Mobility

Apple boosts business appeal of podcasts with new analytics in iOS 11

For the first time, Apple will allow podcast creators to see how listeners respond to their work. But, there's still some room for improvement.

At session 512 of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Friday, Apple business manager James Boggs announced that Apple's Podcasts app would be getting improved presentation capabilities and analytics in iOS 11. The new features could make it easier for companies to better leverage podcasting as a useful business tool in the future.

SEE: WWDC 2017: All the news about iOS 11 (Tech Pro Research)

The revamped app will allow users to create clear, succinct titles for their episodes, and will provide quick play to let users continue listening wherever they left off.

With the update, subscribers can download complete seasons to their podcast Library. iOS 11 will also improve the manner in which episodes are organized in a season, listing the episodes chronologically, or by most recent episode, depending on what is best for the listener.

Apple's most exciting Podcasts feature—which Boggs mentioned briefly at the end of his session—is podcast analytics. According to Boggs' presentation slides, the new analytics capabilities aim to answer the following three questions:

  1. "How many people are listening?"
  2. "How much do they actually listen?"
  3. "Where are they listening?"

Podcast creators will be able to view which episodes are listened to all the way through, which could help marketers and business leaders better understand what kind of content is most valuable. They'll also be able to see how many users are listening, which episodes are being skipped over, and when listeners stop an episode.

While these basic analytics only display general listening behavior, the improvement provides more information than ever before, which is a testament to the lack of analytics podcast users and creators were privy to in the past.

Still, there is work to be done. As reported by Recode's Peter Kafka, these analytics lack the fine grain details necessary to create and market targeted content, which could limit their effectiveness and hurt podcast advertisers.

Boggs said Apple is set to release more information later this year.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Apple is set to offer podcast analytics that show creators how their listeners are responding to the episodes.
  2. The new iOS 11 podcast app will have a more user-friendly interface that caters to the listener's preferences, including quick play and episode order.
  3. This is the first look at podcast analytics Apple has ever released, but more precise details could make the content more effective for its audience.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/arinahabich

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is the 2017 summer Editorial intern for TechRepublic. She is an honors student at the University of Texas at Austin and a former intern at Texas Monthly.

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