When I first saw this article today on PodMov Daily. "The Case for Evolving Reviews in Apple Podcasts" I was kind of taken aback. I use reviews. Amazon, eBay, Yelp, Facebook, Apple, Netflix. They always provide some insight. When properly used they are an excellent tool, providing insight into a product, business, or person. They tell a story if something is worthwhile or should be avoided like the Plague. (We can still say that in the COVID world, right?) I was thinking what are they talking about? Remove reviews? Are they crazy? These people are respected in the industry, heck I communicate with one regularly. What am I missing?
Then I read into it. Makes perfect sense, maybe. What they are talking about is no different than say, how Instagram shows approval. Click a Heart if you like a podcast. Show the number of followers. Wait I mean subscribers. Just like that other social media platform. seems fair, right?
Of course, there is a drawback. Unlike Instagram's followers, no one ever really knows how many subscribers a podcast really has. Apple can tell you how many subscribers are using an iPhone, using Apple Podcasts. Apple cannot tell you however how many subscribers are through Google, Spotify, Overcast, well anyone other than Apple. With the newness of podcasting and people just learning about podcasts and how to listen, this rating system could hurt. Unless you have a majority of your subscribers through Apple Podcast App. Even though your download might show 80% of your download are through Apple, most of those are on 3rd party podcatchers and not Apple Podcasts. Simply put if you have 5,000 subscribers, how many are listening through Apple Podcats? 500? 1700? (I could not find a figure to show what percentage of podcast listeners actually use Apple Podcasts/iTunes.)
Does it matter? I think yes. The public at large does not understand podcasts. By only showing Apple subscribers in Apple Podcasts your quality heavily downloaded podcasts may show low subscribers in Apple. If you have a podcast about Android, what percentage of your listeners will be using an iDevice? If your podcast is Tips and Tricks to Amazon Podcasts, where will your subscribers be? Droids, Amazon Music, iPhones?
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