How to Check Your Ranking in iTunes

Each category in the Podcast section of iTunes has sub-categories.

For instance:

  • Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income is in the Business/Marketing & Management category
  • The Dave Ramsey Show is in the Business/Investing category
  • Entrepreneur On Fire is in the Business/Careers category

Subcategories in iTunesThere is no shortcut to the sub-categories within the main categories of iTunes Podcast charts. So…

How do you check your ranking in iTunes?

  • Search for your podcast in the search bar
  • Click on your podcast
  • Click on the sub-category listed in the menu structure (above the artwork)
  • Click on “Select All” for either New & Noteworthy or What’s Hot

Count the number of podcasts in front of yours and that’s it!

Watch the video to make sure you are reading the page correctly. I had been doing it wrong for years until I saw this.

how to check podcast rankings in itunes

see all in itunes

Do you have to be new to be featured in New & Noteworthy?

The truth is: No.

You don’t have to be new to be featured in iTunes New & Noteworthy.

For instance: Radical Personal Finance from Joshua Sheets was released in July 2013. One year later it is #6 in the iTunes New & Noteworthy section for the Investing category.

You don't have to be NEW to be featured in New and Noteworthy.

Watch the video to see episodes of Radical Personal Finance, a podcast ranked at #6 in iTunes New & Noteworthy on August 11, 2014, that were released in July 2013.

How to stay in the Top 20 of iTunes

This is my opinion, but hear me out: The MoneyPlan SOS podcast is normally a weekly show. However, it changed to a bi-weekly release during the summer. In fact, there was only one episode released in July, on the 21st, and the most recent episode was released on August 8th.

However, the show currently ranks as #11 in iTunes Investing category. Why?

There was only one new 5-star rating and downloads for the newest episode were average (about 1,500 in the first 72 hours). Is that all it takes to beat out Motley Fool Money and Suze Orman? 

  • Does 1,500 downloads from a guy in the midwest beat out CNBC’s Jim Kramer?
  • Did Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips take a long, extended vacation?
  • Did somebody at Apple make a mistake?

Nope. The only thing I can contribute to landing in this position is my audience. Good content, engaging with my listeners and having a catalogue of episodes to keep them coming back are what I believe is helping me beat out the James Altucher show this week.

Bottom line: Keep offering good content and don’t quit. As long as you have fans and/or bring value, you will stay relevant in the iTunes rankings.

And remember to take screenshots when you hit those big numbers!

MPSOS #11 iTunes Investing 2014-08-11

WooHoo! I'm Editor of Podertainment Magazine
What is the difference between iTunes Ratings and Reviews?

18 Comments

  • Mike Kelley

    August 20, 2014

    I wouldn’t say “New and Note Worthy” and “What’s Hot” is your podcast ranking. These are just what is current trending. Your true Podcast ranking is under “Top Podcasts” located at the right of the iTunes page under “Top Episodes”.

    • STEVE STEWART

      August 20, 2014

      Ah, you are right. I was so excited that someone actually thought I was “Hot” that I had to point it out in a video. Thanks Mike.

  • Greg

    October 24, 2014

    Thanks for the awesome info! I’ve been podcasting for 3 weeks and having a great time! I have one question. Do you know how often iTunes reranks the podcasts? Mine seem to change every few days, but people have told me that they are reranked every hour.

    • STEVE STEWART

      October 24, 2014

      That’s a great question. I have no idea, although I have seen certain charts (N&N, What’s Hot) change almost daily.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Lewis Buckley

      March 11, 2015

      Hi Greg, I’m part of the team behind podcastchart.com and we check iTunes for podcast chart changes at least twice every day. I don’t think they are updated much more than that.

      • STEVE STEWART

        March 11, 2015

        Thanks for the info Lewis. iTunes can be such a mystery.

  • Darren Johnson

    June 3, 2015

    Thanks for the article. I do mine daily, and it’s a shame I have to compete with shows that come out a couple of times a month, as if they are equals. I will start counting!

    http://drivetimepodcast.info

  • Steve Wilkinson

    March 19, 2016

    @ Rob Weber

    Actually, no. You could probably create a temporary artificial bump, which might feel good for the moment until your numbers return to normal.

    The ONLY way to really increase your numbers is to add dedicated listeners and subscribers. You might be able to do that through various marketing techniques to reach such an audience, but you won’t do it by ‘growth hacking’ iTunes and Google.

    • Steve Stewart

      March 20, 2016

      I never tried to play the N&N game. I admit, I took a screenshot and shared it on FB & Twitter, but that’s about all I did.

  • John C Harris

    April 29, 2016

    Is there a way to check these ranking without going to iTunes itself? I am in a sub category of Amateur in Sports and Fitness but cannot get to it while at work during the day (iTunes is a blocked site).

    • Cynthia Conrad

      May 5, 2016

      Yes! There a few sites that track the iTunes charts that you might find useful:

      podcastchart.com
      itunescharts.net

      Historical chart positions for specific podcasts (vs. the tables in itunescharts.net) can be found via cast.market:
      Example – StartUp – https://cast.market/us/15

      You can also generate a current list of the top podcasts from iTunes in any top-level genre via RSS:
      https://rss.itunes.apple.com/us/?at=10l9W2&uo=8&urlDesc=%2Fgenerator

      Simply select the country, choose Podcasts under Media Type, choose the number of results you want (top 10 is default), and the genre you want to subscribe to. The online form will give you a URL to copy and paste into your RSS reader. (I use feedly.com, but there’s many many others).

      Hope this helps!

      • Cynthia Conrad

        May 13, 2016

        By the way, if you go to the subcategory listings in iTunes, you can grab the category number out of the URL and substitute it for the top-level category in the RSS URL. Nice little workaround.

      • Steve Stewart

        May 13, 2016

        Wow. That’s really cool Cynthia! I had never heard about the iTunes RSS generator. I’ve created a Top Business Podcast feed for my Feedly account too. Do you know if there is a hack to create a feed for the sub-level categories (like Investing or Career)?

  • Lisa

    May 13, 2016

    Hi Steve,

    I am not so familiar on the popularity ratings in itunes. I have been following training sessions from a particular training provider who puts their sessions on podcast. For a couple weeks I had noticed that there were three podcasts (the last three up to last week) that were rated as more popular by far than all the others that had been posted over the last year. The bar for those had almost stretched to the end, while the others may have had 2-4 bars maximum. Now, the session popularity ratings for the ones whose bars had stretched to the end have dropped to bar levels below some of the older not so popular sessions. Also, since last week, two new training sessions have been added which have the highest popularity ratings now. What causes these popularity rank changes? I don’t think some of the older sessions are being listened to as much, yet some of them are now outranking the ones that up until last week had far surpassed them. Can you please explain these popularity rank changes?

    • Lisa

      May 13, 2016

      Just for clarification, I am not referring to popularity rank against other training providers or podcasters. I am referring to rank of the various training sessions provided by the same provider (podcaster).

    • Steve Stewart

      May 13, 2016

      Are you referring to the gray meter shown next to each episode? I’m sorry that I don’t have a concrete answer, but I can offer you this:
      I have heard the “Popularity bars” are influenced by interactions within iTunes itself (and possibly the Podcasts IOS app).

      I believe the “Popularity bar” is fluid, meaning it doesn’t keep track of all listens/downloads over the past year or lifetime of the show. It may be measuring only a few days or even a couple weeks of activity.

      It is possible that someone found the show, listened to them on iTunes or in their Podcasts app, and shared them with others who went to check them out.

      I’m interested to know: Why are you curious about the Progress bar in iTunes?

      • Lisa

        May 13, 2016

        I simply wanted to know why the ratings had changed so dramatically. What you’ve suggested makes sense. Thank you.