How to Start Using the New iTunes Podcast Tags for iOS 11

With the release of iOS 11, Apple supports new podcasting tags for your podcast RSS feed. Here's how you can start using them today.

What are the new and updated iTunes tags for podcasts?

At WWDC 2017, Apple announced iOS 11 and released information about new tags being added to the iTunes podcasting spec and coming support in the Apple Podcasts app.

  • <itunes:type> (show/channel level): “episodic” for non-chronological episodes that will behave as they have for years and download the latest episode, or “serial” for chronological episodes that should be consumed oldest to newest.
  • <itunes:episodeType> (episode/item level): “full” for normal episodes; “trailer” to promote an upcoming show, season, or episode; or “bonus” for extra content related to a show, season, or episode.
  • <itunes:title> (episode/item level): only the episode title—no episode number, season number, or show title. This can be used with any show and episode type.
  • <itunes:episode> (episode/item level): any number to indicate the current episode number, which can be relative to the entire show (like “316”), or relative to the current season (like “5”). This can be used with any show and episode type.
  • <itunes:season> (episode/item level): any number to indicate the season in which this episode belongs. This can be used with any show and episode type.
  • <itunes:summary> (episode/item level): this updated (but not new) tag is best for a short description of your episode. It will display above the full show notes.
  • <content:encoded> (episode/item level): this updated (but not new) tag is for your full show notes. It will display below the title and summary.

Listen to my episode 310, “Apple's iOS 11, Podcast Analytics, and Podcasting Spec Update,” for more information about these new and updated tags.

Using the new iTunes tags in PowerPress

If you're using WordPress with the PowerPress plugin to generate your RSS feed, the following steps will help you enable the new podcast tags for iTunes. You will probably notice red “new!” text next to the new options.

  1. Login to your WordPress admin dashboard.
  2. If you aren't already  PowerPress 7.1 or later, go to Dashboard > Updates and update PowerPress (you may have to click “Check Again” if the update isn't listed yet.)
  3. Go to PowerPress > Settings > iTunes tab.
  4. Set “iTunes Type” to “Episodic” or “Serial.”
  5. Then go to the Episodes tab.
  6. Checkmark the new tags you want to use: “iTunes Summary Field” (old, but new behavior), “iTunes Episode Title Field,” and “iTunes Episode Number, Season and Type Fields.”
  7. Click Save Changes.
  8. Create or edit a post.
  9. Scroll to the “Podcast Episode” widget.
  10. If you're changing an already-published episode, checkmark “Modify existing podcast episode.”
  11. Enter the appropriate information in the new “iTunes episode” and “iTunes title” fields.
  12. Enter a one- or two-sentence description in “iTunes Summary” or leave blank to use your excerpt (if written) or a truncated version of your show notes.
  13. Click Update or Publish when you're finished editing your post.

Using the new iTunes tags in Libsyn

If you use Libsyn to host your media and manage your podcast RSS feed, the following steps will help you use the new podcast tags for iTunes.

  1. Login to your Libsyn account and show.
  2. Click on Settings in the menu.
  3. Scroll down to iTunes Show Type and choose between “Episodic” and “Serial.”
  4. Click Save.
  5. Go to Content and either “Add New Episode” or “Previously Published” to find an already published episode to update.
  6. Go to the Details tab.
  7. Enter your full show notes in the “Description” box.
  8. Scroll to “iTunes Optimization” and enter the appropriate information in the new “iTunes Title,” “Episode Type,” “Season Number,” and “Episode Number” fields.
  9. Enter a one- or two-sentence description in “iTunes Summary” or leave blank to use a truncated version of your “description.”
  10. Click Publish when you're finished editing your post.

Using the new iTunes tags with a different podcast-publishing system

PowerPress and Libsyn are my top recommendations for creating and managing a podcast feed. As other podcast-publishing platforms add support for the new tags, their processes will each be different. However, you will probably see the new tags in these places:

  • Show-level settings to set “iTunes Type” to either “Episodic” or “Serial.”
  • Episode-publishing and updating interface for the additional tags:”Episode Type,” “iTunes Title,” “Season Number,” and “Episode Number.”

You can probably expect to not see these new features in FeedBurner's SmartCast or SoundCloud.

Apple gave enough advanced notice and documentation of the new tags that if your podcast-publishing system doesn't support them by the time iOS 11 is released in fall 2017, then I recommend switching to Blubrry or Libsyn and use my affiliate promo code “noodle” to get a free month.

Thank you for the podcast reviews!

  • David J Harmon (AKA “Graphikos Man”), host of Star Citizen Zone, wrote, “Thanks for help on podcasting, it's a hard world out there to podcast.”
  • Steve, from the Marshall Islands, wrote, “I am a new listener but have been binge listening. I have been wanting to find information on how to podcast etc. It seemed to be an endless search pulling pieces from several sources. This podcast, and the website are exactly what I needed to get started and motivated to launch.”
  • Gail L. Nobles wrote, “I love how you explain about niches, profit, and the voice of podcasting. You cover so many things. Thanks for sharing your great knowledge! Thanks for building our confidence, and sharing your ideas and opinions! Audacity is great. Thanks for sharing the meaning of the word! ????????????????❤️”

Your reviews encourage me and they help other people find the podcast. If you appreciate the podcasting information I share, please write your own review on Apple Podcasts, Podchaser or Stitcher!

Use My Podcast Reviews to get your own podcast reviews automatically checked daily and learn how to grow your audience with reviews!


  • Come see me at Podcast Movement and be part of an episode by telling me what inspired you to start your podcast. If you haven't registered yet, use promo code “noodle” to save 10%.

Need personalized podcasting help?

I no longer offer one-on-one consulting outside of Podcasters' Society, but request a consultant here and I'll connect you with someone I trust to help you launch or improve your podcast.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

  • Comment on the shownotes
  • Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
  • Email (audio files welcome)

Connect with me


This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

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.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

I added the new iTunes iOS 11 tags to my podcast feed. Now I can’t find a validator that will recognize them. Do you know of a validator that is updated with the new tags?

I’m seeing mixed signals as to whether I can start using these. In TAP316 you say it is okay to start using these today. So I added them. When I viewed the feed in a browser it would not render and all feed validators show the tags as an error and won’t validate. I got spooked and undid all my changes. What should I believe as to use them or not?

5 years ago

I’m confused about this. It seems like apple have not updated their itunes xmlns DTD to include the new tags, so adding them breaks XML validation. Is there a new 2.0 DTD to go with these changes?

5 years ago

My listeners have reported the episodes are now out of sync numb
er wise, not sure if this is the problem.
But I’ve followed your lybsyn instructions, but at the point of it saying…”go to iTunes optimisation,”, that is not there on any previous episode .

Also, my shows are selected as episodic , so again, no idea why it’s changed.?
Any help appreciated.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x