 6.0 beta: [powerpressplaylist type="video"]

The playlist expands on the audio and video playlist already built into WordPress 3.9. Anything you can do styling wise you can do with the PowerPress podcast playlist as well.

For a complete list of options, please see our documentation on the PowerPress playlist shortcode page.

Please follow and like us:

DNS Issues

This weekend we made some minor changes to the DNS records that had been planned well in advance. For whatever reason, those changes resulted in a small number of ISPs to not update the name servers. When we use diagnostic tools, we are seeing a 99 percent success rate in resolving the sites.

We have received about six support tickets and most have been resolved in the past couple of hours. This morning we made some additional changes that we feel will speed things up in the remaining ISPs. If you’re are having ongoing issues, here are a few things you can do to mitigate the issue.

1. Reboot your PC
2. Flush your DNS
3. If that does not fix the issue remove the media re-direct for the next 24hours.

This is not something we ever want to happen, and in the eight years we have been doing this we have never seen an issue like this. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Please follow and like us:

1 Pixel Out player is back!

The 1 Pixel Out Audio Player has returned to PowerPress! Last month we removed the 1 Pixel out player due to concerns of possible security exploits. The author of this open source flash player has updated the player to address these concerns. Thank you Martin!

The open source players packaged in PowerPress are created by individuals who have a passion for our podcasting community. To show your support, please make a donation to the 1 Pixel Out Audio Player.

Please follow and like us:

1 Pixel Out player returns to PowerPress

The 1 Pixel Out Audio Player is back! Last month we removed the 1 Pixel out player due to concerns of possible security exploits. The author of this open source flash player has updated the player to address these concerns. Thank you Martin!

These open source players included in PowerPress are created by individuals who have a passion for our podcasting and music community. To show your support, please make a donation to the 1 Pixel Out Audio Player.

Please follow and like us: