The company will start using anonymized data to help podcasters identify how many people are actually listening to podcasts, as well as those moments when they skip ads. They’ll find out whether or not they’re keeping their audiences, and sponsors will know if those mid-episode plugs are translating to more customers. You’d be more likely to get podcasts that reflect what you want to hear, and advertisers might be more likely to back your favorite series if they know their campaigns are working.
Apple’s updates also include “clear, concise” titles and a quick play feature in the iOS app to help you resume where you last left off.
All the changes appear to stem directly from last year’s heart-to-heart chats between Apple and the podcasting community. At the time, authors were worried that iTunes and the Podcasts app weren’t doing enough to nurture their content — how are you supposed to make money from a show if you don’t know reels in new listeners and sponsors? There are still some unanswered concerns about in-store discovery and paid shows (there’s still no official purchase mechanism), but Apple is at least addressing some of the fundamental issues.