Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Since podcasting became a popular way to connect audio content directly with listeners podcast publishers have looked for reliable metrics that show listening numbers and how much of each podcast is being heard.

All Access media is reporting [link] that Apple has announced a new app, IOS 11, will be available this fall. 

The new analytic tool  that will provide in-episode data enabling content producers to see when and how long people listen, what they skip over and importantly if/when they bail out. 

A sample of the time-spent-listening chart is on the left.

Podcast industry observers are saying Apple is doing what was once thought to be impossible. Steven Goldstein, CEO of Amplifi Media, LLC, posted on his company’s blog [link]:

Up until now, Apple, which accounts for around 70% of all podcast consumption, provided sketchy download information which did not correlate to actual listening. Producers knew how many times a podcast was downloaded but no data on what was actually listened to. 

The advent of analytics will likely result in change for many podcasters by revealing real listening behavior. They will finally see what listeners like, and conversely, dislike and creators will be able to fine-tune the content accordingly. 

Apple's new analytics are likely to be a wake-up call for many producers and possibly a reset in the advertising community.

The All Access report says Apple’s updated app will allow producers to define episodes as regular episodes, bonus episodes and will allow seasons to be defined as well. This will give podcast producers a way to track listener consumption of full seasons of podcasts such as S-Town.

While listener behavior will be tracked, individual listeners will remain anonymous. Goldstein says the new Apple app will provide needed universal “currency” that will help quantify podcast listening and bring more ad dollars to podcast publishers.

According to Goldstein, Apple says there are now 400,000 individual podcasts and 14 million episodes in circulation.  Apple says it is approving 1,000 new podcasts each week. It is unknown if Apple will release an aggregated chart that might compete with Podtrac’s rankings charts.


According to the May Podtrac Audience Rankings, podcasts published by This American Life including Serial and S-Town lost 2,725,000 US Unique Monthly listeners between April and May, a 28% drop.

Meanwhile the hits just keep on coming for NPR’s roster of podcasts. 

NPR’s 38 podcasts gained an estimated 913,000 US Unique Monthly listeners, an increase of 7%. 

The publisher that had the biggest gain in US Unique Monthly listeners was the HowStuffWorks cluster, up 32% between April and May.

PRX’s The Moth podcast, dropped out of the Podtrac top ten, likely bumped by The Washington Post’s cluster of 9 podcast. We sent messages to Velvet Beard at Podtrac requesting The Moth’s numbers but she did not reply at the time of publication.

The New York Times cluster of 9 podcasts was up 15% from April to May, likely due to the popularity of The Daily. Podtrac does not provide estimates for individual podcasts.

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