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Another Slight Apple Podcast UX Change

There's been a couple lately!

This time, to the Browse tab on the mobile app. You’ve probably seen it already:

So, how many Apple Podcast UX changes have we seen so far over the past few weeks? This, the enablement of web plays, and the upcoming iTunes wind down-slash-spin out of different Apple media platforms as their own separate apps.

The obvious question: are all these the extent of Apple Podcast experience improvements that we’ll see for now, or are they all part of a bigger, more concerted shift? For now, my gut feeling is the former, but I don’t have any special knowledge on the matter.

In any case, some Insider readers wrote in last week asking: “Will the new standalone Apple Podcast desktop matter much?” I had that question as well, and intimated my thoughts on the matter during that issue: my sense is that it’ll matter as much as desktop listening matters to podcast consumers. And according to the most recent Podcast Consumer report, it’ll matter to roughly 25% of monthly podcast listeners, who use laptop/computers as their primary site of listening. (There’s no breakdown of Apple vs. other platforms in that data point, but I’m guessing it’s safe to assume that it’s mostly, if not almost completely, Apple.) Which is to say: as it stands, it’ll likely manner in a relatively small but meaningful way.

But that might not be the most accurate way of reading this. The 25% share could well be an expression of this particular structural configuration; that is, the percentage is a direct result of podcasts being buried in the desktop iTunes experience. Once the app spins out, and perhaps becomes more apparently accessible to more people (casual and otherwise), we could possibly see some changes in aggregate user behavior. Possibly.

Anyway, that’s how I’m thinking about it. Let’s see where this goes.