Apple software update cuts podcast audience numbers

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 22 January 2024
Photo by Gary Meulemans on Unsplash.

A change to Apple Podcast's automatic downloads system may affect the metrics that content creators put out to market and use to recruit advertisers.

In a blog post, Apple said that before iOS 17, when a listener would unpause automatic downloads, the system would automatically download all unplayed episodes.

"With iOS 17, Apple Podcasts will not download previous episodes and will resume automatically downloading new episodes," the technology company said.

According to Semafor, while few users noticed the shift, "some of the biggest podcasts in the world saw their official listener numbers drop dramatically".

"Long-running shows that publish frequently were hit particularly hard," the site said.

Australians downloaded 1.03 billion podcasts in 2023, up 26% for the year, according to the December Australian Podcast Ranker.

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