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  • How To Find Your Worldwide iTunes Podcast Reviews For Free

    June 19, 2014 · 11 comments

    international-itunes-reviews-podcast

    Did you know that when you check your reviews in iTunes that you probably aren’t seeing all of your reviews? That is because iTunes has an individual store for 120 different countries. Your show is listed in every version (as far as I know) and each has the possibility of some additional reviews from foreign listeners! There are services that would love to charge you a lot of cash for every podcast you own every single month… but with a little elbow grease you can check these reviews yourself… or even set up a feed to have new reviews delivered to you automatically. All for free.

    I’m going to show you two URL strings. The first will help you quickly see if you have any reviews in a given country. The second will help you set up a series of RSS feeds to pull in new reviews as they come in.

    Check for iTunes Reviews in Other Countries

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id210163911

    This is a web link to my podcast Nobody’s Listening. Your show will have it’s own unique ID which you can find by looking up your show in iTunes (look for /id###########). Take that id number and replace mine and boom, you’re ready to start hunting for extra reviews. See the /us/ part? That’s the country code and it’s currently set to the United States. To check your reviews in Canada you’d replace that /us/ with /ca/ and my id with your show’s id (marked red).

    https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/id210163911

    Scroll down and if there are any reviews you’ll see at most three of them under your episode listing.

    My show has a few fans in Canada!

    My show has a few fans in Canada!

    You can do this 120 times if you’d like… but you’re better off limiting yourself to English speaking countries. If you have any kind of download tracking that tells you where in the world your content is being downloaded… start with those countries. I added a ClustrMap to my site a few weeks ago and just used the top countries listed. My findings were that only English speaking countries had any reviews. So go for the gold if you’d like… but here are the country codes for the one’s I’d suggest:

    • United States – us
    • Canada – ca
    • Australia – au
    • Great Britain – gb
    • Ireland – ie
    • United Arab Emirates – ae

    Obviously if you have a foreign language podcast then head over to iTunes “Choose Your Country” page, mouse-over the flag icons and find any other country code you may be interested in.

    There are plenty to choose from.

    There are plenty to choose from.

    Setup Automatic Notification of New International iTunes Reviews

    So now you know how to look for bonus reviews. How about being able to monitor them automatically? Here’s the URL for that:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/rss/customerreviews/id=210163911/sortBy=mostRecent/xml

    This link generates an RSS feed listing every review your show has in that particular country’s store. It’s raw RSS so I use Feedly to parse it out and make it look good.

    Reading raw RSS is like reading a Middle Schooler's homework.

    Reading raw RSS is like reading a Middle Schooler’s homework.

    You can use whatever RSS reader you prefer. Just replace my show’s id with your show’s id then copy-and-paste that URL into your reader. Label it “Reviews from US” or whatever you’d like. THEN replace /us/ with the next country and repeat the process until you have every feed added to your RSS reader. It’s a bit of work… but after you’re done any new reviews will show up automatically.

    Here's whats shakin' in the good ol' US of A!

    Here’s whats shakin’ in the good ol’ US of A!

    You’ll see in the pic above that I’ve got six RSS feeds set up. Five monitoring Nobody’s Listening and one for Made My Day.

    What Now?

    I plan to start thanking folks who leave new reviews and brag on the country of origin. Heck, maybe I can get a friendly multi-national revelry going! Also, in any English-speaking countries where I don’t have reviews… well now I know who to pick on! 🙂

    So pay for the services out there if you’d like. I’m sure they’re fantastic… but I like free better. If all of the above seems like too much work then I’d suggest ReviewCast.io. Submit some info on your Podcast and they’ll send you the latest 25 reviews, from all countries, to your email inbox. This is not automatic however so to get updated results you’ll have to visit the site and resubmit the form.

    Do you have your own way of tracking this kind of info? Either way I hope this helped! If you end up finding a goldmine of extra reviews I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

    • Guinness Ian

      Excellent instruction James. I admire your creativity.

      RSS feeds are not without their limitations though. You forgo ratings for any country, and some RSS readers won’t display the name of the reviewer…not to mention needing 150+ individual feeds to track every possible review (although you could easily use/write a script to aggregate these).

      Thankfully there are a couple of FREE alternatives to the paid service(s):

      The first is the program CommentCast, which can be downloaded at the site http://marti.ca. This is a free program, with a variety of sorting options. However, it is Mac OS only, and is no longer supported by the developer so it can stop working at any time.

      The second is a new WordPress plugin, Simple Podcast Press (http://simplepodcastpress.com), which will provide all international reviews in your WordPress dashboard. It is currently in Beta.

      The third is a free service provided by The Podcasting Clinic (http://podcastingclinic.com), which will be launching soon. The service provides full review reports, (including ratings for every country) and delivers new iTunes and Stitcher reviews right to your email inbox on a daily or weekly basis (your choice).

      …and of course there’s ReviewCast.io which you mentioned above.

      So, as you pointed out, there are alternatives available. 🙂

      • Thanks for those free options! Good stuff.

        My method works for me because I only track countries where english is spoken. I’m not going to go after countries that can’t understand my show. 🙂

    • Musanete Sakupwanya

      Just launched my podcast a few weeks ago, and this is such valuable info.. cos for sure, people are trying to get a crap-ton of money out of this.. Would rather do the homework myself.
      Thanks!!

      • Exactly! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

        • Musanete Sakupwanya

          This is what I want to teach people on my podcast (cos its basically a how-to), and especially because I’m in South Africa, the buying power is very different.. So people can’t be paying so much for simple things.. So even though I could get money through affiliate links and the like, I also want to show people how to hack things like this.
          Thanks again.

    • Darrin Keller

      Loved the article. I’m helping a friend in Russia who has established a Russian language podcast. They unfortunately are not able to leave any ratings and reviews. Do you know if there are country-specific restrictions?

    • James E. Turner

      Ha! So that’s where my American friends’ reviews are…I was thinking they were just saying they reviewed it to make me feel good 🙂

      Thanks so much for this.

    • Rich Howard

      This was incredibly helpful for our podcast. I had no idea we had so many reviews outside the US!

    • Vanessa Vivi Reich-Shackelford

      Looks like ReviewCast.io is not a thing anymore…I have now added all of those feeds to Feedly, but it takes me to the iTunes website, which doesn’t show all reviews…

      • Unless things have changed since I wrote the article the feeds will show reviews when they are new. If you click you’ll be taken to the US iTunes store by default. So the review won’t show there until you manually switch to the correct country. Hope that makes sense.

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