Get Your Podcast Ready for iOS11

Apple recently announced that Apple Podcasts (Apple’s podcast App) for iOS 11 will be updated with new feed tags.  Apple states this will allow you to more clearly present show and episode information to your users. Additionally, you can include diverse content and storytelling shows within your podcast (for example, serial shows and shows with seasons).

Podbean has integrated the new iTunes tags into your Podbean dashboard.  Please note that these new tags will only take effect (be included in your feed) when iOS11 is released. However, to get your podcast ready to benefit from the iOS11 updates, you can make any changes your desire in your podcast now.

iTunes New Feed Tags Explained

<itunes:type>

The type of podcast you are submitting can be either:

  1. Episodic (default). Specify episodic for stand-alone episodes or when you want your episodes presented and recommended last-to-first. This option also supports seasons, with the newest episode at the top. For new subscribers, Apple Podcasts adds the latest, most recent episode in their Library.
  2. Specify serial when you want your episodes presented and recommended first-to-last. This option supports narratives, storytelling, thematic, and multiple seasons. For new subscribers, Apple Podcasts adds the first episode to their Library, or the entire current season if using seasons.

<itunes:season>

Identifies and organizes episodes by Seasons. No season number shows if there is only one season.

<itunes:episode>

Use this tag to specify the recommended order for episodes within a season.

<itunes:episodeType>

You can indicate certain types of episodes in iTunes using this tag. They are:

  1. Full (default). Specify full when you are submitting the complete content of an episode.
  2. Specify trailer when you are submitting a short, promotional piece of content that represents a preview of a show.
  3. Specify bonus when you are submitting extra content for a show (for example, behind the scenes information or interviews with the cast).

How to Set the New iOS11 iTunes Feed Tags in Podbean

Set Podcast Type: Episodic/Serial:

  1. Go to Settings-Feed/iTunes. Find “iTunes Type”
  2. Choose episodic or serial. Podcasts will be set as episodic by default.

Set Podcast Seasons:

  1. Go to Publish. Click “Publish New Episode” or click the edit icon by any episode. Click “More Options” in the episode editor.
  2. By default, it is set off. Click it on and pick the season for this episode (click “more” to add season 2 and beyond to your drop down menu).

Set Episode Type:

  1. Go to Publish. Click “Publish New Episode” or click the edit icon by any episode. Click “More Options” in the episode editor.
  2. By default, episodes are set to “Full”. Choose “Trailer” or “Bonus” here.

HLS Protocol for Video Podcasting: A Better Viewer Experience

HLS, or “HTTP Live Streaming”, is a video streaming format that breaks streams into a sequence of small HTTP-based file downloads, thus making video streaming faster and smoother.

With HLS, we’ll deliver the best possible version of your video at any given time. This means that the Podbean embed players and Apps will switch quality streams depending on the internet speed available. If we detect that your viewers have slower internet initially, but the quality picks up after a few seconds of watching, we’ll automatically switch to a higher quality viewing stream as the viewer watches. They don’t have to touch anything!

You can upgrade your video podcast to HLS by selecting the HLS video option in the Podbean app marketplace.

1. Go to apps.podbean.com and purchase the HLS video app. (You’ll be sent to the Podbean login page if you aren’t logged in; select a podcast channel if you have multiple channels.)

HLS Get App

2. In your Podbean admin, navigate to “Settings”->”Apps”. (You will be redirected to this page when installing the app.)

HLS app in dashboard

To see all the powerful features, services and plugins available to enhance your podcasting experience, visit the Podbean app marketplace. Stay tuned for more to come!

Podcast Downloads Explained

Podbean downloads

The world of podcast statistics can be a bit confusing, but we’re here to simplify it for you. There are various stats you can see to analyze your podcast’s success and audience behavior. You may want to read “Key Statistics to Understand Your Podcast Audience”.

The statistic that most podcasters (and sponsors) care about is downloads. The number of unique downloads you get for each episode shows the approximate size of your listening audience.

So, what is a download? Where do I find statistics on listens via various apps and streaming?

A download indicates any time your file is directly downloaded (i.e. a listener hits that download button and gets the whole file) or when someone listens to/streams the episode. Technically, the way podcasting works, the file is downloaded when someone listens in a player, app or other streaming method (a stream is just a progressive download for a podcast). Therefore, when you’re looking at your downloads you should see a full picture of the size of your audience across various players, website downloads, iTunes, apps, etc.

Unique Downloads

Podcast hosting and statistics services also filter these downloads according to accepted standards to show your unique downloads (a more accurate picture of your listening audience). In other words, some apps and podcatchers may hit your feed numerous times. Podcasting companies like Podbean use a formula to filter out downloads coming repeatedly from the same IP address for the media file within a certain timeframe.
So, the downloads stats you will find under “Trending” in your Podbean statistics provide an accurate picture of the number of downloads/listens. You can view these by episode and different time periods.

Feed Hits

Feed Hits show the number of times your podcast feed is fetched. Podcast apps, such as the Apple podcast app, fetch your podcast feed to check if there is a new episode. If there is a new episode and the user’s iPhone settings allow downloads, the new episode will be downloaded to the phone. If there is no new episode, nothing will be downloaded. So, “Feed Hits” and “Downloads” are related but not equivalent.

How do I see how many subscribers I have?

You can view your Podbean subscribers/followers in the app or on your site. Apple does not provide a window into that information on their platform. So, you can only estimate subscribers based on download behavior. This is why download numbers are so important as a method of gauging audience reach.

How do I know if someone actually listens?

When files are downloaded or streamed to many devices, it is difficult to know what happens from there. The person may never listen, or they may listen multiple times or with a group of friends.

However, proprietary apps and players can collect greater user intelligence. For example, we can see what listeners are doing when they use Podbean players and the Podbean app. Though this may not show your total audience’s behavior, it can provide great insight about your podcast. Podbean offers “User Engagement Intel” as an enhanced feature in the Podbean app marketplace. With this feature enabled, you’ll get data about how long people listen, what parts of the episode they skip or repeat, and average engagement.

Time Bomb Feature Available for Time-Sensitive Podcast Content

A time bomb is a program that will stop working after a predetermined date or time has been reached. To “time bomb” media files is to automatically delete them after a certain timeframe. It is very useful for files that have a specific lifespan. From the time an episode is published, you can limit how long it will be accessible. To set up the time bomb feature:

1. Go to apps.podbean.com and purchase the “Time Bomb” app. (You’ll be sent to the Podbean login page if you aren’t logged in; select a podcast channel if you have multiple channels.)

Get time bomb app

2. In your Podbean admin, navigate to “Settings”->”Apps”. (You will be redirected to this page when installing the app.)

time bomb app in dashboard

3. Go to “Publish”->”Episodes” to publish a new episode or edit an episode.

publish episodes

4. Under the episode description area, check on “Time Bomb” to set a time limit for this episode. Click “Publish”.

check timebomb

time bomb in publishing

To see all the powerful features, services and plugins available to enhance your podcasting experience, visit the Podbean app marketplace. Stay tuned for more to come!

Podbean API: Connect Your Service with 140k+ Podcasters

Podbean has opened our API for developers to build apps for our 140k+ strong podcaster community. Building apps for Podbean podcasters lets you easily integrate your service with the Podbean platform. Once you successfully build an app with the Podbean API, it will be listed in the Podbean App Market, where podcasters can find an array of powerful options to enhance their podcasting experience.

How to submit your app to Podbean’s App Market:

1. Go to https://developers.podbean.com/. Click “Register a New App” and complete the information.

Register a new app

Podbean Apply App

2. In your developer account, click on “manage app” for the information you will need as you develop and test your app. You can find the API documentation here. Test your app in your own account, and proceed to Step 3 when you are satisfied with your testing results.

manage app

manage app info

3. Login to your developer account and click “submit to review”. The Podbean team will review and test your app. Once your app has been approved, it will be included in the Podbean app market. You will be notified by email.

submit to review

We’re excited to invite developers to use our API to develop great new applications for Podbean users. Contact us if you have any questions.

More Top Navigation Options on Podbean Layouts

We’re always working to help you make your Podbean site beautiful and functional. Podbean offers a wide array of modern themes, with many customizations.

We’ve just made an exciting new option available for many themes. You can customize your navigation menu with links to various pages. The navigation menu helps you present a site structure to your visitors, allowing them to easily find information. The menu can include any of the pages you’ve created in Podbean, and even outside websites/URLs!

To activate and manage this option, simply go to “Layouts”->”Themes”. Your theme will be at the top or you can preview/activate a new theme.

Click on “Custom” for the theme you’re using and click the settings icon on “Top Navigation”.topnavigation22Click “Add a Navigation”. Choose “Type”->”Pages” to select from your pages in Podbean and click on the check mark (make sure to save). Choose “Other” to add other URLs. Type in a name (the title that shows on your home page in the menu) and enter any URL. You might use this, for example, to link to your general website or another podcast you host. Click the check mark and save.

topnavigationimgYou can reorder the navigation with the arrows or delete something from the menu with the trashcan icon.

Now, this podcast site appears as pictured below.

nevigationpagecurve

Learn more about How to Customize Your Top Navigation Menu.

User Engagement Intel: Insight into Your Audience’s Actual Listening Behavior

Podcasters always wonder if users actually play their podcasts after they’re downloaded. Do users listen to the whole episode or drop off at some point? At what point do most people stop listening, or do they skip certain content? Now with Podbean’s “User Engagement Intel”, you get the answers to all these questions.

User Engagement Intel Podbean

User Engagement Intelligence reveals insights into the behavior of your users on the Podbean app and players. Podcasters can easily see what portions users play over and over, what they skip, when they stop listening and more. This allows a podcaster to gain deeper knowledge of how their audience is responding to content. In-depth user intel can help in attracting and managing sponsorships and listener support, as well as improving marketing strategy and content development.

How does it work?

  1. Visit the Podbean app market and purchase “User Engagement Intel” (click on “Get App” and select the channel if you have multiple channels).
  2. In your Podbean admin, go to “Settings→Apps”. Click on the “View” icon for “User Engagement Intel” to see your data. Data is actively tracked for the 10 most recent episodes (contact us if you would like to track more episodes).
  3. Select an episode to view data. You can see: average user engagement % (total user play time divided by the # of users times length of the episode) and average play time. You can scroll over the graph and zoom in for more detail, by the second. For private podcasts, you can also view data on who is listening and their individual listening patterns.

With a deeper understanding of your users and their behavior, you can act based on data instead of guessing. You can spot possible trends and better achieve desired outcomes for your podcast.