That is Scorching Pod, The Verge’s e-newsletter about podcasting and the audio trade. Join right here for extra.
At this time, we’ve acquired a joint subject taking a look at why Apple’s newest iOS replace may trigger obtain numbers to go down and that includes a speak about model security with Spotify’s director of worldwide promoting platform integrity.
Apple tweaked computerized podcast downloads in its newest iOS replace. That would influence obtain numbers transferring ahead.
When Apple launched iOS 17 in September, it included an adjustment to how computerized downloads work on podcasts. Which will make your eyes glaze over, however it’s a bit of change that would have a huge impact on obtain numbers, a minimum of within the quick time period.
May is the important thing phrase right here since it should take a while to play out. However the important thing change is that for those who subscribed to a podcast, forgot about it, and returned after some time, you’d have each unplayed podcast episode from that listening hiatus downloaded to your telephone. Within the newest replace, Apple switched it so that when you come to a subscribed podcast, it merely resumes and doesn’t obtain again episodes. Moreover, it was that when a podcast would add previous episodes to the feed, they might obtain on subscribers’ telephones as in the event that they have been new ones. With iOS 17, any episodes which might be older than seven days, even ones added to again catalogs, won’t be routinely downloaded.
So, why does anybody care about what’s functionally a storage subject? The issue is that these cases may have been distorting obtain numbers. Although comparatively uncommon, customers who returned to a podcast they subscribed to however hadn’t listened to in a very long time may find yourself with dozens or a whole bunch of downloads in a single fell swoop. With out these giant caches of computerized downloads, general obtain numbers may go down at an already precarious time for the trade.
Though attribution for podcast listening is getting extra subtle, downloads are nonetheless a crucially vital metric for the trade. Some have pointed to the stunning 10 % drop in listening final month amongst Podtrac’s prime publishers as being proof of the potential influence it may have. It appears unlikely this may be the one motive for that drop, contemplating the iOS replace didn’t go extensive till September 18th, and never all iOS customers instantly obtain the replace (i.e., me). Plus, Apple Podcasts is just the third most-used podcast platform, in response to a latest research by Cumulus and Sign Hill.
However even when it isn’t chargeable for a sudden drop, podcast publishers are bracing themselves for a decline. “From our detailed evaluation, these changes will largely influence obtain numbers on again catalog episodes, that are usually categorized as content material older than 7 days,” Acast CEO Ross Adams wrote in a weblog put up on Thursday. “Nevertheless, it’s vital to notice that these changes don’t replicate a change within the distinctive viewers a podcast has, merely the variety of downloads per consumer. On the entire, this can imply extra correct measurement and a extra environment friendly depiction of a podcast’s complete listens.”
You understand who loves accuracy? Advertisers. And who doesn’t love paying for impressions that aren’t actually impressions? Yeah, you get the drift. As this performs out, I can be to see how advertisers react to those modifications.
The obtain is a fickle mistress, buddies. When you’ve got observed a obtain drop-off since iOS 17 went extensive (or not), be at liberty to achieve out.
Spotify’s director of worldwide promoting platform integrity, Dave Byrne, on holding manufacturers protected
Firms are nonetheless nervous about placing their adverts on podcasts, which stay uncharted territory for thus many. To sort things, numerous corporations have rolled out new model security instruments this yr, together with SiriusXM and iHeartMedia. And final yr, Spotify teamed up with Integral Advert Science (IAS) to launch a third-party resolution for podcast advertisers.
To learn the way that’s been going, I spoke to the individual at Spotify in control of ensuring advertisers discover podcasts that they take into account “protected” and that aligns with their model’s picture. Dave Byrne (not that David Bryne) took over because the director of worldwide advert platform integrity at Spotify final August. His job requires him to take care of model security, fraud, privateness, audiences, and focusing on inside Spotify’s advert community. Previous to that, he labored as head of brand name security relations at TikTok.
Right here’s part of our Q&A with Byrne under. You’ll be able to learn the remainder in an upcoming subject of Scorching Pod Insider.
I do know Spotify introduced a partnership with Integral Advert Science (IAS), or the most important software program that manufacturers use to ensure their adverts are showing on “model protected” or acceptable content material. Are you able to stroll me via Spotify’s choices for model security and what went into their growth?
We’ve been ensuring to do heavy funding in contextual focusing on. Plenty of old-school model security capabilities and expertise are very a lot keyword-based. For instance, let’s say I have been to say one thing like, “I had an excessive amount of to drink final evening.” You understand the context behind that’s associated to alcohol based mostly off the best way that I’m saying it. [An alcohol brand] might even anti-target [the keyword drink].
The issue with key phrases is that you could be miss out on different nice issues, like well being podcasts of individuals consuming water, pre- and post-workout. You is also lacking out on nice content material from meals critics and that type of factor. So we determined to put money into the contextual facet of issues to know the complete breadth and scope of what’s being mentioned and the way it’s being mentioned after which create model security options that type of go round that.
Coming from my historical past of working with manufacturers and security on this, it’s type of loopy to see how a lot key phrase focusing on and anti-targeting remains to be getting used. However numerous manufacturers will not be updating their key phrase lists.
I used to be working with a model not too long ago that had “Janet Jackson” as one in all their unfavourable key phrases as a result of they hadn’t up to date their record from the  Tremendous Bowl. That type of provides you an concept of how antiquated [keywords] are actually and the way it doesn’t actually serve its goal — particularly within the audio house.
Spotify has a listing of “delicate subjects,” which permit manufacturers to exclude podcasts with content material they could take into account dangerous. I’d love to listen to the logic behind that.
So [Spotify’s] Delicate Subjects was truly constructed very a lot from the GARM model security and suitability framework. GARM has mainly introduced collectively advertisers, companies, platforms, publishers, all these totally different folks that actually wish to get model security proper and set the usual for what shouldn’t be monetized or what might be probably greater danger for advertisers.
[Spotify] has their very own platform guidelines, and we’ve our monetization pointers, which type of meet that model security flooring — mainly, “Hey, listed below are the issues we’re not going to monetize.” With delicate subjects, we attempt to [filter that content even further] to the model’s suitability framework.
A great instance is Disney, which is a really family-friendly model. They might not wish to be subsequent to sure varieties of content material, although it’s okay to be monetized [under Spotify’s rules]. And in order that’s the place Delicate Subjects has are available and helped manufacturers like that [avoid] displaying up on podcasts that aren’t appropriate for his or her model picture.
Can podcasters dispute having their content material categorised as a Delicate Matter? If an episode will get, of their view, mistakenly flagged, do podcasters have any recourse?
One of many issues we’re attempting to do with creators is give them some stage of management. What we have a tendency to search out is that there could also be podcasters who say, “Hey, my podcast is a comedy podcast; we speak about comedy.” However within the strategy of that episode, they could veer off into politics. They might not declare that it’s a political podcast, however our expertise takes a glance to search out out — what are they saying, and what’s the context of what they’re saying?
On the subject of creators themselves, this isn’t to say, “Hey, there are not any controls for them.” We provide numerous schooling to our creators to assist them perceive how these items work and to ensure that they totally perceive how we categorize and contextualize issues. You wish to have a scenario the place manufacturers are discovering creators that actually align with their manufacturers and that creators are linked with manufacturers that align immediately with them. And that their values and ideas match up as nicely.
That’s all for now! See you subsequent week.