How many top podcasts use SSL feeds?

In early 2016, Apple added support for SSL-secured podcast feeds.[1]

I wanted to get a sense of how many shows are taking advantage of this, so I grabbed a list of the top 200 podcasts in iTunes (US), along with their feed URLs.

A few observations:

  • Only 11 of the top 200 shows (5.5%) use HTTPS for their podcast XML. The remaining 189 feeds use plain old HTTP.
  • Libsyn seems to offer HTTPS versions of all its podcast feeds, but none of the 34 Libsyn-hosted podcast feeds on the iTunes US Top 200 use the SSL-secured version.
  • Art19 also seems to offer HTTPS versions of its podcast feeds, but only a few (Sword and Scale and The Vanished Podcast) in the Top 200 use them.
  • All Audioboom-hosted feeds listed in the US iTunes Top 200 (Undisclosed, Savage Nation with Michael Savage, The Night Time Podcast, Actual Innocence, SpyCast) use HTTPS.

Of course, many of the shows on the iTunes Top 200 predate Apple’s support for SSL-secured podcast feeds.

It’ll be interesting to see if more high-ranking shows make the switch to secure feeds in the coming months.

If your podcast host supports HTTPS feeds, you can (and probably should) update your feed URL using Apple’s Podcasts Connect and the itunes:new-feed-url feed element.