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Podnews report card - results for 2024

· By James Cridland · 3.7 minutes to read

I shared the results of the Podnews Report Card 2024 at Podcast Movement Evolutions. Here are the slides, and the commentary.


Last month we ran the third of our annual Report Card surveys, asking podcast publishers what they thought about podcast platforms. We asked you a bunch of questions, and asked for a score, too, to see who’s best. Today, I get to show you the answers.

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Our first question was about apps. You could vote for other apps here too - today I’m going to concentrate on the big ones, but I’d say that Overcast, PodcastAddict and many others have done well here too.

It’s the same apps, in the same order - but everyone has gone down a little - perhaps people are seeing more about what new podcast apps can do, and want that here, too. Apple Podcasts still there at #1, pulling away from Spotify.


We asked people about directories - how easy they were to be listed in particularly. Spotify and the Podcast Index do well here - though the Podcast Index got fewer votes.

Apple has dipped. Why did Apple dip? Let’s look at the comments, which we also asked people for in the Report Card.


It’s all to do with Apple’s user account system, AppleID, as well as just being a bit too complicated to list a show. I’d probably agree with this: Spotify is, I’d suggest, much easier than Apple.


How about analytics and stats? Apple wins here, with Spotify and YouTube being close behind.


But YouTube gets some really positive comments about its analytics - “best in class”, “amazing, amazing, kind of scary”.

What’s really not understood is that Apple’s stats don’t measure everything: they just measure Apple activity.


Earning money. Apple offers paid subscriptions and this is probably why they’re nice and high again this year. Podcasting 2.0’s “value 4 value” streaming is highly ranked by those who voted for it.

Theoretically, YouTube could be quite high here, but for whatever reason, the numbers are lower: perhaps because the service is actually quite hard to earn money from.


Innovation - Apple and Spotify doing well here, and Podcast Index and the new podcast namespace doing, as ever, really well. This score increasing probably because of Apple’s transcripts, I’d guess. I’d also point out that Podcast Index got almost as many votes as Apple did, so it’s interesting that more people know what it is and how it can help.


And no surprise that Podcast Index and Podcasting 2.0 does well when people are rating these platforms on whether they are supporting open standards. Once more, Apple increasing thanks to its support on transcripts, you’d assume.

But look at YouTube - as more people use it for podcasts, more people have their own views of whether it supports standards. Or not.


Finally before the overall scores - creator relations. Are they good to work with? Is there lots of information online about how to work with them? Apple Podcasts made great strides with this last year, and they’ve maintained their score this year as the #1 team. Podcast Index has done well, but only got half the votes as Apple Podcasts did, so there’s clearly some work to do there to make more people aware of it.

But here, a big drop for YouTube. In fact, more people voted just one star for YouTube here than anyone else. Why might that be? Let’s look at the comments.


Well, ouch. YouTube seems to have quite the communication problem. Their ad policy isn’t a thing people like… overall it’s “a dumpster fire”, “a nonconformist mess” some people say here. And there were a LOT of responses.


Here are a few more. “It’s a joke”, “confusing”, “awful”, and one person says - not unreasonably - that they’ll probably close their podcasts service again sooner or later so why bother. And that’s fair comment. Google Podcasts, which was quite good, only lasted five years, for example. There’s a company that needs to be communicating with us more, I’d think.


Finally - no change with what we think overall, Apple Podcasts still rules the roost, with Spotify seeing a bit of an overall drop over the last year.

All of the big platforms have asked for a full briefing from me, on the more than 750 comments by podcast publishers in our report card. We’re sharing all the comments - no names - and all the voting data. This data is going to the right people at Apple, Spotify, Amazon and YouTube. Thank you for taking part if you did.

James CridlandJames Cridland is the Editor of Podnews, a keynote speaker and consultant. He wrote his first podcast RSS feed in January 2005; and also launched the first live radio streaming app for mobile phones in the same year. He's worked in the audio industry since 1989.

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