Why Apple Killed the Subscribe Button (and What you Should Do About It)

The world of podcasting is constantly changing and it can be tough to keep up. In fact, there’s so much change, you might be tempted to just ignore most of these miniscule shifts. 

Well, I don’t blame you but there are a few key changes coming that are worth paying attention to. In fact, there are a few that are important enough that you might want to change one of the things you probably say EVERY episode. 

Since I want to help you avoid getting sucked into the vortex of podcast news, I’ve done a round up of the most important podcast news (that actually matters to you as a podcaster). 

Before I jump in, I want to give a big shout out to two sources I count on to get some of my podcast news: Podnews and The Feed (a podcast by Libsyn). I love the insider information.

 

So, here’s what you need to know about what’s shaking things up in the podiverse.

 

  1. Apple is ditching the term ‘subscribe’ from their podcast platform. What does this mean? Well, for one thing, you might want to think twice about telling people to subscribe! Instead, you need to get comfortable telling people to follow you. Yep, that’s the new verb around here. Follow is the new subscribe. There is a pretty interesting reason they’re scrapping subscribe – give this episode a listen to find out.
  2. Auto-downloading is dead on Apple. This is also an Apple-specific change on iOS 14.5 and beyond.  What this means is that your subscribers, er, followers will now have to manually select auto-download or download what they want. This may mean that you may see a drop in your download numbers. But, you’re not obsessing with those numbers anyway, right?
  3. Artwork spreads to your background. Your podcast artwork (you know your show art or cover tile) will now inspire your Apple Podcast background. I wonder where they got this idea, ahem, Spotify.  So, I hope you really like your artwork!
  4. Your limit has been increased. Apple Podcasts used to limit you to 300 episodes well, not any more. Now you can keep going and going and going… all the way to 2000. #podgoals
  5. So long Apple Podcast summary field. It’s gonzo. Now, this may be different depending on your podcast host. I use Libsyn and so do most of my clients (use promo code TIM to get 2 months free). Anyway, in Libsyn, the field is nixed because Apple doesn’t do anything with it anyway. Boom. I just saved you like 30 seconds (times your new limit of 2000 podcasts = 16.66 hours. Yer welcome). 

    So, these are the changes coming your way courtesy of Apple. Remember, these changes will take effect for only a portion of a portion of your audience. Only the people who will update to iOS 14.5 will see these changes. It’s a sign of things to come but there is no need to panic. I said, don’t PANIC! 

    Podcasting is always shifting so try to stay on top of things without obsessing. Focus on creating great content that your audience loves. They’ll forgive you for telling them to subscribe instead of follow.

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