Apple has made several improvements to its Podcasts app and service over the last year, and while features may still lack in comparison to popular third-party apps like Overcast, it’s hard to deny the sheer size of Apple’s podcast platform. Now, Fast Company reports that Apple Podcasts has passed a notable milestone in downloads and streams…

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The report says that in March of 2018, Apple Podcasts hit 50 billion all-time episode downloads and streams. That’s a massive increase from the 13.7 billion it sat at in 2017. These numbers include both downloads in iTunes and the Podcasts app, as well as streams.

As content has grown, so has the fanbase:

  • In 2014, there were 7 billionpodcast downloads.
  • In 2016, that number jumped to 10.5 billion.
  • In 2017, it jumped to 13.7 billion episode downloads and streams, across Podcasts and iTunes.
  •  In March 2018, Apple Podcasts passed 50 billion all-time episode downloads and streams.

Apple launched support for Podcasts in iTunes back in 2005 and the platform has grown exponentially since then. Fast Company notes that there are over 525,000 active shows and more than 18.5 million episodes available on the platform, spanning 100 languages and 155 countries. For comparison’s sake, Apple touted 400,000 podcasts and 14 million episodes at WWDC last year.

Apple made several improvements to its Podcasts platform as part of iOS 11. The service added support for seasons, Podcast Analytics, interface tweaks to the Podcasts app on iOS, and more.

The growth of Apple’s Podcasts platform comes as Eddy Cue promised a renewed focus on the media format. Speaking at the Code Media conference last year, Cue promised that Apple had new features up its sleeve for podcasting and said the company should “absolutely” do more.

Are you an Apple Podcasts user or do opt for a third-party client? Let us know down in the comments!


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