how to choose podcast categories

One of the first things you’ll do when you start your brand new podcast is select podcast categories! There are so many great ones to choose from such as “business”, “news”, “entrepreneurship”, “education”, and more.

In the beginning, this may seem like a quick and easy task, but it’s a very important one. It greatly affects how your podcast is cataloged and shown to listeners which further affects your discoverability.

You will want to pick categories that most closely match your podcast and its content because that’s how you’ll attract the most interested audience.

Let’s talk about how you choose the right category for your podcast.

Some platforms allow you to choose a subcategory or even multiple categories. With Apple, there are 19 overall categories, and 15 of them are broken into subcategories. You can choose up to 2, and you’re free to choose an overall category or a subcategory as your primary category.

In our professional opinion, we believe it is best to be in subcategories. This means choosing “business > careers” over just “business” because when you are in subcategories, you also fall under the main category.

It’s best to pick the categories that suit your show best, but our best trick when doing this is to pick 2 subcategories that are in different main categories. That way, you are in 2 subcategories PLUS their main 2 categories… it’s really like you are in 4!

Note: Although you can specify more than one category and subcategory in your RSS feed, Apple Podcasts only recognizes the first category and subcategory, so keep that in mind when choosing.

Here is why picking the right categories and subcategories is so important…

Listeners search by interest, so if your show is in a different category, you’re unlikely to stumble in front of your target audience. For example, if you put your show in “arts-food” people can’t or won’t find you if you are a business coach.

Also, Apple has guidelines for this and they are becoming more strict about how your show appears to users, so if it’s in a completely irrelevant category, you could risk being removed from the directory.

Apple’s categories and subcategories:

  1. Arts (Contains Books, Design, Fashion & Beauty, Food, Performing Arts, & Visual Arts)
  2. Business (Contains Careers, Entrepreneurship, Investing, Management, Marketing, & Non-Profit)
  3. Comedy – (Contains Comedy Interviews, Improv, & Stand Up)
  4. Education (Contains Courses, How-To, Language Learning, Self-Improvement)
  5. Fiction – (Contains Comedy Fiction, Drama, Science Fiction)
  6. Government – No subcategories
  7. Health & Fitness – (Contains Alternative Health, Fitness, Medicine, Mental Health, Nutrition, & Sexuality)
  8. History – No subcategories
  9. Kids & Family – (Contains Education for Kids, Parenting, Pets & Animals, & Stories for Kids)
  10. Leisure – (Contains Animation & Manga, Automotive, Aviation, Crafts, Games, Hobbies, Home & Garden, Video Games)
  11. Music – (Contains Music Commentary, Music History, Music Interviews)
  12. News – (Contains Business News, Daily News, Entertainment News, News Commentary, Politics, Sports News, Tech News)
  13. Religion & Spirituality (Contains Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Religion, & Spirituality)
  14. Science – (Contains Astronomy, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Nature, Physics, & Social Sciences)
  15. Society & Culture (Contains Documentary, Personal Journals, Philosophy, Places & Travel, & Relationships)
  16. Sports – (Contains Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Fantasy Sports, Football, Golf, Hockey, Rugby, Running, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wilderness, Wrestling)
  17. Technology – No subcategories
  18. True Crime – No subcategories
  19. TV & Film – (Contains After Shows, Film History, Film Interviews, Film Reviews, & TV Reviews)

Other platforms will have their own categories, so it is important that you do your research and take the time to determine what best suits your podcast. Subcategories are more specific and narrowed down to your topic, so we recommend finding the subcategory that best describes your podcast and working backward!

Keep in mind that you can always change them if you decide that you want to pivot – no pressure!

Choosing the right podcast categories can be a great addition to your podcast SEO. It can also help you grow your listeners and further your reach. Most importantly, finding the right podcast categories will help you rank in the categories that matter to you and your ideal listeners most!

For more podcasting tips, be sure to read more of our articles! Here are some of our favorites:

The Best Productivity Tips for Podcasters

How to Grow Your Audience with a Podcast Guest Swap

7 Tips for Conducting The Best Podcast Interviews