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Podcast data miners hit paydirt

Buried in the sexy hardware and software announcements of last week’s WWDC was a golden nugget: A new version of Apple’s Podcasts app.

The update is pretty monumental, as it offers, for the first time, a bunch of data on user behavior.

Soon, the app will give ‘casters detailed insights into how many plays a given podcast episode gets, which parts users skip over, and where users are listening.

So… why is this a big deal?

Apple’s Podcast app is far and away the largest source of podcast consumption in the market — and until now, the only thing it’s told publishers is how many downloads an episode gets.

Nevertheless, advertisers have gone bonkers buying ads in the hot podcast space — largely on blind faith, with almost no data on impressions.

But, be careful what you wish for

Podcasts are beloved for offering deep insights and powerful storytelling — but there’s a chance that could change with the introduction of these analytics.

It’s possible that this new data will spark a new breed of podcasting that panders to advertisers looking for the best metrics. Or, in the words of our friends at The Outline, an “audible version of clickbait.”

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