Summary of “Podcasts, Analytics, and Centralization – Stratechery by Ben Thompson”

Probably the first modern podcast was created by Dave Winer in 2003, although it wasn’t called a “Podcast”: that was coined by Ben Hammersley in 2004, and the inspiration was Apple’s iPod.
Still, while the media had a name, the “Industry”, such that it was, was very much the wild west: a scattering of podcast creators, podcatchers, and podcast listeners, finding each other by word-of-mouth.
Over the ensuing years the typical podcast sponsor was a bit less of a name brand – unless, of course, you were a regular podcast listener, in which case you quickly knew the brands by heart: Squarespace, Audible, Casper Mattress, Blue Apron, and recent favorite MeUndies.
The data part is obvious: while podcasters canreport download numbers, no one knows whether or not a podcast is played, or if the ads are skipped.
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.
3 More pertinently all of the current podcast advertisers know exactly what they are getting: X amount of podcast ads results in Y number of conversions that result in Z amount of lifetime value.
For what it’s worth, Exponent has a much different profile: Apple Podcasts has about 13% share, while Overcast leads the way with 26% share, followed by Mobile Safari with 23% [↩]This shows why Casper mattresses are the exception that proves the rule: mattresses are not a subscription service, but they are much more expensive than most products bought online, which achieves the same effect as far as lifetime value is concerned [↩]I’m less worried about the fact other podcast players may not offer similar analytics: the Apple Podcast app will be used as a proxy, although this may hurt podcasts that have a smaller share of downloads via the Apple Podcast app [↩]It’s Google’s challenge in building a real hardware business in reverse [↩].

The orginal article.