Apple Podcasts Categories (2019 Update)
Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) is the largest and most important podcast directory. Getting listed in Apple Podcasts will get your podcast in front of the millions of people who use Apple Podcasts and most of the other popular podcast apps.
It’s important to optimize how your podcast appears in Apple Podcasts, and one aspect of that is which podcast categories you select for your podcast.
Even though you can pick three categories, Apple Podcasts only cares about the first one. You should take time to pick three good categories since other apps use the 2nd and 3rd categories, but you should make sure the first one is the best fit for your podcast.
Note: Although you can specify more than one category and subcategory in your RSS feed, Apple Podcasts only recognizes the first category and subcategory.
Source: Apple Podcasts
So, what did Apple change?
Apple has announced that they’re updating the Apple Podcast categories. This includes the addition of “top-level categories such as Fiction, History, and True Crime — as well as dozens of new subcategories.”
Here is the updated list Apple Podcast categories:
- Fashion & Beauty
- Performing Arts
- Visual Arts
- Comedy Interviews
- How To
- Language Learning
- Comedy Fiction
- Science Fiction
- Health & Fitness
- Alternative Health
- Mental Health
- Kids & Family
- Education for Kids
- Pets & Animals
- Stories for Kids
- Animation & Manga
- Home & Garden
- Video Games
- Music Commentary
- Music History
- Music Interviews
- Business News
- Daily News
- Entertainment News
- News Commentary
- Sports News
- Tech News
- Religion & Spirituality
- Earth Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Natural Sciences
- Social Sciences
- Society & Culture
- Personal Journals
- Places & Travel
- Fantasy Sports
- True Crime
- TV & Film
- After Shows
- Film History
- Film Interviews
- Film Reviews
- TV Reviews
How to update your Apple Podcast categories
Apple Podcast finds these categories in your RSS feed, so you’ll want to update your categories with your podcast host. You can update your categories in Buzzsprout by going to Podcast Settings and scrolling down to Apple Podcast Categories.
Remember to put your primary category first. Once you’ve selected your categories, click Save Podcast Info.
If your podcast host does not support the new Apple Podcast categories, you can move your podcast to Buzzsprout for free. Most podcasters can move their shows in less than 15-minutes.
What if there isn't a category that fits my podcast?
Even though there are a lot of categories to choose from, many podcasters still find themselves in no-man's-land without a clear answer for their content.
Sometimes you get a perfect fit, like with the News > Politics subcategory for podcasts that cover News & Politics. Or the Education > Language Learning subcategory for language courses. But it can be tricky if you're podcast is on the fence between several different options.
Try not to overthink it.
If your podcast covers educational technology, go with Education > How To or stick with the broader Technology category.
If you have a medical-based podcast that covers Science & Medicine but doesn't go in-depth into any particular field, choose from the Life Sciences, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences subcategories.
What should I do if Apple removed my old category?
The changes to the categories have been well received and will make for better categorization of the world’s podcasts. Besides renaming some categories, some categories and subcategories were removed leaving a few podcasts without a home.
If your category was removed, here are our recommendations on what new categories to consider:
Apple has reorganized a lot of the news categories. Instead of having subcategories like Business > Business News, they’re all grouped together under News.
- Business > Business News should move to News > Business News
- Technology > Tech News should move to News > Tech News
The Business section got a small reorganization. With Management & Marketing being split into their own separate categories.
- Business > Shopping has been removed. If that’s where your podcast lived you might find a good home under the new Leisure category.
Education was always a strange category. The sub-categories used to focus on the grade level of the intended audience (K-12, Higher Education, etc.). The section has now been revamped to focus on the goals of the podcast.
Here are the current Education categories:
- How To
- Language Learning
Health > Fitness & Nutrition is another category that’s grown pretty large and is getting split into two separate sub-categories: Health > Fitness and Health > Nutrition.
- Health > Self-Help has been removed from the new categories. Depending on your podcast, we’d recommend looking to Health > Mental Health or Education > Self Improvement.
Religion is mostly staying the same. The only change is that the goofy category Religion & Spirituality > Religion has been removed. If your podcast is about a specific religion look to a more specific sub-category like Religion & Spirituality > Buddhism or Buddhism > Christianity.
- If you have a comparative religion podcast, we’d recommend sticking with the general Religion & Spirituality category or picking the new Religion & Spirituality > Other sub-category.
Sports & Recreation
This section has been remanded as sports and is being completely reorganized. In the past the sub-categories delineated the level of competition of the sports (Amateur, Professional, etc.).
The new organization will focus on the actual sport being discussed. If you have a Sports podcast you’ll want make sure you’re in one of the new categories:
- Fantasy Sports
The Technology section had all of it’s sub-categories removed, so it’s just a blanked Technology category.
- If your podcast was in Technology > Tech News you’ll want to move to News > Tech News
- If your podcast was in Technology > Software How-To you’ll want to move to Education > How To
- If your podcast was in Technology > Gadgets you’ll want to move to the Technology category.
- And saving the best, or worst for last, Technology > Podcasting has been removed as well. It makes sense since it really should only be a sub-category for podcasts about podcasting, but most of the listings were incorrectly categorized.
For the twelve of us that have podcasts about podcasting, we recommend looking at News > Tech News or Education > How to. That's where we're moving Buzzcast.
All in all, these are really welcomed changes. They give some of the most popular podcasts a fitting home in True Crime, History, and Fiction. And there are some really good reorganizations like in the Sports category.