How do I get my podcast into the Podcast charts?
As host of the top 10 rated 'If Only They Knew' podcast, I've looked into what it takes to get featured in the podcast charts.
What are the podcast charts?
The most popular rankings of global podcasts are brought to you by Apple on the iTunes/Apple Podcasts platform.
How are podcasts categorised?
Of course, it would be unfair (and almost ridiculous) if ALL podcasts were ranked on 1 huge list, therefore, Apple has a few different sections to help categorise the many podcasts around the world.
Firstly, it's important to note that each country will have the same sections as other countries, but each nation will have its own rankings for each of the sections. For example, both the UK and Singapore will have a "business" category, but the actual rankings of this category will be different for each country.
'New & Noteworthy' and 'Top Shows'
Now, this is an ideal position for any podcast as it supersedes any other categories on this list.
It is not made clear how many downloads, subscribers and reviews a new podcast needs to be entered on the 'New & Noteworthy' list, but you certainly need quite a bit of attention to be included in this category. Being included in this group of (usually) 26 podcasts means that your show will be featured on the home page of the Apple Podcast app.
Similarly, it isn't quite clear how to get on the 'Top Shows' list in terms of specific numbers, but you will need A LOT to be featured in (what is also called) the 'Top Charts'.
This category has a list of 200 'shows' (the whole podcast, not a specific episode) as well as a list of 200 "episodes".
As well as the top charts, Apple has a list of 19 main categories that all feature their own 'Top Shows' rankings as well as "New Shows". Each main category then has a few related subcategories attached to it.
For example, under the 'Business' category, there is 'Careers', 'Investing', 'Management', 'Marketing', 'Entrepreneurship' and 'Non-Profit'.
It is usually easier to enter into the subcategories rather than the main categories due to the number of competitors in each group. E.g. my podcast has featured in 'Entrepreneurship' charts in many countries multiple times but has only featured in the "Business" charts a few times.
So, what do you do with this information? Well, it's important that when starting your podcast, you identify with the most relevant category and subcategory in order to give yourself the best chance of ranking and being found by your target audience. You will be able to choose these categories on your podcasting hosting platform.
Even if you're based in 1 country, you can still chart in other countries if you have enough listeners from that country.
How many downloads do I need to chart?
Again, there is no official, public recording of how many downloads you need, but after speaking to fellow podcasters, we have found that on average, 100 or so downloads in a short space of time will get you into the top 200 list of a subcategory and a few hundred will often get you into the top 10's/20's - again, depending on the competition's numbers at the time.
Have you entered the charts with surprisingly low numbers or even had 1000's of downloads but didn't rank? Let us know what your experience has been like, so please do drop a comment below or send us a DM on Instagram.