Apple is working to sort out its podcast issues

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Overcast is the best podcast app for iOS.
Apple has met with leading podcasters to improve its service.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly hosted a meeting between Eddy Cue and seven leading podcasters last month in Cupertino, in which the company listened to the concerns they had for Apple’s podcast services going forward.

Some of the most pressing issues are said to involve the ease of sharing podcasts on social media, the possibility of offering paid podcasts, and providing podcasters with data about their audience which could then be used to help generate more money.

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While Apple shares loads of information with app developers, the company currently does not offer detailed data, such as audiences’ listening duration, to podcasters.

“I think everyone who’s seriously involved in this space, they’d at least like to know what the endgame is,” said Chris Morrow, chief executive of the Loud Speakers Network. “People think there’s another shoe that’s going to drop.”

For Apple, the issue might come down to money. While podcasts have a growing audience, with 57 million Americans likely to listen to at least one each month in 2016, Apple does not make big money directly from the internet radio shows. Apple doesn’t take a cut of advertising revenue, and downloads are free.

There is, however, some evidence that Apple might be rethinking its approach to podcasts. Last year, the company was granted a patent application for a means of interrupting podcasts with targeted personalized advertisements, which Apple presumably could make money from. The company has also at least considered hosting its own podcasts by signing dedicated talent, although I’m not sure how this would fit in alongside other services like Beats 1.

In a statement, Eddy Cue said, “We have more people than ever focused on podcasting, including engineers, editors and programmers. Podcasts hold a special place with us at Apple.”

How do you think Apple could improve its podcasting service? Leave your comments below.