How to make iTunes links for podcasts [video]

UPDATE: LinkShare is no longer the iTunes affiliate program. Join PHG. This page will soon be replaced.

Instead of telling your audience to find you in iTunes, give them a direct link that does the work for them! This video episode will show you how to create direct links, and even how to make some money from your podcast.

Get your iTunes URL

Before we can do anything, you need your iTunes URL. We can skip this step if you make an affiliate link (see below).

  1. Find your podcast in iTunes (side tip, never tell your audience to “find you” anywhere!).
  2. Right-click on the podcast cover art and choose “copy link.”

Method 1: “itms”

This first way to do this will make your iTunes links open directly in iTunes without even loading a webpage.

Right now, your iTunes URL will look something like the following.

All you need to do is change “https” (or “http”) to “itms” at the beginning of this URL.

This won’t even open a new tab or window, but it will immediately prompt first-time users whether they want to allow these kinds of links to open in iTunes.

This works on PCs with iTunes installed and also iOS devices.

Method  2: affiliate link (recommended)

The second way to do this will open your podcast on a webpage and then launch iTunes. You also have the potential to earn affiliate income after visitors click your link!

  1. Sign up for Rakuten LinkShare.
  2. Find the US iTunes affiliate program.
  3. Apply to participate. This may require further communication with the affiliate manager to explain that you want to use the affiliate links for your podcast.
  4. When you’re approved, visit and bookmark the Link Maker Tool.
  5. Enter the name of your podcast and change the Media Type to “Podcasts.”
  6. Click on “Podcast Link” and copy the Direct Link URL. (Alternatively, you can use their HTML code for a text or image link.)

Your URL will now look like the following.

Using this URL will open your podcast on the iTunes website and then launch iTunes directly into your podcast listing. I prefer this method because it works better for those who don’t have iTunes installed. But it may still prompt first-time users to allow these kinds of links to open in iTunes.

You can also make money from your podcast with this link! You won’t get paid for visitors merely clicking the link or subscribing to your podcast. But if they purchase anything from iTunes (and potentially the iOS and Mac App Stores) within 72 hours of clicking your link, you’ll earn 5% of their purchase!

Also keep the Link Maker Tool in your bookmarks in case you want to link to someone else’s podcast or anything else in iTunes, the iOS App Store, or the Mac App Store.

Make a friendly URL

That new affiliate URL is long and unfriendly. Make this easier for yourself and your listeners by making a friendly link with Pretty Link Lite or a similar URL redirection tool.

    1. Login to your WordPress admin and go to Plugins > Add New.
    2. Search for “Pretty Link Lite.” (The premium Pretty Link Pro is also great and worth the upgrade expense.)



Now you’ll have a friendly URL you can use on your site and even speak in your podcast. Telling your audience your easy-to-remember URL (like is much better than tell them to “find you” in iTunes.

Add the link to your website

Now that you have an easy URL for your podcast in iTunes, you need it on your website so visitors can easily subscribe, rate, and review you from iTunes.

Link text by highlighting it and click the Insert/edit link button in the WordPress editor. Or adapt the following HTML code with your text and URL.

Or make an attractive button on your website link this:

  1. Buy my Social Subscribe & Follow Links premium plugin for WordPress.
  2. Login to your WordPress admin and go to Plugins > Add New.
  3. Click Upload.
  4. Click Choose File and choose, then click Install Now.
  5. Activate the plugin.
  6. Go to Settings > Subscribe & Follow.
  7. Enter your friendly iTunes URL into the iTunes field and click Save Changes.
  8. Adjust anything else under the Display Options tab and Save Changes.
  9. Insert the Social Subscribe & Follow Links widget somewhere on your website or use shortcode “” in a page or post.
  10. Customize the text to say something other than “iTunes” by entering “Call to action” text in the widget, or use it in the shortcode “” in a page or post.

Hire me to help you podcast with success!

I’m available for one-on-one consulting to help you launch or improve your podcast.

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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship. I may receive comissions or bonuses from your actions on such links

  • Joshua Rivers

    This is great, Daniel. I’ll be working on adding this very shortly!

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      Thank you, Joshua!

  • chadlogan

    I noticed that you’re a big supporter of BlueHost for Podcasting. I was going in that direction, but after talking to an online BlueHost consultant, I was told that Blue Host was NOT encouraged for Podcasters, but great for WordPress. I’m confused about the mixed advice. Could you clarify DJL?

    • Joshua Rivers

      Bluehost would be for hosting your website (with WordPress). You shouldn’t put your media files on Bluehost. You should upload your media files to another host, like Libsyn (my personal choice right now). You would set up your website and link to the files on Libsyn. This gives you a great hosting on your website without having to worry about too many people downloading your podcast.

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      @jwrivers:disqus said it correctly. I highly recommend BlueHost or HostGator for your website. Web hosts like these offer shared web hosting. You can sometimes get away with hosting some podcast media there, but I highly recommend against it.

      If you’re not ready to take podcasting seriously, you could use to host your MP3s for free. But I recommend that you pay for some much faster, high-quality, and stats-included media hosting from LibSyn. You can even use LibSyn for your website, but you wouldn’t get the power and control that WordPress offers. Just make sure you start your LibSyn account with my promo code “noodle” to get a free month.

      • chadlogan

        Big Help DJL! THanks!

  • angelsteph

    Great info as always, Daniel! I’ve followed your advice to do the iTunes affiliate link and then also installed your plug-in. Any thought to including Zune on the Subscribe options? Not that many people use it, but I do have a link to my page currently on my site. Also, how did you get the banner across the top for your subscribe and follow icons? Is that something in the design options? I use Thesis and I don’t see a way to do it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! :)

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      When I first started with Subscribe & Follow, I also had the only scaleable Zune logo for podcasters. Alas, Zune web links no longer work. Try your own and you’ll see.

      The top banner is a widget area on my theme. I am looking at ways to offer this in S&F, but it may require an additional plugin.

  • Ernest Blanchard

    Daniel – I am having a bit of an issue with the Pretty Link plugin. It worked fine for Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin but I cannot get it to work with the ‘itms’ link I enter for my podcast. I keep getting the following: “ERROR: Link URL must be a correctly formatted url” can you tell me if I am doing something wrong or if a setting is not correct?

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      You’re right. I’ve contacted the developer to alert them to this.

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      I posted in the WordPress forums about this and the developer answered. It involves removing some PHP code from the plugin, but it should work.

      I hope the developer incorporates this into future versions.

  • Alex Barker

    Hey Daniel! Thanks for putting this info together! Unfortunately, neither the affiliate program or the “itms” worked for me. I know this is an older episode, but any thoughts?

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      Apple recently switched affiliate programs from LinkShare to PHG. I need to update this video.

      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  • Tomboy Tarts

    Love your blog with all this wonderful simple info. I was scratching my head to get a direct iTunes URL and walah, here’s a solution. Thanks Daniel!

  • Ben Fanning

    This video and directions were incredibly helpful. Thanks

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  • Chris Samples

    Great episode. When searching Rakuten Linkshare for US iTunes or iTunes, it states that there are no results. Has iTunes disassociated with Rakuten Linkshare?