The Impact of Caching on the Podcast Industry

December 7, 2017
Desideria Mastriaco


In the whitepaper “Podcasting: Content Caching & Transparency” issued via this blog on 12/5/17, we inaccurately referred to specific distributors including iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher as caching podcasts.

We have since been advised by iHeartRadio that caching is only employed at the specific request and agreement of the publisher:

“iHeartRadio pulls podcast content from the hosts RSS/XML feed and does not re-host or cache any podcast content, unless requested or agreed to by the publisher. Each time a user plays a piece of content, iHeartRadio makes a call to the hosts feed, which will allow any podcaster to dynamically insert ads on iHeartRadio. Further, iHeartRadio has been committed to leading the industry in a push for better data & technology, which will increase a podcasters ability to target ads (and content) based on geographic location and demographic.”   - Chris Petersen, Senior Vice President, Podcasting - ‎iHeartRadio

This blog post and the whitepaper have been edited as of 7pm EST on 12/6/17 to remove these inaccuracies. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Podcasting has been growing at a phenomenal rate over the last few years, with an estimated 42 million people per week listening to podcasts. There are thousands of podcasts that are free to listen to online, and most are available through third-party podcast directories and aggregators.

As the demand for podcast content continues to grow, there are a number of challenges that broadcasters and podcasters face.  One such challenge involves the caching of podcast content by third-party directories and aggregates.

Caching is the process of storing files and data on a server where it can be easily and quickly accessed.  In the case of podcast content, cached files are stored on local servers to help optimize download speeds and minimize calls to the server for the same file. By caching files, third-party distribution services insert themselves into the podcast distribution chain, which raises a number of challenges as it relates to monetization and distribution for podcast distributors. 


Figure A_Final.png


To learn more about content caching and the impact it has on podcast monetization and distribution, click the image below to download your free copy of the Podcasting: Content Caching & Transparency whitepaper. 

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