How to Get Your Podcast into New and Noteworthy in iTunes

Disclaimer: I normally don’t talk technical aspects of podcasting, but I couldn’t find a good article on this ANYWHERE. So I created it.

I just hit the New and Noteworthy list on iTunes for my Eventual Millionaire Video Webshow. Before I launched I wanted to find out what it really took to get on this list now. So I talked with 5 other podcasters that landed on the list recently and the numbers astounded me.

The buzz around podcasting has been growing.  It’s getting very popular, and many of the great bloggers are starting their own. A few amazing newer podcasters are Social Media Examiner, ViperChill and Chris Brogan (The Human Business Way).

But how do we get the coveted spot in the New and Noteworthy section especially if you don’t already have a list like these big name bloggers?

Itunes is very secretive on this, and even friends of friends that work there don’t know the secrets.

Cliff Ravenscraft THE Podcast Answerman said this: “It’s completely up to them! But I do know that you must have decent artwork and they must see that there is a great deal of general interest in your show.”

I don’t know the secrets but I do know all of my stats when I got featured this week and last year, and I’ve researched  and have case studies on how others have done it. Even without ANY list to start with.

 

Years ago it seemed easier…


When I launched my first audio podcast I was following two of my friends who hit the new and noteworthy list.

This was back in 2011 when there weren’t as many new podcasts too. I created one podcast episode and it was NOT very well done. The audio quality wasn’t great and I was a horrible interviewer. (I think I said the word excellent like 74 times in 45 minutes ;)

 

I was on the new and noteworthy list within days, and was getting over 1,000 downloads per day.

But how hard is it now?

 

Recently I helped my friend John Dumas get his new podcast started. He had no list to start with, and no contacts in the industry.

Once launched he hit the new and noteworthy list within two days. He maintained that spot for almost TWO MONTHS. He was able to get over 120,000 downloads a month.

Here is what I learned from helping John and getting both of my podcasts on the New and Noteworthy List. Plus talking to many of the current podcasts featured. This information is from hitting N&N in the Management and Marketing section of iTunes. (it may be very different in entertainment or other categories!)

I was also VERY surprised by some of the numbers which you will at the end of the article.

 

Create a High Quality Show

What makes a high quality show?

 

Great Sound and Visuals

If it’s audio, make sure the sound quality is good. (Check out Cliff Ravenscraft who is the master of that!) You will get reviews talking about the audio quality, so even if it doesn’t matter to you it matters to A LOT of other people.

If it’s video, pay attention to the lighting and do your best to make the quality as good as you can. When you create a video podcast you do have to format it for mobile which is lower quality but do the best you can on quality. Sound is more important, even on a video podcast. If you can’t understand it clearly, then no one will want to listen in!

 

Get a High Quality Intro

Your intro is the first impression to your podcast. So whether it be someone from iTunes listening or a possible subscriber, you need to make a great first impression. You can get high quality voice overs inexpensively. My audio intro was $50. (You can find OK quality ones on Fiverr.com). If you need a video intro expect to pay around $200 – $300.

 

Editing

Learn, or have someone that knows how to edit your work. You don’t need to have everything perfect, but along with sound quality making sure the audio or video is cut, and looks professional. Now we have all of the tools at our fingertips to learn this ourselves or outsource it. (Check out Audacity for free for audio editing)

 

Professional Looking Artwork. Create a thumbnail that is 1400×1400 and looks good when it’s much smaller. The name has to be easily visible, and it has to look good. Check out the current ones that are featured to get an idea.

 

Get as Much Activity In the Shortest Time Possible….

 

 

Get Reviews!

How many?

This is just an opinion, but I don’t think it takes that many at first. Keep reading and you’ll see the case studies below. In general each podcast featured only had a handful of reviews at first.

 

Ask Facebook Friends

Now that we have Facebook friends, you don’t even need a huge following to get reviews. In fact, I found it easier to get reviews from my Facebook friends, then from my Facebook fan page which has 3X more people on it.

 

Personally Email People

A personal email to a friend that you know using iTunes works wonders. You don’t need a big list, you just need a few friends! If you have any contacts within your niche that are bigger players you may want to ask them. When a potential subscriber looks at your reviews and they recognize a credible person leaving a review that just gives you more credibility. Ask for written reviews too, not just a rating. That way potential subscribers can get an idea of what others say about your show.

 

 

Get Tons of Downloads!

 

How many?

It really depends on what category you launch in. In Marketing and Management  it ranges from only having 10 downloads a day to hundreds and still hitting the list.

 

Create More Than One Episode When you Launch

I didn’t do this when I launched the first time, though I really wish I had. Since they are looking for “Activity” the more opportunity for activity the better. That means if you only have one episode to download at first that’s all they can download. If you have three or more that gives a lot more opportunity for

 

Create Great Copy for the Episodes

This is something that took me awhile to learn. Don’t be like me! I used to put the name and company of the millionaire. That doesn’t matter to most people. Write the episode name like you are writing the headline of a magazine. What will make your potential subscriber click?

Check out this post on using curiosity and the information gap to create compelling blog posts (but do the same for your podcast episode!)

 

Case Studies:

 

Sheila Butler – Successful Women

Podcast live in iTunes for: 2 weeks

Amount of Episodes: 41

Amount of Reviews: 2

Amount of downloads before featured per day: 10

Amount of downloads after featured per day: 10

 

John Dumas – Entrepreneur on Fire

Podcast live in iTunes for: 1 day

Amount of Episodes: 3 at launch (1 each weekday after)

Amount of Reviews: 2

Amount of downloads before featured per day: A few hundred

Amount of downloads after featured per day: 3,000-4,000 per day (120k a month)

 

Jaime Tardy – Eventual Millionaire Video

Podcast live in iTunes for: 2 days (it went live on a weekend)

Amount of Episodes: 14

Amount of Reviews: 6

Amount of downloads before featured per day: 100 a day

Amount of downloads after featured per day: 250 (for the past two days)

Mike Thomas – Mike from Maine

Amount of Episodes at launch:  5 episodes

Amount of Reviews before N&N: One review

Amount of downloads before featured per day: I currently have 100-200 per day

Amount of downloads after featured per day: It’s stayed pretty steady ( I currently have 6625 views -that’s for two months)

Henri Junttila – Wake Up Cloud

Amount of Episodes at launch:  1 episode

Amount of Reviews before N&N: One review

Amount of downloads before featured per day: First day 250 but after was 20-60 per day

Amount of downloads after featured per day: Between 10 and 100

 

John Corcoran – Smart Business Revolution

Podcast live in iTunes for: One month

Amount of Episodes at launch:  2 episodes

Amount of Reviews before N&N: 0

Amount of downloads before featured per day: 5 downloads a day

Amount of downloads after featured per day: 20+

 

 

Is it Worth It?

Back in 2011, the friends that were on the New and Noteworthy list were getting over 1,000 downloads per day as soon as they were listed. Now, and looking at the data from everyone, it might not be as coveted a spot as it used to be.

 

In September iTunes changed from listing one row of large icons in the N&N list to two small rows of icons. I thought that might be part of the issue, but John was in the list when the change happened and didn’t see any drop in downloads.

 

Creating a top quality show that is capable of hitting the new and noteworthy section is definitely worth it. Most likely if you are trying to create the best show that you can, you have a really good chance of hitting the list. And it doesn’t hurt to be featured!

 

If you are excited about starting your podcast but need to learn more of the technical set up, check out this amazing series by Pat Flynn – How to Start a Podcast

 

Comment below: Do you have any data, tips or were you surprised by this information?

 

 

 

31 Responses to “How to Get Your Podcast into New and Noteworthy in iTunes”

  1. Mars Dorian

    Very good information,
    Jaime, I’m planning to create my own podcast show, and your take on the subject illuminated
    the darker areas of my brain, hah.

    I think the investment you have to make for a purely audio-based show is pretty little – but you have to have of course the burning PASSION within yourself to make it rock.

    Seriously on fire, thanx to you !

  2. Mike From Maine

    Jamie,

    Thanks for reaching out for me for this. When I first saw my podcast listed in the New and Noteworthy section I was super-pumped, but then I didn’t see too much of a difference. The iTunes store has recently changed so maybe we’ll start seeing a change.

  3. Shelia

    Thanks so much for including me in your research and post. Great points and I’m excited to see how this all pans out. My downloads have doubled, since joining iTunes. I’m not sure how they choose the New and Noteworhty, but must admit I enjoy seeing right there beside Seth Godin :)
    Thanks again.

  4. Jackie Ulmer

    Jaime,

    Great info and thanks. One question for clarification as I am about to launch mine. When you say –

    Create More Than One Episode When you Launch

    Do you mean to upload them all at once? Space them out a dat apart, or does it matter? I notice it publishes the date in iTunes and so I am a little confused about that.

    Also, when you say “launch” – does that encompass just that one day, a week, or how does that work? Want to be sure I have all my ducks lined up to make that list!

    Thanks!

    • Jaime

      Have at least 3 episodes ready to go live when iTunes posts it.
      A launch can be a marketing promotion of days or weeks, but I was referring to the actual time on iTunes that it went live.

  5. Dee Copeland Patience

    Thank you for this.

    I couldn’t find any videos or help with this, but since the women podcasters are all kicking butt in iTunes, I hope to get there too. I’m launching at the end of February.

    Amy Porterfield is in N&N with only 2 episodes, but she also has a pretty large list.

  6. Jared Latigo

    Thanks for this information Jamie. I was wondering if you knew how long a show can be active before it’s no longer considered new?

    My has been about for nearly 3 months. I haven’t done many of the things on the list here but hope to push it more soon and get some good downloads. Last month I had about 700 downloads and hope to increase that this month.

    Thanks again

  7. Pete Sveen

    Hi Jaime! I followed your steps as well as John D’s and have had a very successful launch thus far. The first podcast was uploaded on iTunes the 16th of April. I launched 4 podcasts at once. It was on the New and Noteworthy section within 1 or 2 days and I asked friends and family for reviews. I had 9 reviews the first day, 15 the next, and 21 currently.

    In day two I was in the top 10 within the 3 different categories. In day 3 I got into the overall category for New and Noteworthy. In day 5 I was bouncing around between 1 and 3 in a few of the categories like business and technology. I also got in the top 3 for the overall category which skyrocketed downloads. The first day I had 2 downloads total, then 20, 53 the next, 208, 237, and 1242 so far today, with about 4 hours left. I’ll let you know how things go in the future but it sure is exciting to see all the downloads coming in. I have not noticed a significant spike in traffic to the website yet but there has been a little more than usual.

    Thanks for your advice!
    – Pete

    • Jaime

      This is awesome Pete!
      Thank you so much for sharing all of this information! It’s so helpful!! :)
      You Rock. Congrats!!

  8. Jen Briney

    Hi Jaime,

    Thank you for writing this post; it was exactly what I was looking for but now I’m even more frustrated! I’ve done almost everything you’ve outlined: I have artwork that gets frequent compliments, I have 26 5-star ratings, 15 glowing reviews, I’ve been publishing weekly for 8 months and I’m rarely even showing up in the “All podcasts” browsing section – forget New & Noteworthy!

    It’s especially frustrating in News and Politics because some of the featured podcasts are in foreign languages, some have no ratings or reviews, and I even saw one podcast without any episodes. I’m starting to wonder if iTunes has let the podcasts section go off the rails. It just doesn’t make any sense :(

    • Jaime

      Well, new and noteworthy usually has to happen when your podcast is new. I should have mentioned that! I think the oldest one I heard of was just a few months old. I don’t think you can hit it when you have been out 8 months. :/
      But at least all those ratings should still make people want to get it!

  9. Jeff Wortman

    Thanks for these tips in the dark art of getting featured on itunes. I’ve been working on a comedy podcast with my friend Kate called Hash It Out. I’ve done 16 eps now, so I may have missed the new and noteworthy window but it took time to get our chemistry right. I’ll give these tips a go nonetheless.

  10. Kristoffer

    There is some really valuable information in this post Jaime. I wish i had seen it earlier because it would have been an asset to me and my friends when we started our podcast.

    I will book mark this and send it to anyone who is interested in getting into the medium. Seems like everyone and their moms have podcasts these days! haha

  11. Michael: Building a Website Pro

    Thanks for the tips, Jaime!

    I released my first show this week: Building a Website Pro! Yay!
    And I am very excited to get rolling with it. (Just click on my name above to check it out!)

    I started with four episodes, and plan to make it a weekly show.

    So far, no mention in New and Noteworthy (unless it’s buried deep within…). Wow there are A LOT in New and Noteworthy! Even harder to be in the top few shown on the podcast main page! I’m aiming to get as many downloads as I can early on. I’ll see how it goes.

    There are so many factors for ranking but, ultimately, iTunes wants people’s attention… and those podcasts getting attention will be rewarded. Almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, really. :)

    All the best,
    Michael

  12. Doug Parker

    Thank you for this article. I noticed a spike in downloads today. As of noon I already doubled yesterday’s numbers. Was wondering where the traffic came from, went to iTunes and BAM — listed.

    I started the Weekend Travel Show with 2 episodes, currently have 5, and three reviews. Looking forward to see how it will go.

    This gives me even more insight. Thanks again!

    • Jaime

      Nice! I’d love to hear how it’s still going,
      I’d also be interested in how long people are on the N&N list. It used to be a long time, but now there are a lot more podcast launching every week!

  13. Steve Vigus

    A great article, Jamie. I’m happy to see realistic numbers for newbie podcasts. Often the stats that people put out seem to be a little exaggerated. You and I know that you can start out with modest numbers and grow the audience if you really hit the marketing and stay with it.

    Keep up the good fight.

    • Jaime

      Thanks Steve! :)

      I should update this though too- my good friend Andy his number one in business after launching (he had a previous list) and he had thousands of downloads every day. It’s impressive to see how many downloads you get after you hit some of the lists! (though it’s a lot of work!)

  14. Jeremiah

    Fine work here. +_+

    Jeremy Frandsen and I (from Internet Business Mastery) have often discussed you in our mastermind and in our weekly hangouts as well.

    He has mentioned that you are doing really well, and he is super stoked for you.
    I happened upon this as I am starting a new Traffic podcast shortly, and wanted to update my info… so yeah. Great gob here. You disseminate your information in a very palatable and human way. Giving the facts in a way that does not cause the reader to freak out and get paralysis, but instead to get excited because “now they know”. =.=

    I would love to interview you on the show early on! Email if you are interested. Perhaps Jeremy or Jason (IBM) can be on with you. That would be a lot of fun :)

    Looking forward ot hearing from you,
    Jeremiah

    • Jaime

      That’s awesome! (And thanks for your kind words!)
      Jeremy is a great friend – feel free to email my assistant kaith@ eventualmillionaire.com
      I am booking into January but I’d love to come on! :)

  15. John Shea

    Great article Jamie, I wish my podcast hit new and note worthy but I think my biggest downfall was finding a huge number of people to leave ratings and reviews. Now that I’m up to almost 40 episodes I’m starting to see a boost and more opportunities coming about, I know eventually with consistency my podcast should do well for itself.

  16. Mathis Conner

    Wow Jaime,

    Your post is now over a year old and I see folks have continued to comment
    as well as now myself.*smile*. First, I wanted to say that I discovered your Eventual Millionaire podcast on Stitcher this past month and very much enjoy them. I’ve especially enjoyed your interviews with James Schramko and Timothy Sykes (the latter, a colorful interview to say the least, *chuckle*).

    I came across your post through Google because I just made the New & Noteworthy List on iTunes for my GMC Stock Picks podcast. I only made the first row for my subcategory Business/Investing and have been trying to figure if there’s anything I should be doing to leverage the opportunity.

    I noticed a pick up three days ago and now attribute it to Itunes. Its been a year later since your original post, and its the Christmas holiday so my trend may be skewed, but it looks like my pick up has doubled so far, from an average of 15 downloads a day to 30 downloads a day.

    I was wondering if you have any new insights or feedback you can share? Thanks.

  17. Melanie Benson Strick

    Great article Jaime! I was just talking to Jessica Rhodes about how to do this and decided to Google the question — and you were at the top.

    We’ll put these tips into action.

    And I heard that we might have you on my podcast soon (That would be fun!)

    Melanie Benson Strick
    America’s Leading Small Business Optimizer

  18. TJ Villamil

    Jamie,

    This article is awesome! I started podcasting in 2013 but did not pay much attention to audio quality/intros/ or artwork. I am ready to start a fresh with a new podcast now in 2014 and this article definitely lays an excellent groundwork. I am excited to see what happens!

    Thank you for the knowledge drop!!

    TJ

  19. Justin Wood

    Jamie,

    Is it possible to still be in the New & Noteworthy if you’ve had 20 or more episodes?

    I would like to get our podcast featured, this was an eye opening read.

    Our Podcast has been growing non stop, and I want it to reach way more people. I know it would be great for us.

    It would be great if you could take a listen to our newest episode and let us know what you think of the audio quality, editing, and logo. Most of what would land us in the New and Noteworthy.

    Thanks for the information,

    Justin
    http://www.BWMPodcast.com
    http://www.BWMPodcast.Podbean.com

  20. Jimmy Smith

    Here’s a challenge for you. I followed your guide over the past few months to get my podcast ranked. I published content daily at the start, even made a similar podcast icon. I got a ton of 4 or 5 star reviews within the first week and NOTHING.
    I didn’t make the trendy list and my podcast still ranks below podcasts that don’t even publish often. I have 35 positive reviews and there’s podcasts on the new and noteworthy with one review. What gives? If I post the link, can you check into it?

  21. Josh Denning

    This is a great article Jamie. I think it matter’s which country you add your feed as well. I have been in New & Noteworthy for like 8 weeks but I realised the other day it was N&N in Thailand and Australia.

    Now I am not sure how much I hit it in the US because I have discovered you need to change the country at the bottom.

    Great article Jamie, thanks!

    Josh