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.