Negative reviews in Apple Podcasts

Many podcasts that appear to be bombed, or have at least attracted a large number of negative reviews, involve already controversial hosts

Podcast reviews can be easy to game, and Apple Podcasts has become the main target for angry fans interested in taking down a show. Apple’s service is the biggest name in podcasting, and it’s one of the few major platforms that allows listeners to leave public reviews. While hosts abused that feature in the past to beat the system with fake positive reviews, others have used it to inundate hosts they don’t like with a barrage of one-star marks, making the shows look like a bust.

Ashley Carman, The Verge

Spotify takes Spotify for Podcasters out of beta

Spotify is going to give podcasters listener data they can’t get anywhere else. The company is taking its Spotify for Podcasters dashboard out of a beta today, giving more podcasters a chance to see data like their listeners’ music taste, age, gender, location, and how long they listened to a particular episode. Apart from Apple, which offers some show analytics, this is the most detailed information podcasters likely have about their audience.

Ashley Carman, The Verge

Read more: Spotify’s pitch to podcasters: valuable listener data

Podcast Giant Goes Global

From The New York Times:

For years, iHeartMedia, which operates about 850 radio stations in the United States and has a popular online music app, iHeartRadio, mostly sat on the sidelines of the podcast revolution. Now it is going all in. Last year, the company bought Stuff Media, the studio that produces “Stuff You Should Know” and other shows, for $55 million, and Robert W. Pittman, iHeartMedia’s chief executive, considers podcasts an essential part of iHeartMedia’s offerings.

New York Times: “Have We Hit Peak Podcast?”

Jennifer Miller writes:

Like the blogs of yore, podcasts — with their combination of sleek high tech and cozy, retro low — are today’s de rigueur medium, seemingly adopted by every entrepreneur, freelancer, self-proclaimed marketing guru and even corporation. There are now upward of 700,000 podcasts, according to the podcast production and hosting service Blubrry, with between 2,000 and 3,000 new shows launching each month.

Jennifer Miller, The New York Times, July 18, 2019

Report: 60% of Podcasts are Inactive

Of all of the podcasts tracked by Blubrry, just under 280,000 of the 706,000 have produced a new episode in the last year.

An interview with Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry:

Of all of the podcasts tracked by Blubrry, just under 280,000 of the 706,000 have produced a new episode in the one-year period of April 2018, to April 2019.  That means only 39% of all podcasts were in production in the past year.  Or to look at it through a different lens, more podcasts (60%) are out of production than in.


Big Money Is Pouring Into Podcasting

From Time magazine:

Podcasting, once a low-budget affair done mostly by hobbyists for whom financial gain was rarely the goal, is now attracting big money… In 2018, the podcast industry overall generated an estimated $479 million in advertising revenue, according to an International Advertisers Bureau report. By 2021, it’s expected to generate over a billion.

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Revenues from podcast advertising are projected to hit $1 billion by 2021

The largest podcasting companies in the United States reported combined revenues of $345 million last year, while the total market estimate for the industry reached an all-time high of $479 million, according to the Podcast Revenue Report [PDF] released on Monday. The annual report, which has been jointly compiled by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC since 2016, shows that both reported and estimated advertising revenues have increased year-over-year by 34 and 53 percent, respectively, between 2017 and 2018.

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