You are not alone, almost all podcasts are a disaster when it comes to ordering and categorizing their episodes

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One of the most useful features that YouTube has is the ability to divide a video into “sections”: X to Y minute, this part, Y to Z minute, this part. This allows the user to see the part that really interests him and helps, in some way, to order the content. Podcasts also allow this feature, but it is rarely used.

And it is that according to a study by Livewire Labs, which analyzes each episode of 4,192,805 podcasts that are in the index of PodcastIndex at the moment, only 1.22% of episodes use these tags. While on YouTube it is quite common, in podcasts there is still a long way to go.

Various options, almost zero use

podcasters have various options or mechanisms to add sections to your podcasts. The most popular are ID3 tags, which can be applied within the MP3 files themselves. There are also MPEG-4 chapter lists (for AAC/M4A files), chapter information in the RSS feed (with Podlove), or create a json file with such data using the Podcast Namespace specification. Four options in total.

In the table below these lines you can see the results of the livewire review. According to this analysis, only one in 82 new podcast episodes offers episode information.

any option

ID3

Namespace

podlove

m4a

January 2022

1.22%

0.87%

0.18%

0.05%

0.02%

february 2022

1.22%

0.85%

0.19%

0.05%

0.02%

This is an extremely low figure for a booming industry whose estimated revenues were 1,330 million dollars only in the United States and only in 2021. By 2023, that figure is expected to rise to $2 billion.

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Apple, which has one of the best-known podcasting applications in the world (Apple Podcasts, comes pre-installed on iOS), has put its batteries into promoting this function and has created a specific website for creators in which encourage podcasters to use these episodes.

On this website, Apple explains that the app is compatible with episodes, that a different cover image can be used for each section and that the platform supports MP3, MP4 and AAC files. Other apps like Overcast and Pocketcast also support this feature. It is curious, of course, that being such a useful and supported function, it is hardly used.

Via | livewire

One of the most useful features that YouTube has is the ability to divide a video into “sections”: X to…

One of the most useful features that YouTube has is the ability to divide a video into “sections”: X to…

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