NPR-led system will track podcast listening behavior
There’s one main problem: two of the biggest podcast purveyors aren’t on board. As The Vergepointed out, Anchor found that 52 percent of podcast listens came from Apple’s Podcasts app, while 19 percent flowed from Spotify’s podcast section. RAD won’t truly represent podcast trends without the support of those companies, and either of them is likely to change their mind. Apple has been testing its own podcast metrics and is often hesitant to share user data unless it can guarantee privacy. Spotify has also been testing analytics, while RadioPublic has a tracking system that helps creators interact with their audiences.
NPR has stressed that it doesn’t provide identifiable data to podcasters and can’t snoop on rivals’ listening numbers. However, that might not matter if would-be partners are worried about a potential backlash from users who don’t want a service tracking their minute-by-minute playback. This is coming hot on the heels of Facebook’s numerous privacy scandals, remember. Although RAD is evidence that the podcast industry is maturing and becoming more of a viable money-maker, it might only have limited success.