Apple Podcasts creators will now be able to discover much more about who their most devoted listeners are and where they come from. the company today is throwing subscription analytics tools that will show podcasters how many listeners started a free trial, the percentage of those who converted to a paid subscription, what type of plan they subscribe to, and geographic breakdowns. Although Apple has conducted analysis on regular listeners Available since 2017, this new set of analytics will give podcasters more insight into the subscription side of their business.
Creators can also see the breakdown between annual and monthly subscriptions. At a virtual briefing attended by the edgeApple’s global head of podcasts Ben Cave said annual plans were becoming increasingly popular with new Apple Podcasts subscribers. “Now more than a third of all new subscribers choose annual plans, which is great news for creators because it means they get revenue up front and higher retention,” Cave said.
Creators can access the new analytics through Apple Podcast Connect, the creator dashboard. After selecting a subscription in the Analytics tab, users can select “Overview” or “Trends” to see different breakdowns of their subscription metrics. In the “Trending” category, creators will be able to see the number of active subscribers, subscription events (i.e. cancellations, activations, and renewals), the number of subscriptions sold over time, and estimated revenue. The Summary tab shows data about free trial subscriptions, conversions to paid subscriptions, and geographic breakdowns.
When Apple launched in-app podcast subscriptions two years ago, there was more than one hiccup. Podcasters complained that Apple Podcast Connect had a confusing interface and that the platform was buggy. And then there was the actual work of creating special content that the public would be willing to pay for. The platform has improved over time and premium content has become a promising source of new revenue for podcasts, but it’s still not an easy task to achieve. Producing new content for subscribers requires additional hours of work, including the painstaking task of manually uploading premium episodes to all podcast platforms. This can be especially difficult for small, independent shows that may not have the budget or staff of larger commercial podcast studios.
Apple is also trying to speed up this process for creators. The company is adding five new hosting providers for delegated delivery, which allows creators to publish premium content directly from their chosen host’s dashboard. New delivery partners are Audiomeans, Captivate, Podbean, Podspace, and Transistor. Several other platforms, including Blubrry, Libsyn, Triton Digital’s Omny Studio, and RSS.com, already support delegated delivery on Apple Podcasts subscriptions.
The announcement comes on the heels of Spotify’s new partnership with Patreon, which will allow listeners to access their Patreon podcast subscriptions directly on Spotify. Prior to this, listeners had to listen to premium content directly in the Patreon app or use a private RSS link to listen in their chosen podcast player.
Linkfire will expand from music to podcasts through a partnership with Apple
Apple Podcasts is also partnering with a better-known partner in the music industry to help podcasters promote their work. Company partners with Danish music analytics platform fire link — which generates special “smart links” that allow marketers to see information about who clicks on them — to help creators promote merchandise launches, sell tickets, or build a following. During the virtual briefing, Linkfire announced a new integration with Apple called Linkfire for Podcasts that will debut later this year.
“Our solution is designed just for podcasters with tons of options to help them promote their shows, the latest episodes, and everything else related to their growing brand,” said Jeppe Faurfelt, Linkfire co-founder and chief commercial officer, during the briefing. .
Faurfelt said there are similarities between the way people consume music and podcasts. Listeners tune in to both through a variety of services and devices, but the vast majority come from mobile. Just like in the music industry, Faurfelt said podcasters have limited visibility into audience listening habits.
Linkfire for Podcasts will allow creators to generate smart links for their shows, which in turn will give them access to more data about their listeners. When a user clicks on a smart link, they will be taken to the show’s home page, where they can listen to episodes or access additional content such as newsletters, merchandise, live events, and social channels. Creators can then monitor engagement via the Linkfire dashboard, including anonymous visits, clicks, and click-through rates.
Dan Misener, co-founder of the podcast agency Bumpersaid the edge that the current model of download control gives creators a superficial view of listener habits. He believes the Linkfire integration will give podcasters new insights, including, most importantly, whether listeners are actually listening to the episodes Apple automatically downloads for them. Misener, who also caught the news but isn’t connected to Linkfire, hasn’t used the podcast version of the tool yet, but says he’s looking forward to trying it out.
“For a long time, downloads have been the currency of the kingdom in podcasting. The big question mark around the downloads is…did anyone actually spend time with my show? Misner said.