Thursday, 1 January 2009

Single Click iTunes Subscription Links

Most podcasts tend to have a blog associated with their show, or at least have some form of show notes feature provided by their hosting service.

The show notes for a podcast will often be the first time that a new, potential listener has contact with your podcast after maybe finding your show via a search engine.

From my experience over the past couple of years with podcasting, it is evident that the vast majority of your listeners will be using an iPod device, in conjunction with the iTunes application to download podcasts.

So, it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for new listeners to subscribe quickly and easily to your podcast.

You can post links on your show notes/blog page to send listeners to the relevant page on the iTunes store, so that they can subscribe to your show there, but there is a quicker way to get them subscribed to your show with iTunes.

After all, when they get to the iTunes store, they may well get distracted by all of the eye-candy on the site and forget they had gone there to subscribe to your show!

The quickest way to get them to subscribe is to provide a link on your site that fires up the iTunes application and subscribes the new listener right there and then.

One thing to understand is that iTunes is just an RSS feed catcher like any other RSS application. It uses your podcast RSS feed to find and download new shows.

So, the way to get iTunes to fire up and subscribe is to provide a modified version of your regular RSS show feed link.

For instance, my podcast RSS feed is :

If I put that link on my site, when a user with iTunes clicks on that link, then nothing will happen.

However, if I modify the link to begin with 'itpc' instead of 'http', then if the new listener has iTunes installed on their PC, it will fire up and subscribe them using iTunes to the show!

Therefore, my modified subscription link becomes :


So, now all you need to do is provide a bit of html such as :

<a href="itpc://"> Subscribe with iTunes</a>

on your site and listeners will be able to subscribe with iTunes in a single click.

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