Back to the News: Apple Reviews and Google Pirates


PodMov Daily: Thursday, February 3

Episode 582: Your Thursday Podthoughts

Back to the News: Apple Reviews and Google Pirates

When listeners are instructed to ‘rate and review on Apple Podcasts,’ many mistakenly review the app instead of the show. We looked into it in November: 72% of recent feedback had not only missed its intended target (a deserving podcaster), but had contributed to inflated ratings for a 1.8-star “hot mess” of an app.

This known issue hasn’t yet been fixed, says Sean Hollister of The Verge. “The company is using the same broken star score system that uplifts scammers for its own benefit as well.” He calls it a “crystal clear example of why you can’t trust star scores.” A clear, intentional call-to-action will help podcasters keep their credit.

Meanwhile, Podnews reports that “Google is randomly switching podcasts in its app to point to pirated copies with ads.” Here’s what happened to the popular economics show All-In. Podnews has a Google Podcasts RSS helper that checks the feed Google has for your show. They also recommend setting a preferred feed.

Podcasters Aren’t Facing Spotify Backlash Alone

Cultural conflict often leads to countless small fires, and this week podcasters are catching heat from strangers and listeners. “Sadly, on social media, my post has turned into a sh*t show,” wrote Brené Brown on Tuesday. In that post, the Spotify-exclusive podcaster had simply explained her choice to ‘pause.’

An acclaimed psychology researcher, Brown is well-equipped to handle comments like this: “I’m canceling you for canceling people,” “I hate censors so you shut up,” and “I’m burning your books because I don’t agree with you.” (We’ve all been on the internet. Her sanitized examples were likely also corrected for spelling.)

Podcasters face potential backlash if they stay, go, take a stand, or ignore the situation. What’s the best way to react to the threat of one-star reviews? Though there’s no one answer, Brown offers a masterclass. Lastly, if you’ve been playing keyboard warrior, get some fresh air. Twitter will be here when you return.

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Here's what else is going on:

  • Curtain call: The third round of Evolutions speakers is out, featuring experts like Hana Walker-Brown (Broccoli Productions) and Brady Sadler (Double Elvis Productions). This week’s PM update reveals 23 sessions across the Creator, Industry, and Pro Podcaster tracks.
  • Time card: Today marks eight weeks since the iHeart Podcast Union formed under the WGA, East. iHeart management has yet to recognize the 125-strong union, despite its support from around 70% of employees. The division’s revenue is up 184% ($41.6 million) since 2020.
  • Summer plans: The International Women’s Podcast Festival will be held in London on June 18. Held by Content is Queen, the event features sessions, workshops, networking, and live shows. Pitches close on February 16, and super early bird tickets are £22 (~$30) until tomorrow.
  • Inside out: US-based publishers are betting big on non-English podcasts. Direct translations are just a start, writes Sara Guaglione of Digiday. Vice is working on a multilingual-first format: “Not translating it, but rather refitting it to fit the particularities of the culture.”

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