The idea of radio on demand may have been an odd one when podcasts were first making their debut, but now, more than a decade after podcasts first appeared on the scene, they’re a tried and true mainstay of the media. So of course, Apple is paying special attention to them these days, and as part of the iOS 11 update, there are big changes coming to podcasts.
First of all, Apple will allow podcasters (which is to say, those who create podcasts), to determine what listeners actually want to listen to, and what they’re actively avoiding. Podcasters will now have access to analytics, which will allow them to see what their audience members are listening to, what parts they’re skipping, and perhaps most importantly, when they’re giving up altogether on an episode.
While all this data may seem rather basic, we ought to note that this is actually the first time Apple has provided any data about podcast listeners — previously, all podcasters knew was that people were downloading their episodes. But now, for the first time, they’ll have feedback to work with, which could mean better episodes for you in the future.
As Matthew Liber, the president of Gimlet Media (the makers of Crimetown) noted, “… this is the biggest thing to happen to the podcast business since Serial first went nuclear.”
It may look obscure, but this is the biggest thing to happen to the podcast business since Serial first went nuclear https://t.co/4tWfvckKM9
— Matthew Lieber (@mlieber) June 10, 2017
And as for you listeners, Apple also promises to have more “clear, concise” titles, and a quick play feature in the app that will let you start your podcasts from where you left off.
We should note, of course, that Apple isn’t exactly promoting these changes. But all the same, it could vastly improve how we, as audience members, receive podcasts; and also benefit podcasters when it comes to producing content audience members actually want to listen to.