Big changes are coming to the podcasting world: Apple is going to let the people who make Podcasts learn what Podcast listeners actually like -- and what they ignore. A new version of Apple's Podcasts, which is by far the most popular podcast app, will provide basic analytics to podcast creators, giving them the ability to see when podcast listeners play individual episodes, and -- more importantly -- what part of individual episodes they listen to, which parts they skip over, and when they bail out of an episode. From a report: 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 Podcasts app and used to present a podcast in a richer way than the current, more linear, approach. Users will be able to download full seasons, and the Podcasts app will know if a podcast is intended to be listened to in chronological order -- "start at the first episode!" -- or if it's more timely, where the most recent episode is the most important. [...] Apple is also opening up in-episode analytics of podcasts. For the most part, podcasters only really know when an episode's MP3 file is downloaded. Beyond that, we can't really tell if anyone listens to an episode, or how long they listen -- only the apps know for sure.
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