Pandora will tell podcast hosts where their listeners live and how long they listen

Pandora is giving podcast hosts more information about the listeners they reach on its platform starting today. The company just announced its new Podcast Analytics feature with the goal of giving podcasters more data about their listeners, like where they live, how long they listen to each episode, and the number of thumbs up or thumbs down their show receives. For access to their analytics, podcasters have to sign up for Pandora For Podcasters, which is free but requires podcasters to submit their show’s RSS feed.

This move makes Pandora’s podcast product more equitable with Apple and Spotify, which both already offer data dashboards. Spotify specifically incorporates the music listeners enjoy, in addition to their podcast habits, which might make its demographic data slightly more interesting. (However it’s worth noting that podcasting data is more telling than the fact that someone listens to the Top 40 hits every day.)

Podcast analytics are generally new for the industry. Apple launched its dashboard in 2017, and Spotify took its offering out of beta last year. Prior to that, podcasters mostly conducted their own online demographic surveys. While these platforms give podcasters more info than they’ve ever had about their listeners, it also speaks to the industry’s fragmentation. Podcasters have to collect their own data from across listening platforms to gain a full understanding of who enjoys their show.

More broadly, these platforms could end up competing with each other based off the analytics they give podcasters. Hosts might be incentivized to encourage listeners to check out a specific player if they think they might learn more about them there, for example.

With Pandora launching this feature, it further entrenches the company in the podcast world. Yesterday, Pandora’s parent company SiriusXM acquired podcast hosting and analytics service Simplecast, which rounds out its podcast offerings. It already operates an ad platform called AdsWizz, too, setting it up to compete head-to-head with Spotify, another large company that operates all the arms of a fully rounded podcast business.

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