Simplecast’s Episode Player on Harper’s BAZAAR

Apple, Google, and podcast listening in the browser

The old is new again (but the analytics are all new)

Over the last 6 weeks we’ve been spectators to both Google and Apple debuting the ability to listen to podcast episodes in a web browser. Google did this by adding playable podcast results to Google search. Apple did this through a major overhaul of their Apple Podcasts Preview landing pages. Both companies have offered a leap forward in podcast searchability, discoverability, and low-commitment episode previews.

So I was curious. I wanted to see how usage of third party “pass-through” web players (not just Apple and Google) stack up, including Simplecast’s.

Diving into Simplecast’s platform-wide analytics, I ran a report for IAB compliant listens from only web-based players, not apps. Also, to ensure Google’s new player is in the mix (since they started rolling out last week), I only pulled the past 72 hours of data. Here’s how the top-ten web players stack up to each other, across all Simplecast powered shows.

  1. Simplecast — 71.28%
  2. Apple Podcasts — 6.79%
  3. Player.fm — 6.72%
  4. Stitcher.com — 3.75%
  5. Google Podcasts — 2.92%
  6. PocketCasts.com — 2.51%
  7. iHeartRadio — 2.3%
  8. Overcast.fm — 1.33%
  9. Podtail.com — 1.3%
  10. Podbay.fm — 1.1%

After seeing these results I was a little surprised by which web players showed up and how they stacked up against each other, but I wasn’t surprised that the Simplecast players were out on top. As you look at this list, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you thought this list might have looked like.

For Simplecast show owners, the numbers make it wildly apparent that you should not underestimate the power of our all-new sites and web players. These are extremely effective tools at yielding huge results for listeners discovering and interacting with your shows.

Regarding Google’s numbers, I anticipate that Google’s percentage will increase over time and possibly surpass Apple’s and Player.fm’s percentages. I’m also predicting that shows will begin seeing more organic growth via specific episodes versus show-only subscribers.

If your show is powered by Simplecast and you’re wishing you could run your own reports like the one above, we’ve got you covered. In the coming weeks, we’ll be launching a web-player analytics filter into your Audience » Technology Dashboard. Also, if you haven’t checked out the new Unique Listener metrics in your Dashboard, you should give that a look.