Apple Podcasts Gets a “Major Overhaul” for iOS 14


PodMov Daily: Tuesday, June 23

Episode 232: Testing, One Two-sday

Apple Podcasts Gets a “Major Overhaul” for iOS 14

At yesterday’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) Apple revealed “a new version of its Podcasts app that is coming with iOS 14 and macOS 11,” writes Filipe Espósito of 9to5Mac. “The company is now focusing on offering curated suggestions that lets users discover new podcasts more easily.”

The recommendation rumors were accurate: “The Podcasts app is getting a major overhaul this year, with personal curated suggestions and more,” says Espósito. “Just like Apple Music, Apple’s Podcasts app will learn about your personal preferences to suggest new podcasts available on the platform, making it more customized for each user.”

This “Smarter Listen Now” feature may help Apple Podcasts compete with other apps’ discovery algorithms. However, a main improvement cited by the company feels like a low bar: “Listen Now includes a new Up Next — your personal episode queue that makes it easier to resume where you left off.”

Podnews: Is it Legal for Marketers to Scrape RSS Feeds?

In Podnews, James Cridland investigates the practice of “scraping” RSS feeds for podcasters' contact information. Many podcasters receive marketing emails from companies offering services, software, and the like: “Curiously, they’re coming to an email address you only use in your RSS feed for your podcast.” 

Some marketers confirmed that they do track RSS feeds, justifying public feeds as fair game. “Except there’s no opt-out like this,” Cridland says. “The <itunes:owner> tag is used by podcast directories like those run by Apple, Spotify and Google to help you claim your podcast. The email needs to be present in the feed, and must work as an email address.”

Is RSS scraping legal? Cridland researches its status in the EU, US, Australia, and Canada. Domain-name registration companies invest in privacy. “Perhaps it’s time for podcast hosting companies to do the same: or, for an enterprising company to produce a privacy shield for email addresses in RSS feeds.”

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I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Promo code: Spotify is testing the “in-app offer,” an interactive ad format for podcasts, reports Sarah Perez of TechCrunch. Building on the company’s Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) tech, the model “allows users to redeem an offer at a time that’s convenient for them.”
  • Tech support: To “help amplify Black/Indigenous voices,” the Toronto podcast collective The Sonar Network is offering free help with writing, recording, graphic design, hosting and distribution, strategy, and more: “We know podcasting so that's something we can offer.”
  • You're invited: This Thursday evening from 8:00 – 10:00 pm EST, join the PM team for the next virtual community meetup. Register to listen, give and get advice, and chat with friends. The interactive video platform enables small groups for detailed discussion.
  • Dig deeper: In Discover Pods, James Griffin explains to interview podcasters how to “get out of your own way a bit and put on your listening cap.” The secret to crafting better questions, ahead of time and on the spot, is to develop a genuine curiosity about each guest.

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