A new Apple Podcasts update brings features aimed at making it easier to consume podcasts.
Apple may have been a foundational player in the early podcast ecosystem, but Spotify is dominating through exclusives. Now Apple is forced to play catch-up by improving its podcasting experience or be left behind. New features for the Apple Podcasts app include features to manage storage across devices, tools to enable annual podcast subscriptions, and access to the newly announced Apple Podcasts Delegated Delivery System. Here’s what that means for creators.
Apple says its new delegated delivery system will save creators time by authorizing their hosting provider to deliver free and premium podcast episodes to Apple Podcasts using the provider’s dashboard. It’s Apple’s answer to Spotify’s Anchor platform, which offers podcast creation tools, hosting, and distribution in one.
Several podcast hosting providers will now have access to the new delegated delivery system including:
- Omny Studio
Apple says these podcast providers represent around 80% of listening for premium content on Apple Podcasts. Access for more services will be added over time, so perhaps Spotify’s Anchor could find itself on that list eventually.
The feature is available for free to all podcast creators through Apple Podcasts Connect. Creators don’t need a membership to the Apple Podcasts Program to publish their free shows – only if there are premium episodes.
Apple has also cleaned up how the Podcasts app manages storage across iOS devices. The ‘Limit Downloads’ setting was often buggy, resulting in hundreds of back episodes of popular podcasts appearing on people’s phones and eating up space.
Stop Automatic Downloads of Podcasts
You can stop automatic downloads in the Apple Podcasts app and it will actually work this time.
- From the ‘Settings‘ app on the iPhone or iPad, choose ‘Podcasts.’
- Find the ‘Automatically Downloaded‘ section.
There is an option to see how many episodes are downloaded and saved to the device. You can choose the latest three, five, or 10 episodes. Or you can choose the latest episodes over a time period like seven, 14, or 30 days. You can also turn this feature off entirely, turning the Apple Podcasts app into a streaming-only app. By default, the new version of the app keeps the last five episodes for serial shows.
If a user changes the time period or number of episodes, the app will prompt episode clean-up. That means it will delete episodes if you drop from 30 days to 14 days, for example.