Apple makes major podcast updates

Jason Snell:

Users will be able to download full seasons, and the Podcasts app will know if a podcast is intended to be listened to in chronological order — “start at the first episode!” — or if it’s more timely, where the most recent episode is the most important.

I’m excited by these changes because, yes, some of my podcasts are seasonal and are best consumed from the first episode onward. I’ll be adjusting my own podcast feeds to take advantage of Apple’s extensions as soon as it makes sense to do so.

The other big news out of today’s session is for podcasters (and presumably for podcast advertisers): Apple is opening up in-episode analytics of podcasts. For the most part, podcasters only really know when an episode’s MP3 file is downloaded. Beyond that, we can’t really tell if anyone listens to an episode, or how long they listen — only the apps know for sure.