Does iTunes/Apple Podcasts Host My Podcast’s Episodes?

No, they do not! This is a common misunderstanding, and often leads to concern when a Fireside customer publishes a new Episode and it does not immediately appear in iTunes/Apple Podcasts. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Podcaster (that’s you!) submits their Podcast to the Apple Podcasts Connect
  2. Apple Podcasts approves the Podcast
  3. A listener subscribes to your Podcast via iTunes or their podcast client
  4. The iTunes Service or client subscribes them to your RSS Feed directly
  5. From them on, their local iTunes or podcast client talks directly to your Fireside RSS Feed. It never talks to the iTunes Service again.

This is important, because it means that what appears in iTunes has no bearing on what a subscriber sees in their local iTunes or podcast client. In other words, it doesn’t matter how long it takes for your latest Episode to appear in the iTunes service. Everyone who is a subscriber to your RSS Feed will see the new Episode, because they are polling your RSS Feed directly.