Apple Podcasts is introducing new options to encourage podcasters to charge listeners for premium subscriptions. For better or worse, one of those capabilities will expose to podcasters how many people follow them on Apple Podcasts on their private analytics dashboard. Prepare to get your ego shattered! For some reason, artists haven’t been able to see their follower counts, however, the Apple Podcasts Connect website has provided information on how many listeners you have, how long they listen before leaving off, and how various episodes compare to one another.
However, some podcasters may find that their numbers on Apple Podcasts Connect are lower than planned. Because the majority of podcast listeners in the United States use Spotify, these analytics, which only show Apple Podcasts listenership, don’t provide creators with a complete picture of their show’s performance (though the drop-off rate is useful information, as it isn’t available on distribution platforms like Libsyn).
“Listeners who follow a program want to receive new episodes as soon as they become available,” Apple noted in a blog post, “so a show’s followers can serve as a signal for people likely to subscribe.” According to Apple’s thinking, if you have a large number of app users, you should consider providing paywalled content through their subscription service, which debuted less than a year ago. Podcasters that host exclusive, subscriber-only material agree to pay Apple 30% of their subscription revenue in the first year, then 15% in the second.
Spotify, on the other hand, does not now take a revenue share from those that offer paywalled material on the platform; however, after two years, it will take a 5% cut. Other podcasters may opt to fund their broadcasts in a unique way by building fan memberships on platforms like Patreon, which may include access to secret Discord servers that help build a community around a show, rather than simply delivering platform-specific supplementary content.
However, Apple’s benefit is that its app comes pre-installed on your iPhone, making it simpler for fresh podcast listeners to subscribe to a show on an app they already possess. Apple is so keen to take a cut of podcasters’ profits that it’s introducing Jump Start, a program that gives podcasters one-on-one help from the Apple Podcasts team in developing their subscription packages. However, this advice is only given to Apple Podcasters Program participants, who have previously paid a $19.99 yearly charge to sell a membership on Apple Podcasts.
For those who are enrolled in the program, here are a few more small updates: You may now upload.mp3 files as subscriber-only audio (before, only.wav and.flac files could be uploaded), and you can modify the subscription banner that shows on your show. Except for that enticing follower count, which will show on producers’ Apple Podcasts Connect dashboards next month, all upgrades will go live today.