Spotify ‘Coming After’ Apple With Strong Push Into Podcasts

Spotify is experimenting with a new podcast initiative that's said to be aimed at gaining ground on the current leader in the field, Apple, as a way to convince Spotify users on iOS to stick around in the Spotify app, and not migrate over to Apple Podcasts. As of now, the podcast initiative is described as a "test," with Spotify launching a few original podcasts and running promotions for the shows to see how users respond (via Bloomberg).

Currently, podcasts on Spotify sit within the Browse tab of the iOS app and lack any highlighted featured section on the Home screen. Spotify's new initiative seeks a way to change that and begin showcasing podcasts for users in the same way that the service curates music. Earlier this year, Spotify commissioned original podcasts focused on music, premiering first on Spotify before expanding to other services.


Next, more original shows will continue the podcast test over the coming months.
Spotify will fund a new batch of original podcasts in the coming months, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing the private plans.

“Spotify has the potential to do a lot for podcasting,” Quah said. “They have a large user base, and all it takes is a few tweaks here and there to put podcasting in the foreground for the daily listeners.”
The initiative is also expanding into advertising fields, with Spotify agreeing to promote specific podcasts within the app and on mobile transportation, in return for these podcast hosts "talking up" Spotify on social media and throughout their shows. Right now, the podcasts in agreement with Spotify include "Reply All," "Pod Save America," and "The Bill Simmons Podcast."

At WWDC this year, Apple announced major features for both users and podcast creators coming to the overhauled Podcasts app in iOS 11. Although the recently rebranded "Apple Podcasts" holds the majority share of the podcast market (around 55 percent, according to weekly podcast newsletter author Nick Quah), Spotify's stance as the largest streaming service in the world presents it with "an opportunity to steal share from Apple."

Due to the surge in popularity of podcasts over recent years, Apple in 2016 even met with leading podcasters to discuss their grievances over iTunes and its podcasts section.


Discuss this article in our forums

Overhauled Podcast App in iOS 11 to Bring Richer User Experience and Listener Analytics

In a Friday session at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed some major updates to is native Podcasts app that will be coming in iOS 11. Some of the changes will affect podcast listeners, while others should make it easier for podcasters to learn more about their audience's listening habits.

As mentioned at Apple's WWDC Keynote earlier this week, the Podcasts app is getting an overhaul in iOS 11. Along with a new interface and better title handling, changes to the way Apple's podcast feed works should make for an improved experience for the end user, as Six Colors' Jason Snell explained in a blog post on Friday:
New extensions to Apple's podcast feed specification will allow podcasts to define individual seasons and explain whether an episode is a teaser, a full episode, or bonus content. These extensions will be read by the Podcast app and used to present a podcast in a richer way than the current, more linear, approach. (Since podcast feeds are just text, other podcast apps will be free to follow Apple's lead and also alter how they display podcasts based on these tags.)
Thanks to the new extensions, users will be able to download full seasons, and the Podcasts app will know if a podcast is supposed to be listened to in chronological order or if the most recent downloaded episode is the most relevant to the listener.

The other updates revealed on Friday are more relevant to podcasters. Notably, Apple is launching in-episode analytics, which will enable podcasters to discover how many people are listening to their episodes and where in the app listeners are stopping and skipping. The analytics will use anonymized data to ensure user privacy while allowing podcasters to know more about listening habits, like how many people skip ads, or how long a podcast runs before listeners lose interest.

The redesigned Podcasts app will come will iOS 11, which Apple is releasing in the fall. A public beta of the operating system is expected later this month.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: Podcasts

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Rebrands iTunes Podcasts as ‘Apple Podcasts’

Apple today has rebranded iTunes Podcasts to be called "Apple Podcasts," and updated its marketing website for podcasters to learn how the new branding can help promote their shows. Apple Podcasts promo materials now include a new "Listen on Apple Podcasts" badge, while most of the pre-existing graphics standards and podcast identity guidelines remain unchanged.

The rebranding also stretches to the company's Twitter account, where iTunes Podcasts has now turned into @ApplePodcasts so users can get up-to-date recommendations on the newest and best podcasts right from their Twitter feed. The functionality and look of the official Podcasts iOS app appears to have remained the same for now.


The new name falls in line with Apple's recent decision to place the company's name in front of the service or product in question -- like Apple Music and Apple Pencil -- and further distances itself from iTunes. During the Code Media Conference this past February, Eddy Cue admitted that Podcasts are seeing a "huge resurgence," and that Apple will "absolutely" do more with the medium in the future.

Today's rebranding could be the first step in that direction for the company.

Tag: Podcasts

Discuss this article in our forums

Why you should reread ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f309964%2fto-kill-a-mockingbird

Feed-twFeed-fb

We have a long running joke on the MashReads Podcast: Can our co-host Aliza Weinberger reference to To Kill A Mockingbird, her favorite book, in every episode that we record?

Given that joke, we are happy to say, this week on the MashReads Podcast, we finally took the plunge and read Harper Lee’s classic.

Join us as we discuss To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s portrayal of racism in the south, if Atticus is actually the hero we all say he is and why you should reread this book.

Then, inspired by our revisit of To Kill A Mockingbird, we discuss books that change when you reread them. Read more…

More about Books, Podcasts, Mashreads, and Entertainment