The game-changing benefits of iOS 17 for podcast advertisers
Bethany Shocki
With the recent release of iOS 17, the world of podcast advertising will shift how the industry has historically measured performance. Our latest blog breaks down what the update means for advertisers and why the value of podcast advertising is growing.

January 3, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, podcast advertising has emerged as a powerhouse for brands looking to engage audiences in a more intimate and targeted manner. With the recent release of iOS 17, the world of podcast advertising will shift how the industry has historically measured performance.

What is changing?

For years, Apple Podcasts automatically paused episode downloads when a user’s device storage was full or when they hadn’t played any of the last five episodes for more than 15 days.

In an effort to improve device storage and the user experience, Apple will no longer automatically download unplayed episodes of a podcast after a user resumes listening following a pause. This change means that download counts will more closely reflect the listens of individual episodes.

Who does this affect?

Given that Apple Podcasts is a top 3 listening platform, the iOS adjustments will have a significant impact on podcast downloads industry-wide. Podcasts with extensive back catalogs will likely see a drop in download numbers, as older episodes are less likely to be automatically downloaded. The rate at which the show's audience adopts the iOS 17 update will play a role in determining the extent of the impact.

It's important to remember that this change does not affect the unique audience of the podcast, but rather the number of downloads per user. Downloads are not people.

What’s in it for advertisers?

For brands running awareness campaigns, the primary metric for performance (impressions) will more accurately reflect the campaign’s reach, making podcast advertising even more efficient as a marketing tool. More accurate listening data will ultimately lead to better engagement and conversion metrics.

The value of a “download” as a marketing metric will improve, and advertisers may pay more of a premium as demand increases. 

The value of podcast advertising is growing

iOS 17 heralds a new era for podcast advertising, empowering advertisers with enhanced metrics to gauge performance. While the changes may initially present challenges for media planners, they pave the way for a more transparent and engaging advertising landscape within the podcasting sphere. Embracing these enhancements will undoubtedly lead to more effective campaigns, deeper audience connections, and a thriving ecosystem for both advertisers and listeners alike.

For more information about podcast buying, download the IAB Podcasting Buyer-Seller Checklist, available now.

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