I’m not sure if it was my decision to start a personal blog, or that a sleeping giant inside Apple suddenly woke up. Apple finally decided to do something serious for podcasters – starting with Apple Podcasts Subscriptions.
I’m an Apple fanboy. And for a long time, I’ve argued and debated with my PC and Android friends. But ever since Spotify came into the podcasting scene, I’ve been pinned down a lot with one question:
So what do you think Apple has done for podcasters?
And that question left me speechless.
But thankfully, things have changed today. I woke up to find this email from Apple:
Needless to say, I’m happy.
No, not because Apple has now allowed podcasters to monetize their podcasts.
But because they’ve started to make life a lot easier for podcasters.
If you’ve been following the podcasting space, you might’ve noticed that Spotify crashed the gates in January 2019. It entered the podcasting scene and has done commendable work to get both media share and ear share.
Ear share. That’s right.
It’s not how many podcasts a directory has, but the number of ears it’s able to reach. Apple finally woke up to this:
Spotify’s U.S. podcast listenership will surpass Apple Podcasts for the first time this year when 28.2 million U.S. users will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly, compared with 28.0 million via Apple Podcasts
As I read this email from Apple, I clicked on one of the links that took me to this page with all the new features.
While I’ll let you explore the features yourself, here are the ones that really caught my attention:
You can now set up subscriptions on your show.
For the first time, you can track listener trends across episodes.
Read reviews and ratings across regions.
You can now create a channel for your brand.
Finally, Apple now offers podcasters a way to market their shows with embedded players, QR codes, and a couple of other ways.
1. Apple Podcasts Subscriptions
That’s the biggest news! Apple Podcasts now offers podcasters three ways to offer their podcasts:
You can now have a podcast like you always did – for free. But with the latest features, you can let your fans listen for free, but subscript for additional benefits. This is HUGE!
Now if you run a popular show and have enough “super-fans”, you can put your show behind a paywall for just those super-fans.
2. Track Listeners Across Episodes
One of the hardest parts of podcasting is not being able to get your hands on fine-grained metrics. What episodes do listeners like? Where are they dropping off? Are listeners skipping and if so at what point?
It’s questions like this that podcasters have not had an answer for a long time. But that now is over, because Apple Podcasts has decided to open up!
BONUS: Now also get to know how many regular listeners you have, and how many are just skimming through. I’m not very sure if the new Apple Podcasts now let you differentiate listeners from subscribers though. I will update this post when I learn that. And if you learn that before me, drop a comment.
3. Read Reviews and Ratings Across Regions
I’ve said this before and I say it again – Apple has been pretty archaic in its approach to podcasting until today. Thankfully, that’s changed. Because not being able to see all your reviews and ratings in one place is a shame.
I suspect Apple has rebuilt its podcasting platform from the ground up because changes like this are not easy. Anyway, now no matter which country a reviewer is from, you will get to see all of these reviews in one place! Woot! Woot!
4. Channel For Your Brand
As more brands are entering the podcasting scene, it’s important for podcasting platforms to pay more attention to their experience. Thankfully, Apple Podcasts has done something on that front. Brands can now have their own Channel on Apple Podcasts where they can have all their podcasts listed.
It will be interesting to see how the relationship between channels and podcasts are. Can the same podcast be a part of two channels? I’ll update this article when I learn more.
5. Market Your Podcast Better
Finally, podcasters and brands can now embed a podcast player from Apple Podcasts on their website and other places. If you have an event, embed a QR code to your podcast on your event poster.
The player doesn’t seem to have some useful features like skip forward by a few seconds, or backward. I still find the Smart Podcast Player from Pat Flynn to be very useful. But nonetheless, this is a good move in the right direction from Apple.
Do you have a podcast on Apple Podcasts? If you’re actively putting out content, leave a comment and let me know what the show is about. What do you think of this move from Apple?
And before you got sucked up into another wormhole in the interwebs, do check out Podcastindex. They’ve been doing a lot of work to preserve and level up podcasting. I suspect a lot of these changes Apple is making, is in line with a lot of what’s been discussed there.
Follow them @PodcastindexOrg on Twitter. You can follow me @kartvee on Instagram and on Clubhouse. Leave a comment below if you have something to say on this topic.
Hi, my name is Karthik
Husband, Dad, Podcaster, Entrepreneur, in that order. Writing my first book. Listen to my podcast at https://designyourthinking.com/follow