Studio #13 Podcast news from WWDC 17
Apple recently held their annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) and made some news when they detailed an update of their Podcast app, as well as a new podcast specification. What do these developments mean for podcasters?
That’s the subject of Studio episode #13, which you can listen to above or read along below.
If you are a podcaster, you should always strive to stay as current as possible with the tech industry. As we know, technology drives much of the world around us, and podcasting is no different. That’s why Apple’s announcements at WWDC relative to podcasts were so interesting this year.
The majority of podcast listeners, at least those who use Apple devices such as iPhones, ipads and Macs, use the stock Podcast App loaded onto iOS to consume podcasts. But the Podcast app leaves a lot to be desired. While many modern podcast players include rich features like chapter support, smart speed, cloud sync and voice boost, the Apple podcast app has fallen behind (some even say, neglected). That might change with some new features that Apple is working on.
At WWDC, Apple showed off a brand new design for the Podcasts App, which draws heavily from the design of Apple Music. This time around I haven’t ponied up the $99 developer license to try the changes first hand, but there are several bloggers out there with their own first hand accounts that you can check out:
Apple didn’t stop with a new podcast app design, however. Taken from the same presentation at WWDC, they talked in some detail about what they are calling a new Apple Podcast Spec, which includes new conventions for naming podcast episodes as well as new tags that you can use as a podcast producer when encoding your MP3 files. I’m pretty excited about these new changes, which seem to focus on the ability to group your podcasts in a number of interesting ways, from episodic podcasts to serialized ones.
One question which comes to mind is whether podcasting hosting providers will adopt the spec. After all, your podcast has to live somewhere outside of iTunes first in order to be included in Apple’s directory. Obviously, the ability to more precisely control how your podcast is distributed and in what order is a key feature. I believe they will, but we will have to see! If anything, Apple’s podcast spec traditionally has been light on features.
Another really interesting development for podcasters are in-podcast analytics. What does that mean? Well, up until now (and honestly, now) its been very difficult to tell just how much of your podcast has been listened to. Certain hosting providers, OmnyStudio being one, but i am sure there are a few others, provide in-podcast analytics if you use their web based podcast player.
I’m of a mixed mind on podcast analytics in general. Obviously, its useful to know how many people download your podcast. Advertisers speficially want to know this information, and i think generally speaking if you put the time and money into producing your podcast you’d like to know how many people listen.
On the other hand, revealing detailed analytics about how much of your podcast is actually listened to OR, in other words, skipped over has major implications, right? That information can drastically change how podcasts get produced, and may end up dictating topics, length, the use of advertisements. The community seems to be both appliading and dreading the availability of the information.
What are your thoughts on the new Apple podcast app, as well as the spec changes and availability of deeper analytics?