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Apple’s latest iOS update could have a big impact on podcast downloads

Apple’s latest iOS update has introduced a significant change to podcast downloads that could potentially impact the podcast industry. In the past, when users subscribed to a podcast and took a break from listening, all unplayed episodes would be automatically downloaded upon their return. However, with the latest update, subscribed podcasts now simply resume without automatically downloading back episodes. Furthermore, episodes older than seven days, including those in back catalogs, will no longer be automatically downloaded. This alteration has raised concerns about the accuracy of download numbers, which is a crucial metric for the podcast industry. Some speculate that the recent decline in listening among top publishers can be attributed to this iOS update. Advertisers, in particular, are keen on ensuring the accuracy of download numbers to avoid paying for impressions that are not truly impressions. Meanwhile, Spotify has implemented brand safety tools, such as contextual targeting and a list of sensitive topics to exclude certain content. Spotify’s brand safety director elaborates on the rationale behind these tools and provides insights on how creators can have some control over their content classification.

Apple’s latest iOS update could have a big impact on podcast downloads

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Apple’s latest iOS update

Change to automatic podcast downloads

Apple’s latest iOS update has brought about a significant change to how automatic podcast downloads function on their platform. In the previous behavior, if a user subscribed to a podcast and then returned after a hiatus, all unplayed episodes would be downloaded automatically. However, with the latest update, this automatic downloading feature has been altered.

Previous behavior

Automatic download of all unplayed episodes

In the previous iteration of Apple’s iOS, when a user subscribed to a podcast, the platform would automatically download all unplayed episodes. This feature was particularly useful for users who may have been away for a while and wanted to catch up on their favorite shows without the hassle of manually selecting and downloading episodes.

Apple’s latest iOS update could have a big impact on podcast downloads

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Latest update

Resumes subscribed podcast without downloading back episodes

With the latest iOS update, Apple has made a significant shift in the way automatic podcast downloads work. Rather than downloading all unplayed episodes when a user subscribes to a podcast, the platform now simply resumes the subscribed podcast without automatically downloading any back episodes. This change aims to provide a more streamlined and personalized user experience, allowing individuals to jump back into their favorite shows without overwhelming them with a backlog of episodes.

Episodes older than seven days

Not automatically downloaded

In addition to the change in behavior for automatic downloads, Apple’s latest iOS update also introduces a restriction on the automatic download of episodes older than seven days. This means that even if a user has subscribed to a podcast and new episodes are added to its back catalog, those episodes will not be automatically downloaded. Instead, users will have to manually select and download older episodes if they wish to listen to them.

Apple’s latest iOS update could have a big impact on podcast downloads

This image is property of duet-cdn.vox-cdn.com.

Impact on download numbers

Crucial metric for the podcast industry

Possible reason for drop in listening among top publishers

The change in automatic podcast downloads brought about by Apple’s latest iOS update has the potential to impact the podcast industry significantly. Download numbers are a crucial metric for measuring the success and reach of podcasts, as they provide valuable insights for podcast hosts, advertisers, and industry analysts. The alteration in the automatic download behavior could potentially lead to a decrease in these download numbers.

Recently, there has been speculation about a drop in listening among top publishers within the podcast industry. Some have attributed this decline to the change in automatic downloads introduced by the latest iOS update. If the update indeed plays a role in the decrease in listening, podcast hosts and publishers will need to adjust their strategies to account for the changes in downloading patterns.

Advertisers’ interest

Importance of accurate download numbers

Avoiding payment for inaccurate impressions

Advertisers have a vested interest in the accuracy of download numbers for podcasts. With the surge in podcast advertising, brands are investing substantial amounts of money in sponsorship and advertising deals. For advertisers, accurate and reliable download numbers are crucial in determining the success and effectiveness of their ads.

The change in automatic podcast downloads introduced by Apple’s iOS update adds another layer of complexity to the accuracy of download numbers. If episodes are no longer automatically downloaded, it may impact the number of impressions advertisers receive. Advertisers do not want to pay for impressions that are not truly impressions, as this can result in ineffective advertising campaigns and wasted resources. It is vital for advertisers to have access to reliable and trustworthy download metrics to ensure they are getting the desired return on their investment.

Apple’s latest iOS update could have a big impact on podcast downloads

This image is property of duet-cdn.vox-cdn.com.

Spotify’s response

Rolling out brand safety tools

Including contextual targeting and exclusion of sensitive topics

In response to the changes brought by Apple’s iOS update, Spotify, one of the leading players in the podcast industry, has rolled out brand safety tools. These tools aim to address concerns related to ad placements and content classification, ensuring that advertisers can have more control over where their ads appear.

One of the key features included in Spotify’s brand safety tools is contextual targeting. This functionality allows advertisers to target their ads based on specific content categories or topics. By utilizing contextual targeting, advertisers can ensure that their ads are placed alongside podcast episodes that align with their brand’s values and target audience.

Furthermore, Spotify’s brand safety tools also provide the option to exclude sensitive topics. Advertisers can choose to exclude certain keywords or themes that they deem inappropriate or incompatible with their brand image. This exclusion capability allows advertisers to have more control over the type of content their ads are associated with.

Brand safety director’s explanation

Logic behind brand safety tools

Creators’ control over content classification

Spotify’s brand safety director sheds light on the logic behind the implementation of these tools. The introduction of brand safety features aims to strike a balance between protecting advertiser interests while still providing content creators with control over their content classification.

The brand safety tools empower creators by allowing them to determine which category their podcasts fall under, ensuring that appropriate ads are served alongside their content. This classification system offers a level of transparency, enabling content creators to assert their creative control while simultaneously satisfying advertiser requirements for specific targeting and exclusion.

In conclusion, Apple’s latest iOS update has brought about a significant change to the automatic podcast downloads feature. By no longer automatically downloading all unplayed episodes and restricting the automatic download of episodes older than seven days, users are provided with a more tailored listening experience. However, this change may impact download numbers, which is a key metric in the podcast industry. Advertisers are particularly interested in the accuracy of these metrics to avoid paying for inaccurate impressions. In response to these changes, Spotify has rolled out brand safety tools, including contextual targeting and exclusion options, giving advertisers more control over their ad placements. This comprehensive approach aims to strike a balance between protecting advertiser interests and providing content creators with control over their content classification. Overall, these updates and responses demonstrate the ongoing efforts to enhance the podcast experience for both users and advertisers alike.

Apple’s latest iOS update could have a big impact on podcast downloads

This image is property of duet-cdn.vox-cdn.com.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2023/10/17/23921466/apple-ios-update-podcast-downloads-spotify-rogan-youtube