Since last year, certain habits of listening to podcasts on the Apple platform have been analyzed by the company. And that could increase if Ma decides to adopt the system Remote Audio Data (RAD), launched earlier this month by National Public Radio (NPR) (American institution that manages more than 900 radio stations), as the The Verge.
More specifically, RAD aims to offer new types of podcast analysis data to advertisers and creators of these programs; in addition to content search, the metric also provides (valuable) data on the reach of embedded ads, which NPR and many others podcasters use as a source of revenue.
Ad sales are usually calculated by numbers of gross downloads, which provides granular data about the listener's habit (ie, if he downloads the program but does not listen to it in full, skips ads, etc.). This contrasts with the data analysis and sharing techniques advocated by Facebook and Google.
NPR's possible solution, RAD, requires that podcasters encode specific tags in your episodes that can detect when listeners have reached a certain point in a program, such as an advertiser segment. This information is sent back to the creator of the podcast, stating whether certain advertisements have actually been reached.
The RAD, therefore, clarifies this information and allows content creators and advertisers to set a “fair” value for the program's reach and popularity. However, the success of this system depends largely on Apple, which maintains the largest podcast platform in the world, followed by Spotify.
This means that if NPR wants the new standard to win out, it needs Apple's endorsement. As we said, Apple has a podcast analysis tool (in development) to show additional data about users' listening habits, but like the rest of Ma's policy, it is focused on privacy and does not take any measures included in the RAD.
NPR stated that the RAD “does not provide personally identifiable data for podcasters or advertisers ”, but obviously there are still concerns about users' privacy. For now, Apple has not officially commented on the possible adoption of the system, but NPR told the The Verge that company employees “offered their feedback” on the metrics which “feedback” Ma provided, however, was not disclosed.