Last updated on November 29th, 2019
It’s no secret that podcasts that rank higher on iTunes charts get more listeners. When people look for new podcast, they gravitate toward the ones that are already popular. So like a lot of podcasters, you probably want to see your podcast rankings in iTunes.
Checking your podcast rankings regularly is a key way to determine if you are marketing and promotions are paying off. If your show climbs the rankings over time, you know that whatever you’re doing to promote your podcast is working.
In this article, we’re going to go over a few ways to check your podcast rankings in iTunes. Choose the method that works best for you.
How to View Podcast Rankings in iTunes
Before we get started, let’s be clear about one thing: There’s no perfect way to check your podcast rankings in iTunes because Apple doesn’t publicly disclose exactly how they rank podcasts (or any of their content, for that matter).
This makes sense if you think about it. If Apple was transparent with their ranking system, podcasters (and marketers who offer services to podcasters) would try to please the system to rank the highest, rather than trying to please the listener. Apple wants you to make great content for your listeners, not try to exploit an algorithm.
But there is plenty of evidence that the ranking system is reasonable and consistent. So you can use it to gauge the popularity of your show and whether your marketing is working.
Here are four ways to view your podcast rankings in iTunes.
1. Count Your iTunes Position
If you already have a popular podcast, an easy way to check your iTunes podcast rankings is to visit the podcast section in iTunes. Open iTunes and navigate to the podcast section. Once you’re looking at all the podcasts, simply type your show’s name into the search bar.
Find your podcast on the list of options and open its page. It should look something like the screenshot below. You’ll see some breadcrumbs links at the top right. The first one is your main category. The other is your subcategory.
For starters, click on your main category. You’ll see a few sections. We care about two of them: Top Shows and New Shows. (Below those two sections are subcategory sections.)
Click the “See All” link next to Top Shows to open it up. These are listed in order starting with the most popular (in this category). Your show will move closer to the top left as it overtakes other shows. Count left to right to discover your position.
Now use the back button and click on the “See All” link next to New Shows. Just like Top Shows, podcasts move toward the top left based on popularity.
Like most shows, however, yours won’t appear at the top of the main category, but you may rank well in your subcategory. You should see a section for your subcategory under Top Shows and New Shows. Click the “See All” button next to it.
The list that appears will show the top podcasts in your subcategory. These are your main competitors. You’re more likely to be on this list.
Just like before, find your show and count its position. Your show will move up as it gains popularity.
Now, you may not see your podcast in any of these lists on iTunes. That doesn’t mean your show isn’t available on iTunes. It just means you aren’t popular enough yet for iTunes to recommend you to listeners. You’ll have to use one of the next methods to determine your iTunes ranking.
2. Subscribe to Podcast Rank Report
If you don’t want to search and scroll every day to see your podcast rankings in iTunes, we recommend subscribing to the Podcast Rank Report.
The Podcast Rank Report is a daily email that show how your podcast ranks in all categories and subcategories. It’s a simple, text-only email that’s easy to consume and discard every day. You can track multiple shows and you’ll receive all of your data in the same email.
Here’s what the daily email looks like:
Subscribing is simple. Visit the website and follow the prompts. All you need to know if the name of your show and your email address.
Pro tip: You don’t need to own the podcast to see its iTunes rankings. Subscribe to your main competitors as well to monitor your show’s ranking compared to theirs.
3. Check the iTunes Podcast Charts on Podcharts
Podcharts is a simple and easy to use tool that monitors Apple’s chart rankings over time. It doesn’t just show you your current ranking. It also shows you how your ranking is changed over time. This is a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your podcast promotions.
There are two ways to use Podcharts. The first way is to simply browse the charts. The default page is a list of all podcasts ranked in order of popularity. Those top names probably look pretty familiar!
If you publish for a specific region, choose your country in the top left drop down selector. You’ll also want to select your show’s category so you see how you rank against similar podcasts. This is more valuable than tracking how your show ranks against all other shows.
The other way to use Podcharts is to open an account and add podcasts to your dashboard. This makes finding the same podcasts easy each time you visit Podcharts. You’ll also receive an email whenever it ranks in the top 100 of any country under any category.
Click “Add a Podcast” on your dashboard and enter your show’s name in the field that appears. If Podcharts can’t find your show, you may have to submit an iTunes link.
When you find your show on the list, click “Track.” Podcharts will now track that show. Add as many as you like to keep an eye on your competitors!
Now head back to the dashboard to see the shows you’re tracking. Click the “View Charts” button under a show to see how it has performed. You’ll see a chart that shows how you show has ranked over time. Hopefully your growth curve is this steep!
4. See Your iTunes Podcast Rankings on Chartable
Chartable is another tool that captures and stores Apple’s podcast rankings over time. All you have to do if find your podcast’s page to see iTunes rankings in its main and subcategories.
Your first step is to select your country so Chartable can display the shows that rank in your region. The most popular four countries are listed in their own category at the top.
The next page will show you a list of categories and subcategories for that region. The left column refers to podcasts as a whole. The right column refers to individual episodes. To see your podcast rankings iTunes, we want to use the left column.
Once you click into a subcategory, you’ll see a ranking of shows. Simply find your show on the list (you may have to click through a few pages) to find its position.
One thing we like about Chartable is that it not only shows your position, but how your position has changed. If your show has moved up recently, you’ll see a green upward-facing arrow with a small green number. This number indicates how many positions you’ve increased. A red downwards-facing arrow and number indicates how many positions you’ve fallen.
If you can’t find your podcast on the list (maybe you don’t want to scroll through a dozen pages), try using the search feature at the top of the website. It doesn’t work for all podcasts, but it may work for yours.
If you want some more granular information about your podcast rankings in iTunes, click into your show. You’ll see some familiar information, like your cover art, description, and links. You’ll also find rankings for different categories and regions.
Don’t Obsess Over Your Ranking
While there’s no doubt that high ranking podcasts get more downloads and build audiences quickly, that doesn’t mean you should obsess over your podcast rankings in iTunes. Check them once or twice a week, but don’t pore over them obsessively every day. And you certainly shouldn’t hunt for ways to game the system.
Instead of looking for tricks to boost your iTunes podcast rankings to attract new listeners, focus on creating quality content. If you publish episodes people love, you’ll rise through the rankings naturally. Great content attracts new listeners, which means more downloads and reviews, which in turn attracts new listeners.
Do you have your own way to see your podcast rankings in iTunes? If so, drop us a comment and we’ll check it out. We may add it to our list!