Until now, people who create podcasts never knew a lot about who was listening. Now Apple has turned on an analytics feature that gives podcast creators the ability to see some pretty basic information. This has been a long-promised feature, so it makes you wonder why Apple hasn’t implemented this sooner. What information will you get from this analytics? Podcast creators can now see data about when listeners stopped listening to a particular episode. Which is really good news as it will help you understand listening habits. But I would wonder if the analytics would consider other things. Like, maybe I’m listening to the podcast in my car. I turn my car off at the 20-minute mark because I’m at my destination. Not because I want to stop listening to the podcast.
Apple made this announcement at WWDC and has just launched a beta version of that service. Which means, not all the bugs have been worked out. What does this analytics tell us?
- Which episode a listener tuned out
- The average completion rate of an episode
- The total time listened, and
- Time per device.
The “total” time listened (to a podcast) is going to be an interesting one. I listen to my podcasts at an increased rate. It just makes sense for me to do that. I only have so much time to listen to podcasts, and I want to get a lot of information in that time. Analytics also reveals which countries listeners are from, for over 150 countries in which the podcasts app is available. But it will only include data on users running iOS 11 and iTunes 12.7.
The service could be an eye-opener for podcast creators. Before this analytics service, there just wasn’t much open information available. Especially on listener habits besides basic download metrics and other streaming figures. Now, podcast creators — and the advertisers that subsidize them — may be getting an unpleasant wake-up call if. Why? Many creators and industry watchers assume it turns out listener bases are far smaller than previously thought. This information will also matter to advertisers, who want to pay for placements on podcasts people are actually tuning in to, not just downloading.
On the new analytics dashboard, podcasters will log in with their Apple ID to view details about their podcast’s performance. We mentioned some of the things you can see, but you will also find tables and charts. The data on these tables and charts provide unique device counts for a selected time period. Apple is also now soliciting feedback from podcasters to inform its future developments. We understand that it already has some features under consideration. For example, it’s thinking about finding a way to track aggregate users, not just devices, which is something the community has requested.
This is definitely a good move for those who create podcasts because they will get all the information they need to determine how successful their podcast is. Previously, they could usually only tell if someone had downloaded an episode or started to stream it. As I mentioned, this is also important for advertisers who want to know if people are listening to the ads that they’re paying for. The way that they can determine this now, is by offering a code where you can get discounted products from an advertisers website. Overall, I think this will be beneficial. I’m just surprised that it took Apple so long to introduce this feature.