Apple Podcasts to Launch Follower Metrics for Creators, Stepping Up Challenge to Spotify

Apple is adding new tools for podcasters to track audience trends, as well as boosting support for podcast subscriptions, among other feature aimed at letting creators manage their podcast businesses on Apple Podcasts. The moves show that the Silicon Valley giant is getting more serious in making Apple Podcasts a more robust rival to Spotify.

Starting next month, all Apple Podcasts creators will be able to view metrics for show followers. From the Analytics tab in the Apple Podcasts Connect menu, creators will be able to view followers per show and see followers across shows. After selecting a show, they can view the number of New Followers netted over the last week, month, 60 days and all time. They can also see time listened as a percent of those following and not following the show.

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions launched in the spring of 2021, and today subscriptions are used by “hundreds of millions of listeners” every day, the company said. According to Apple, a podcast show’s followers can serve as an indicator for those likely to subscribe.

To help creators grow subscriptions, Apple Podcasts is now letting podcasters customize their subscription banners with messages promoting channels and shows. For example, they can promote early access to new episodes of one show while promoting archive access to another show.

And Apple is enhancing technical support for podcasters on subscriptions. Starting Tuesday, all creators enrolled in the Apple Podcasters Program can now request direct guidance from the Apple Podcasts team to help do things like create a channel, set up their show for a subscription, learn about subscription best practices, understand subscription reports, and more. Creators can also request support with transferring ownership of a podcast, creating an episode, or submitting a show.

In another new feature, Apple Podcasts now accepts MP3 files for subscriber audio in addition to high-quality WAV and FLAC files. Apple Podcasts also recently launched the ability to browse shows by season and filter episodes by status.

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