Apple's long-awaited podcast data-transparency reveals an ad-listening audience with no clear format-preferences

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Skipping ads

Music to my ears.

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Siri, skip ahead 60 seconds.

“Fast forwarding one minute.”

Q: Why does Siri always confirm in a unit other than the one I use? I skip one minute, she says 60 seconds, I say 90 seconds, she confirm one minute and 30 seconds.

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It would be interesting to know where most podcasts are listened to. I tend to listen to podcasts while I’m driving or when I’m doing household chores - two places where hitting my skip button is generally not going to happen because my hands and eyes are busy. As such I end up listening to a lot of podcast ads. I’m an old man - I’m used to ignoring ads. Drives my son crazy when he’s in the car with me that I don’t skip the ads because he’s never known anything else in his life.

OTOH - because I’m an old man who is used to ignoring ads, I haven’t ever purchased anything because of a podcast ad. I tune them out for the most part, as I have been trained to do since I started listening to the radio as a wee young lad.


I tend to listen to the ads when the host of the podcasts reads them through because they’re short and unobtrusive, but I’d skip right over interstitials. I’m not in the market for a Squarespace or Casper mattress and tune them out, but sometimes some of the services or products advertised on certain podcasts do catch my ear because they’re somewhat related to the editorial content.

For example, 99% Invisible advertises e-commerce sites that sell design-focused furniture and fixtures, and chances are I’ll check them out when the time comes to buy. The host also gives the mattress and Web site builder ads a design spin. Context and relevance are really the keys to digital advertising that converts to sales.


Yes. Lets hope that this brings more revenue to our favorite poscasters and more diversity to yhe ads. Even tha Cory can mention Caspar and Squarespace by name is testament to the ad’ effectiveness. This is potentially great news for all kinds of publishing.

Roger that.


Not too much surprise that people who use the default app also do not skip ads. I’d be willing to be the statistics are different for, say, Overcast users.

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buen noche and buenas noches works the same way.

I just find it amazing that Apple Podcasts is a dominant player despite being treated like a bastard step child for years and still far behind competitors.

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She’s a secret contrarian.

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Years of BBC radio have conditioned me to hate audio ads with a fiery passion, even more fiery than my hatred of normal ads.
There’s just something about not even having something visual to focus on that makes them more intrusive to me.


I guess I’m glad there’s no immediate pressure for podcasts to make themselves shittier. But the idea that we’re all in helpless, passive thrall to the ad market sticks in my craw. It’s like going to a restaurant and asking your tapeworm what to order.

If you want to make a podcast, you need a certain amount of money to make it sustainable. That can come from subscriptions, or from your day job. But there’s no reason to think that your new day job has to become “shilling vacuum-packed mattresses”; that’s a totally 100% spurious connection that the advertising parasite has implanted in our brains. Ads don’t make podcasts successful; they make them worse and they prevent listeners from donating.

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I assume she has a canonical format for time (and it is almost definitely the one that NSFormatter uses for time intervals). It most likely attempts to use the largest unit it has one or more of first. While it doesn’t actually sound like a natural human, it is probable the closest you can get to what humans would do with the least rules. So while she replies differently when you say “90 seconds”, I bet she would say the exact same thing for “one minute thirty seconds” (and if you says “one and a half minutes” she would still say “one minute thirty seconds”…)

It isn’t really all that suppressing. Most people don’t really like searching for software and downloading it. So if they already have something that “does that” most people will just use it, not go “hey, I wonder if something is out there that does all the things I like in this program, and more stuff that I also like”.

Some people will do it if they see someone else (or hear them) talk about something they use and enjoy, but other people don’t respond to that either. I use to have a theory that it was all the malware and crapware that was so hard to uninstall on windows that made people reluctant to install anything “to try”. Watching people use the iPhone I’ve thought I was maybe wrong (or they have a lifetime of abuse by poor software to overcome), but I’ve been told that the average iPhone user installs more software per year then the average Windows user… so maybe it was worse then I thought…

But Apple podcasts wasn’t even available as default for years.

Yep, but it also took podcasts a long time to raise from very fringe niche, to the current status of “out of the mainstream…but not by a whole lot”. Apple wasn’t there in the beginning, but they were there for most of the heavy growth (and many credit them with a large chunk of that growth).

I generally sit through the ads. The big exception is How Did This Get Made because Paul Scheer’s “ad guy” voice is INFURIATING.

BTW, What podcasts app do you guys use.

I use pocketcasts.

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