Confession: I’ve stopped automatic downloads on Apple Podcasts because I’m reckless with my data and have absolutely let podcast downloads eat up my phone on more than one occasion. I love having episodes back from Things you missed in history class for the metro as much as the next guy, but I also need to be able to save and send my husband I think you should leave Unlimited GIFs (♫ it’s the little things we do together ♫). Anyway, Apple’s new update that allows users to limit downloads to five episodes at a time feels like it was tailor-made for me.
Also tuned today, Spotify is experimenting with NFTs, highlights from Podcast Upfronts and how the podcast has risen above its namesake.
Apple makes it easier to distribute podcasts by subscription and manage podcast storage
Creators who are part of the Apple Podcasters program will no longer have to take the extra step of uploading podcasts through the Apple Podcast Connect dashboard – as long as they use a designated distribution platform. The initial group of hosting partners includes Acast, Libsyn, Buzzsprout, Omny Studio, RSS.com, Blubrry and ART19. Podcasters who create subscription podcasts on one of these platforms will be able to publish shows to Apple directly from their host’s dashboard using a new feature called “delegated publishing.” The feature is supposed to launch “this fall”.
Among the hosting platforms not in this initial group is Spotify’s anchor, although Apple Podcast spokesman Zach Kahn has said he could become a partner host if the company chose to do so. Spotify did not respond to a request for comment on whether that would be the case. Spotify already has its own designated partner hosts who have streamlined publishing subscription shows through its Open Access program, including Supercast, Glow.fm (which is owned by Libsyn) and Apple partner Acast. (Note: Vox Media is also a partner of Spotify’s Open Access program).
Apple Podcast users will also have a new tool at their disposal with a new software update for iPhone, iPad and Mac that has already been released. Listeners can now specify how many podcast episodes they want to keep downloaded in the app for offline listening, with options like “last five episodes” or those released in the “last 14 days”. Older episodes that have not been manually uploaded will be automatically deleted. The new downloads setup should make a big difference for heavy podcast listeners (me in particular!!) who can quickly rack up downloads that eat up their device storage.
Spotify Tests Musicians’ NFT Galleries, Even As Crypto Market Cools Down
Non-Fungible Celebrity Tokens, or NFTs, have seen better days, but Spotify is implementing a test that lets artists like Steve Aoki and The Wombats show off their own. The new feature, which is available to select US-based Android users, was first reported by music ally.
The experimental update allows participating artists to display their NFT galleries prominently on their Spotify pages just below their song lists. But Spotify hasn’t said whether the feature will be extended. “We regularly run a number of tests with the goal of improving the artist and fan experience,” the company said. music ally. “Some of these tests end up paving the way for a larger experience and some are just for important learning.”
It might seem like a strange time to promote NFTs, just as the crypto market is crashing and the number of NFT transactions is dropping. But Aoki spoke with Edge editor Nilay Patel in March on how NFTs can be a lifeline for musicians at the mercy of streaming’s low pay-per-streams. He said the NFT business “delivers a revenue stream and conversation in a way that has never happened before”.
If you don’t have Android and want to see what Aoki is whales NFT looks like, check out my colleague Emma Roth’s article.
Upfronts Podcast Highlights
While there were no appearances from Pete Davidson, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Podcast Upfront last week hosted a number of podcasting’s biggest players, who showcased their best programming and their best statistics to advertisers. As the IAB made lofty projections of a $4 billion podcast industry by 2024, studios and publishers explained why they deserved a piece of that growing pie. Here are some important points:
- SiriusXM conducted its own study of who new podcasting listeners are and what they want. Recent podcast listeners are younger and more diverse in terms of race and gender than longtime podcast listeners. They also prioritize true crimes and celebrity talk shows more than traditional listeners, who flock to news and sports. Comedy is still the number one genre for both.
- Wondery, which is owned by Amazon, has announced a slew of new advertising representation and distribution deals. The company has already secured distribution deals with the likes of my favorite murder and SmartLess, in which new episodes release a week earlier exclusively on Amazon Music and Wondery Plus. The new offerings take Wondery to the next level of shows, including Men in blazers, something was wrong, four shows from the Ten Percent Happier Network and two podcasts from the Shut Up and Give Me Murder Network. All have an exclusive one-week window, except for Men in blazerswhich will have no window, and Twenty percent happierwhich will be entirely exclusive.
- The companies announced programming updates, including debuting Sony Music Bedtime Stories with Adam McKay, in which the writer and director improvises soothing stories; Slate, which increases the frequency of shows And then: to be determined, mom and dad fightand Work from once a week to twice a week; and iHeartMedia, which will launch a new vertical of LGBTQ+ shows this summer in the mold of the Black Effect Podcast Network and My Cultura.
Although there was nothing really revolutionary, the programming direction seemed to correspond to the heart of the discoveries of SXM. Podcast audiences are younger and more diverse than just a few years ago, and the greater emphasis on multicultural and entertainment content reflects this. Plus, the real crime train isn’t slowing down any time soon. It’s not my thing, but people have spoken.
Companies are dramatically increasing their podcast ad spend
The biggest spenders have remained largely the same, but podcast advertising budgets are growing in the blink of an eye. Virtual mental health services company BetterHelp is again the top podcast advertiser, and it’s not even close. According to Magellan AI’s Q1 ad spend report, BetterHelp spent more than $21 million on podcast ads between January and March this year, more than double what it spent in the same period. period last year.
This budget is nearly three times what HelloFresh spent in Q1, and it’s not like HelloFresh is skimping. With $7.7 million in podcast ad spend, the direct-to-consumer meal kit company nearly doubled its budget year-over-year. ExpressVPN and Progressive (ranked number four and five respectively) have also massively increased ad spend since last year.
The findings underscore the IAB’s study of the growth of the podcast industry. While an increase in shows and listeners play a part, companies’ willingness to spend more will be key to making podcasting a $2 billion industry this year and a $4 billion industry by 2024. You can download Magellan’s first quarter benchmark report here.
The iPod is dead, but the podcast lives
It’s a bit of a replay for Insiders, but I’m going to shamelessly plug my article this weekend into how the iPod played a fleeting, yet crucial, role in the development of the podcast. And wouldn’t you know, two people claim to have independently combined ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’ to name the medium we all know and love and are going around in circles today. Plus, Leo Laporte’s ill-fated battle to rename it “netcast” (as in “internet broadcast”). My deepest sympathies to Leo, it didn’t take.
See you next week, dear readers! For insiders, I’ll be back on Thursday with the latest pod gossip.