Overcast 4.2: The Privacy Update

Speaking of popular podcast players and invasive user tracking, the latest update to Marco Arment’s Overcast has gone in the opposite direction:

In most podcast apps, podcasts are downloaded automatically in the background. The only data sent to a podcast’s publisher about you or your behavior is your IP address and the app’s name. The IP address lets them derive your approximate region, but not much else.

They don’t know exactly who you are, whether you listened, when you listened, how far you listened, or whether you skipped certain parts.

Some large podcast producers are trying very hard to change that.

I’m not.

Big data ruined the web, and I’m not going to help bring it to podcasts. Publishers already get enough from Apple to inform ad rates and make content decisions — they don’t need more data from my customers. Podcasting has thrived, grown, and made tons of money for tons of people under the current model for over a decade. We already have all the data we need.

Agreed completely. Podcasts are thriving not despite the fact that they’re largely anonymous and private, but because they’re anonymous and private.

Thursday, 3 May 2018