How I tripled my podcast listenership after Apple iTunes censorship

Apple censored my CapicúaFM podcast in October 2014. Now I have more than 3x more listeners than before, and they still increase

Apple censored my CapicúaFM podcast at the end of October 2014. There was no notification or explanation. They just removed CapcúaFM from iTunes, while leaving my older TecnoTur podcasts (two different language versions) untouched in iTunes. CapicúaFM was first published in June 2014. Between June and October, CapicúaFM had then earned over 4000 listeners. Now it has over 13,000 listeners according to Podtrac Inc., and continues to increase steadily each week. Ahead are the details.

CapicúaFM was listed in iTunes from June until the end of October, when it mysteriously disappeared from iTunes. (Those listeners who had subscribed via iTunes or Apple’s Podcasts app continue to receive episodes, since the RSS feed is still working perfectly.) Just before the moment of censorship, CapicúaFM had a total of three 5-star ratings in iTunes: two in the US iTunes store, and one in the Argentina iTunes Store. I monitor my worldwide iTunes ratings using a discontinued but still useful program called CommentCast, which was originally recommended by Cliff Ravenscraft on one of his podcasts. A program (or service) like CommentCast is necessary because (quite unfortunately) Apple iTunes Store still segregates podcasts comments regionally (even though currently, all podcasts listed there are both free and distributed worldwide, so users in one region sadly can’t see the comments or ratings made by listeners in another one… unless they manually visit all of the worldwide iTunes Store manually, which is both tedious… and many don’t even know how to do it. That’s where CommentCast and a new paid service called MyPodcastReviews.com (which I have not yet used) enter to save the day.

Why Apple iTunes censored CapicúaFM?

Considering that there is no way I know that a podcaster can appeal —or even contact— that division at iTunes, I honestly don’t know why Apple/iTunes censored CapicúaFM. I do know that CapicúaFM didn’t break any iTunes rules or violate any copyright. The music I use in CapicúaFM’s open, bumpers, and closing is one that I purchased with worldwide rights to use in my programs. The music of the artists I have interviewed so far in CapicúaFM are all used with their permission to accompany their respective interviews. Unlike some other musical artists who are with a record label (and therefore often don’t have the authority to give such permission), the three singer/songwriters I have interviewed to date are independent producers and fortunately do possess such authority to grant permission. So the censorship suffered by CapicúaFM had nothing to do with musical copyright.

I currently have two hypotheses about why this censorship occurred:

  • Perhaps someone at Apple/iTunes just deleted CapicúaFM by mistake. If that’s true, then hopefully CapicúaFM will be reinstated into iTunes thanks to the open letter I am publishing the same day as this article.
  • Perhaps some individual at Apple/iTunes favors the coverup about the Castilian language (the most widely used Spanish language, but one of several others) that I uncover in the CapicúaFM program and in my most recent books.

How CapicúaFM has prospered despite iTunes censorship?

Since the iTunes censorship, CapicúaFM’s listenership has multiplied over three times, according to Podtrac Inc. I attribute CapicúaFM‘s success despite iTunes’ censorship to two things:

  • Quality: both technical quality and good content, meaning good topics and good invitees, including musicians from Chile, Colombia, and Spain (so far).
  • Good promotion outside of iTunes: i.e. using my email promotions, here in ProVideo Coalition magazine (where I publish “making of” articles about podcast production, among many other topics), via social media, and by listing CapicúaFM in other podcatching services/apps, including Stitcher and PocketCasts. Those who prefer Apple’s Podcasts app for iOS and are are already subscribed continue to receive new episodes. New listeners may enter CapicúaFM’s actual RSS feed address (or the shortcut address rss.capicuafm.com) into the Safari browser on their iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) and it will happily offer them to subscribe, which actually happens with the Apple Podcasts app, despite the iTunes censorship of CapicúaFM. That is good!

What I want now, and what I plan to do:

I hope that Apple/iTunes will reinstate CapicúaFM soon, and that’s why I wrote the open letter mentioned earlier. In the meantime, I simply continue to produce the program without mentioning iTunes. I have also removed the iTunes links from the CapicúaFM website, since they no longer work. Fortunately, Stitcher and PocketCasts both continue to work perfectly, and both have the advantage of being mobile multiplatform, since they both exist for Android and iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch)… and both should be appearing soon in car radios (Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay). If and when Apple/iTunes reinstates CapicúaFM, I’ll mention it again on the program, and reinstate the iTunes link on the CapicúaFM website. In the meantime, I am happy about the continuing growth without iTunes help.

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Books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs

Contact Allan Tépper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his CapicúaFM and TecnoTur programs.

FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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