With the massive growth in podcasts and live-streamed events, companies big and small are getting involved in online distribution of cultural content.
Apple announced at WWDC 2017 that, for the first time, its new podcast app for iOS11 will include analytics. For groups in Scotland already thinking about experimenting with audio dramas, or who are already podcasting, this is big news.
Why this is a step-change
Firstly, Apple is simply the biggest player in the podcasting world. iTunes is home to well over one billion podcasts. The word ‘podcast’ itself is a portmanteau of their product, the iPod and the word broadcast.
Apple sets a lot of stock in its privacy promise and has previously been hesitant to gather its listeners’ data. With no analytics tool, anyone releasing their work on Apple’s platform (and that’s essentially everyone podcasting) had to hack together impact figures from RSS feeds and download numbers.
That will change with the new app. It will paint a picture of who is listening to your work and importantly, what they like best about it. Podcasters will be able to see when individual episodes are played, which parts are listened to or skipped over, and when listeners bounce out of shows. For podcasts with advertisements and sponsors the ROI of these ads will be much clearer.
Removing the uncertainty created by having no feedback is a big deal for creative organisations that need to make every investment count. Matthew Lieber, co-founder of major podcasting company Gimlet Media tweeted:
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
We think so too. This is a great opportunity to find new audiences and make use of real data to find out just what connects with them.