Changes Coming with New Enhanced Apple Podcast Categories

Photo by  Medhat Dawoud  on  Unsplash

Earlier this summer, Apple announced a number of upcoming changes to its podcast platform, including a new desktop app and search capabilities when macOS Catalina becomes available this fall. Flying under the radar during those announcements was news that Apple would be reconfiguring its list of podcast categories, a change that will impact most, if not all, podcasters.

For years, Apple has provided podcasters the opportunity to choose up to three categories to be included in their podcast’s RSS feed, dictating how each podcast is catalogued and where it shows up. However, many categories and subcategories have become outdated as podcast content has continued to grow and evolve, with many new emerging podcasts having no obvious category home.

As of today, podcasters can now submit new RSS feeds with updated category values. Just as before, you can choose up to three main categories with corresponding subcategories, if necessary. Changes are expected to go live later this summer. You can view Apple’s full list of new supported categories here.

Along with dozens of new subcategories, Apple is including new top level categories, including Fiction, History, and True Crime. In some cases, categories that previously had subcategories (like Technology and Government) will no longer have them. In other instances, categories like TV & Film and Comedy will now have subcategories available.

Apple’s goal with these changes is to redistribute content from several categories that had become bloated, while acknowledging the changing content and topics that are becoming popular among listeners. Furthermore, as their new operating system rolls out this far, it’s possible that these changes will impact searches and general navigation within the Apple Podcast app.

For podcasters, it’s important to get out in front of these changes by making the necessary updates to their podcast categories. And as the podcast market continues to grow, and changes come more rapidly, it’s more important than ever to have a trusted partner to help provide direction and insights to get the most out of your podcast strategy.