Thanks to 'Serial' & Apple's Podcasts app baked into iOS 8, podcast listens grow 18%

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2015
Though podcasts are not a new medium, the format has seen significant growth over the last few months, attributed in part to the fact that Apple's Podcasts app is now built in to iOS 8.




Between the spring and fall of 2014, podcast consumption in the U.S. grew 18 percent, according to new data from Edison Research. Two factors are believed to have contributed the most to the recent growth spurt for podcasts, according to AdAge: The success of "Serial," and Apple's decision to include Podcasts in iOS 8.

Starting with the launch of iOS 8 last September, iPhone users found Apple's official Podcasts app automatically included, and unable to be removed, from their device. That, along with buzz for "Serial," is attributed with pushing podcasts to the mainstream.

A spinoff of the hit public radio show "This American Life," "Serial" took the podcast world by storm last year, with a unique structure investigating a real-life murder case. The episodic nature of the podcast, stretching the one case out over 12 episodes, proved to be a huge hit, leading to more than 68 million downloads.

Serial was recognized by Apple in its Best of 2014 iTunes awards as the "Best New Podcast" of last year. Apple, of course, helped to popularize podcasts a decade ago, when support for the medium was included in iTunes 4.9.

The name podcast itself is a reference to Apple's iconic iPod media player, though the downloadable Internet radio programs can be played across a variety of devices. Listeners can download individual episodes or subscribe to a series, having new episodes automatically delivered through "podcatchers" like Apple's own Podcasts app for iOS.

AppleInsider recently launched its own podcast in which editors discuss the week's top stories. New episodes are released on Fridays, and listeners can subscribe via iTunes or the official Podcasts app for iOS.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Important takeaway is that Apple still sets the tone.

    Feeling a bit old though, I remember when iTunes 4.9 came out and I was excited to upgrade...
  • Reply 2 of 17
    It's a real shame the Apple Podcast app is such a pile of dog [email protected]@t though. Using it since it got removed from the Music app (iOS 6 ?) got so bad I now use a 3rd party app, but can't delete the Apple one.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    hammerd2 wrote: »
    It's a real shame the Apple Podcast app is such a pile of dog [email protected]@t though.

    I agree that it was complete crap when it first came out but I have to say I've not really had any issues with the standalone Podcast app for a quite long time now and the iOS 8 version works very well for me with background updates and downloads of new episodes.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    still rocking' on iOS 7.1.2...increase in walking is positively related to increase in podcast listening.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post





    I agree that it was complete crap when it first came out but I have to say I've not really had any issues with the standalone Podcast app for a quite long time now and the iOS 8 version works very well for me with background updates and downloads of new episodes.



    I use Pocket Casts pretty much exclusively.

  • Reply 6 of 17
    undefined
  • Reply 7 of 17

    What happened. My comments simply disappeared. I did not save them. Where did they go? What does "undefined" mean?

  • Reply 8 of 17

    "Podcasts" would be fine if it didn't have that incredibly irritating 100MB limitation for downloads over the cell network. It's a completely arbitrary limitation that can not be modified or disabled, so I have to use a third party podcast app to download video podcasts over LTE. Sucks, because that app is nowhere near as good as "Podcasts" but it lets me do what I want.

    Other than this stupid limitation, I find it to be great because it's very simple and works reliably. All the other podcast apps I've used have fairly counterintuitive UIs.

  • Reply 9 of 17
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,189member
    I've been a very long time SiriusXM listener, but I just could deal with their creepy app anymore. Not at the price they wanted. I just wanted the talk shows anyway not the music, but they won't split that for streaming service. So I just ended it. Now besides Pandora for my music, I'm doing a lot more podcast listening, but I've used Downcast to do it for a number of years!!!
  • Reply 10 of 17
    hkzhkz Posts: 190member

    The only reason they have those numbers is due to laziness. People are too lazy to find an alternative so they just stick with what's there. THere's no reason to however, Apple's podcast app is garbage compared to everything else. It's not even close to holding a candle to apps like Downcast.

  • Reply 11 of 17
    hkz wrote: »
    The only reason they have those numbers is due to laziness. People are too lazy to find an alternative so they just stick with what's there. THere's no reason to however, Apple's podcast app is garbage compared to everything else. It's not even close to holding a candle to apps like Downcast.

    App works just fine...
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    App works just fine...



     I'm glad it's working for you, I've run into a lot of the issues that others have reported (primarily not downloading or syncing). Since the app has a 2 1/2 star rating on iTunes, and the apple support page is very active, I suspect I'm not alone.

  • Reply 13 of 17
    ktappektappe Posts: 771member

    It's a pity "Serial" sucked...it might turn people off to trying other podcasts.

  • Reply 14 of 17
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,022member
    ktappe wrote: »
    It's a pity *you think* "Serial" sucked...it might turn people off to trying other podcasts.

    Ftfy. It sucked so hard people listened the shit out of it. Makes no sense.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Any ideas why the Music app bullies its way in about 20% of the time I press play on my headphones rather than just playing what I was last listening to (ie podcasts virtually 100% of the time) ? Didn't happen when Podcasts were part of the Music app, has ever since no matter what app I use.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    hammerd2 wrote: »
    Any ideas why the Music app bullies its way in about 20% of the time I press play on my headphones rather than just playing what I was last listening to (ie podcasts virtually 100% of the time) ? Didn't happen when Podcasts were part of the Music app, has ever since no matter what app I use.

    I'd submit that a bug to Apple. Even if an app is closed (i.e.: no longer residing in RAM) the last app that was playing audio should still be called by the OS as soon as you press the Play button, with the last place you were at being queued up.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    inkling wrote: »
    What happened. My comments simply disappeared. I did not save them. Where did they go? What does "undefined" mean?

    If you added a comment from the article page, that might be why. Try clicking through to the forum first and then add the comment.
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