Apple Podcasts drops email requirement for shows, updates approval process, more

Apple Podcasts drops email requirement for shows, updates approval process, more

Apple has announced a handful of technical changes coming to the Apple Podcasts back end, starting in 2023. These changes impact the approval process, will help cut down on podcaster spam, and much more. Here are the details.

First and foremost, Apple said that Apple Podcasts will no longer support the “owner tag” and its contact information in podcast RSS feeds. This means that podcasters will no longer have to put their email addresses in the feed details, a change that should significantly cut down on spam issues.

As it stands today, many large companies use the owner email in the RSS metadata to reach out to podcasters unsolicited:

The owner tag (<itunes:owner>) and its contact information, including email, will no longer be recommended. Apple requires creators have an active Apple ID to submit a show, and users designated with an Admin role in Apple Podcasts Connect will be contacted using the email associated with their Apple ID as needed. Creators can also add an email address for each show in Apple Podcasts Connect.

Apple Podcasts will also start requiring a globally unique identifier (GUID) tag for RSS feeds, which is something defined by your hosting provider and must be unique for each episode of your show. Apple said that it will not process any episode that contains a duplicate GUID.

Changes are coming to the crawling process as well:

Conditional GET

Update: Recommended

For hosting providers, the Apple Podcasts RSS feed crawler will start reading and accepting ETag (HTTP 1.1) or Last Modified Date (HTTP 1.0) headers. Using these headers will limit the amount of data that our crawler will need to request if no changes have been detected.

For submitting new shows to Apple Podcasts, there are some updates to the approval process. Apple says that when a creator submits a new show, it will be immediately made available in the Apple Podcasts catalog. Creators can then use the URL to “generate promotional assets and begin promoting a show.”

Just like in the past, however, all shows and subscriptions will be reviewed and it could “take up to 24 hours for new shows and episodes to appear in search results and personalized recommendations.”

Finally, Apple Podcasts is also dropping support for Atom feeds. “New shows in Atom feed format will no longer be accepted and any remaining shows will no longer be updated,” the company said.

These changes don’t mean a whole lot to the end podcast listener, but they are notable for podcasters themselves. They are already receiving praise from the podcast community on Twitter.

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