The Apple Podcasts Delegated Delivery system will make it easier for creators to distribute their podcasts directly to Apple Podcasts from third-party hosting providers.
Apple says this latter addition will save creators time and energy as they’ll be able to authorize their hosting provider to deliver both their free and premium podcast episodes to Apple Podcasts using the provider’s own dashboard. But it also gives Apple a means of competing with services like Spotify’s Anchor, which now provides tools for creation, hosting, and distribution across all major listening apps.
Starting in the fall, Delegated Delivery will be supported by Acast, ART19, Blubrry, Buzzsprout, Libsyn, Omny Studio, and RSS.com. These make up about 80% of listening for premium content and Apple says more providers will be added over time. The feature will be available at no additional cost and more information will be provided closer to launch.
Creators will also be happy to know that Apple is introducing an annual subscription option for premium podcasts. Notably, the annual subscription will now be selected as the default and if there are savings over subscribing monthly, those will be displayed to the user.
With the launch of iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, and macOS 12.4, Apple will make it easier to manage podcast storage across devices.
From the Settings app on iPhone and iPad, users will be able to navigate to Podcasts, then tap on “Automatically Downloaded” to choose how many episodes of shows are downloaded and saved to the device. The menu will allow listeners to choose to download a certain number of recent episodes, like the latest 3, 5 or 10; or users can choose to download all episodes published recently, like in the last 7, 14, or 30 days. Or they can select “All New Episodes” or none by choosing the “Off” option. The latter makes Apple Podcasts function as a streaming-only app, which works for most people who live in areas with reliable cellular connectivity or access to Wi-Fi.
By default, new users will have the the last five episodes kept for episodic shows and all episodes kept for serial shows. If a user sets a manual preference, the app will prompt them to remove automatically downloaded episodes outside that criteria. This will make it easier to clean up downloaded episodes and can be done on a show level, not just system-wide.
More details in the full report linked below. You can download Apple Podcasts from the App Store for free.
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