As Apple announced at the WWDC event last week, the dedicated Podcast app will receive a makeover in the upcoming iOS 11. Now more details have emerged about this impending update, which will bring a new interface as well as some changes to how podcasts can be structured for better presentation. Users will also be able to download a full season of podcasts at once to get their fill.
More importantly, Apple is finally opening up the in-episode analytics of podcasts for content creators beyond simple episode downloads, which will allow podcasters to get detailed information such as how many people have listened to a particular episode and where listeners stop or skip.
The iOS podcast app, although only one of the many, many channels for podcast distribution, is arguably the most popular app for listening to podcasts. In fact, a 2016 survey found that Apple-device podcast downloads outpace Android downloads at a rate of 5.4 to 1. Overcast, another p0pular podcast app, launched its own in-app display ads earlier this year to help podcasters monetize their content.
What Brands Need To Do
According to a recent report by Edison Research, over 35 million people listened to podcasts weekly in 2016. The same report also found that U.S. podcast listeners on average earn $10,000 more than the average American, making them a highly valuable customer base for brands to target.
Yet, despite the sizable high-value audience base, many brands have been hesitant to explore podcast advertising due to its lack of accountable ROI measurement. This important update to the podcast app should spark some new interests to podcast advertising, as the in-episode analytics will allow podcasters to provide more accurate audience measurement, such as how many listeners actually listened to the episodes they downloaded and whether or not they skipped the sponsors’ messages. In a sense, it partially solves the “viewability issue” for podcast ads, giving brands more reassurance to try out podcast advertising.
These newly added metrics, which brands will need to work with podcast creators to access, should provide more transparency and clarity to podcast advertisers regarding their campaigns. In addition, brands with their own branded podcasts should leverage it to access better measurement to gauge user interests and engagements.