How should I time my podcast launch and iTunes submission?

My friend and I are launching a podcast and we’re planning to launch with three episodes, and we’d love to launch on … [a particular date]. Is it even possible to time launches with approvals?


Trying to perfectly time your publicized launch with your iTunes launch can be stressful. It's also bad advice that usually coincides with myths about iTunes's “New & Noteworthy” lists.

I recommend that you publish your first episode (or a few) and submit to iTunes about a week before your publicized launch date. Ensure you have a valid podcast feed and adhere to Apple's podcasting specs. Then your podcast should be approved within a couple or few days.

It's fine if your podcast gets into iTunes before your publicized launch. It won't hurt your podcast in any way.

You're probably eager to make your blitz of a launch, and it's okay to get it all ready, but be prepared to postpone if there are any delays.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.

12 comments on “How should I time my podcast launch and iTunes submission?

  1. Every podcast I’ve launched I’ve first submitted a short (1-2 minute) “coming soon” episode to iTunes a couple of weeks before my launch date. The episode explains what the podcast will be about, the website URL and when it will be launched. Once Apple approves the podcast I know I’m good to go for my launch date. Once I launch the official podcast I remove the “coming soon” episode from my feed.

    1. Hold up…im working on uploading my podcasts to Libsyn and then immediately submitting to iTunes with the hope to get the approval and appear on iTunes next week.
      you;re saying you can upload something to iTunes BEFORE apple approves the podcast? that sounds like a contradiction…how does that work?
      feel free to me back @codeswitchin or @peopleshistory on twitter or NativeNYvideo on IG

      1. No, what I’m saying is I submitted a short “coming soon” placeholder episode to iTunes for Apple to approve. Apple doesn’t care what the episode is just as long as it meets all their criteria for format, artwork etc. Once I get the email saying the podcast is approved and is now in iTunes, I know I can then release my first official episode on my designated launch day because the podcast is already in iTunes. After I publish episode 1, I then remove the “coming soon” placeholder episode from my feed (Libsyn) which removes it from iTunes leaving episode 1 as the first episode.

  2. The Candy Perfume Boy says:

    Does each episode have to be approved? My podcast is in iTunes with episode one live. I’m using Libsyn to manage and publish my content and wondered whether if I schedule further episodes to be published at a certain time, whether they would appear in iTunes immediately, or whether I need to leave extra time?

    1. Andy says:

      Did you ever get this figured out? Looking for the same answer.

    2. Julia says:

      Did you ever get an answer to this?

    3. No, each episode doesn’t need to be approved; only your RSS feed needs to be approved. After that, when someone subscribes to your podcast, they’re connected directly to your RSS feed. So as soon as you publish an episode, it’s available for their podcast apps to download, even if there’s a delay in showing the latest episode in the catalog.

      But do remember that each episode’s text must still honor Apple’s rules of forbidding profanity.

  3. N DallaValle says:

    Great post – and some information that I was not clear about in regards to when I should submit to iTunes. I am launching my podcast and I think I should have gotten on iTunes ahead. Is there any concern with submitting later? Or should I scramble to get it out there now?

    1. You can’t get in Apple Podcasts until you have at least one episode in your feed, so it’s not possible to submit before you launch.

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