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Posts tagged with "Apple Podcasts"

Slow Burn Recognized as the Apple Podcasts’ Show of the Year

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Apple Podcasts has named Slow Burn Show of the Year for its season covering the history of the events leading up to the US Supreme Court’s decision in Row v. Wade. The four-part series was released in June, produced by Slate, and hosted by Slate’s executive editor, Susan Matthews.

Regarding the series, Matthews told Apple:

I wanted to make this series because I was really discouraged by how polarized and stuck the conversation around abortion was, and it seemed incredibly timely and important. We set out to tell this story in a way that helped expand and challenge what people understood about this subject. We decided the way to approach this season was to go back to the early ‘70s, when the abortion debate was still up in the air and your party affiliation didn’t correlate with your views on the issue. I am so honored that Apple Podcasts saw something special in this season. I hope people come to it with an open and curious mind, and appreciate listening to it as much as I did making it.

Today, Slate is releasing six Slow Burn Extras, which include a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show, new personal stories, and follow-up interviews. The extras are free to download and only available through Apple Podcasts. There’s also an interview with the team behind Slow Burn that’s available on the Apple Podcasts for Creators website.

To commemorate Slow Burn’s achievement, Apple’s created a physical award. The purple award resembles the Podcasts app icon and is made from 100% recycled aluminum with the winner’s name engraved on the back.


Apple Podcasts Marketing Tool for Social Media Released

Apple has released a free web app that lets podcasters create artwork and links to promote their shows on Apple Podcasts. The app offers several customization options that should appeal to a wide variety of creators who want to market their shows on Apple’s service. Still, there are a couple of limitations worth keeping in mind.

Apple's tool offers several options, but the marketing messages are limited to a predefined list.

Apple’s tool offers several options, but the marketing messages are limited to a predefined list.

At its core, Apple’s tool makes it easy to generate promotional artwork in several predefined sizes along with links that can be posted to social media to promote a show, an episode, or an Apple Podcasts channel. Six size choices cover the standard artwork specifications for most social networking services. By default, the artwork is generated with a purple gradient that matches the Podcasts’ app color scheme, but you can change it to whatever you like.

Shows that offer Apple Podcasts subscriptions can promote bonus content and other perks to users.

Shows that offer Apple Podcasts subscriptions can promote bonus content and other perks to users.

There are several messaging options tailored to whether a show is free or offers a subscription version.

There are several messaging options tailored to whether a show is free or offers a subscription version.

The tool also provides several predefined messages that are applied to the artwork, the number of which depends on whether a show is free, paid, or free with a paid option. Shows that rank among Apple Podcasts’ Top Shows have the option of promoting their rankings too. However, there is no option to craft your own marketing message for the artwork, which is a little disappointing but not surprising.

Promotional art comes in multiple sizes for different social networks, and URLs can include affiliate parameters.

Promotional art comes in multiple sizes for different social networks, and URLs can include affiliate parameters.

The app generates full and shortened URLs, too, with the option to include affiliate parameters if you participate in Apple’s affiliate linking program for services.

Apple’s new marketing tool for social channels works well and generates good-looking artwork with minimal effort, making it a nice option for anyone with limited time and resources. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the tool is limited to Apple Podcasts. The messaging options are limited too. You’ll need a different solution if you’d rather promote your podcast’s own website, another podcast directory, or use a marketing message not offered by Apple. Still, because such a large percentage of many shows’ audiences listen using Apple Podcasts, the company’s new tool is an excellent way to reach those listeners and potentially grow that segment of your audience.


Apple Podcasts Follower Metrics Are Now Available

Last month, I wrote about Apple’s plans to expand the analytics available to podcasters who offer free shows. Yesterday, the new metrics for free shows went live on Apple Podcasts Connect with an announcement from Apple.

The metrics report on a show’s Followers, the term Apple uses to describe anyone who follows free podcasts by selecting the plus button in the Apple Podcasts app. “Subscribers” is reserved for anyone who signs up to receive episodes of paid shows

The new analytics are explained in detail in a support document on Apple Podcasts for Creators. If you’re a podcaster, you’ll find the new metrics under the Analytics tab on Apple Podcasts Connect. The company says that the new Follower metrics allow podcasters to:

Get a breakdown of followers per show and easily measure followers across shows. Once a show is selected, you can view the number of net new followers over the last week, month, 60 days, and all time. Navigate to the Trends menu to view a graph of followers over time and the number of net new followers on a specific day or during a specified range.

The new statistics also report the listening habits of Followers and anyone who doesn’t follow your show.

It’s good to see Apple’s podcast analytics offerings expanding. Apple is just one source of listeners, but it’s a big one that, for many shows, is the dominant source of listeners, so having more anonymized data on user behavior should help guide podcasters in their promotional efforts.


Apple Expands Analytics and Other Features Available to Podcasters

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Today, in a post on the Apple Podcasts for Creators webpage, Apple announced an expansion of the podcast analytics it offers, which podcasters can sign up to use at Apple Podcasts Connect.

Apple is adding a new metric called Followers, the term Apple uses to describe listeners who subscribe to a free podcast. The company already provides analytics that track listener numbers, engagement, and plays. Still, Followers could give podcasters who are considering offering a paid subscription version of their podcast an idea of its potential audience. The new statistic will be available next month from the Analytics tab of Podcasts Connect and can be viewed over 60 days, a week, a month, or all time.

Apple will also provide a chart showing the total time a show has been listened to for a chosen period and what percentage of those listeners are followers of the show. A graph of a show’s followers over time and the gains or declines in followers will be available in the Trends tab too.

Until now, subscription-based podcasts had to be uploaded as WAV or FLAC files and processed on Apple’s end before being available for subscribers. Podcasters can now upload MP3 versions of their shows instead, which is a welcome change. We offer a subscription version of AppStories on Apple Podcasts. Although producing a WAV version of each episode isn’t a burden, uploading such a large file and waiting for it to process on Apple’s servers has been one of the few points of friction in the process, so I’m glad that has been eliminated.

If you offer subscriber podcasts through Apple Podcasts, Apple has also added new customization options for the subscription banners in the Apple Podcasts app. Finally, for podcasters who want help getting a podcast and subscription set up, the Apple Podcasts team is available to provide direct assistance.

It’s nice to see Apple continue to evolve its subscription offerings. I don’t pay much attention to metrics, but I know for some podcasters, they are crucial for attracting advertising. Still, over longer periods, analytics like those Apple will offer next month should make it easier to spot audience and listening trends, even if it is only from the Apple Podcasts slice of a show’s audience.


Apple Podcasts Names Its Best Show and Newcomer of 2021

On the heels of the Apple Music Awards, Apple has announced its picks for the Best Show of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, along with the Top New Show, Top Free Channel, Top Show with Subscription, and Top Channel with Subscription. 2021 saw Apple move into subscription-based podcasts and channels that allow podcast producers to create collections of shows, both of which are reflected in the top charts announced today. According to the company’s press release:

“2021 marked the start of a new chapter for podcasting with shows that moved us in ways unlike ever before,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “We are honored to recognize the phenomenal creators who are redefining podcasting with this year’s best shows, and to help more listeners around the world discover, enjoy, and support their inspiring work.”

Maya Shankar, host of A Slight Change of Plans.

Maya Shankar, host of A Slight Change of Plans.

The 2021 Apple Podcasts Awards winners are:

Apple’s Podcasts editorial team has also created a curated collection of Top Shows and Top Episodes of 2021 and reported the year-end Top Charts of the most popular free and subscription-based shows and channels. Those lists, along with the award winners, can be found in a special Best of 2021 section of the Apple Podcasts app.

Podcasts continue to be one of the hottest media categories, experiencing rapid growth and experimentation with new business models, including subscriptions like Apple Podcasts program. Apple Podcasts Subscriptions got off to a rocky start earlier this year, but it also isn’t nearly as difficult to use as some people suggest in my experience. I expect that over time, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions will continue to grow as podcasters explore new ways to build sustainable shows.