Overcast Will Not Be Supporting RAD?


Yesterday we covered the release of NPR’s new measurement system RAD extensively. We asked the question whether the industry was going to adopt the technology, which captures data on the app side, as opposed to counting downloads and listens.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Overcast CEO Marco Arment said he will not be supporting RAD.

Overcast is a popular app to listen to podcasts.


  1. If radio had technology like this, you’d see far fewer screaming car dealer commercials and seven-minute-long commercial breaks. Being able to show prospective advertisers and even your own account execs how aesthetics can improve retention is going to be key if ad insertion by agencies is ever going to work.

    Fear of having anonymized data shared is ignorant paranoia, and we have to find a way to get past it. If a listener has found your podcast on Google, he’s already given up much more data than we’re asking here. I believe 21st-century consumers are increasingly aware that “free” really means “in exchange for some data.” Shame on us if we can’t find a way to make them comfortable with what little is being asked in exchange for access to a half-million choices in free entertainment.

  2. As much as I would like to use RAD I have to agree with Marco as to the lack of incentive to developers. This will require development effort on the part of the podcast app developers but they have no incentive to do it. There’s no ROI for them. Their customers are the podcast listeners not podcasters or advertisers. In fact, if they implement RAD, podcast app developers risk the ire of their customers over privacy concerns.

    I don’t agree with Marco that existing data is sufficient. If a podcaster (even a small one) can determine what segments of which episodes are the most popular, then they can improve their podcasts to better server their audience.

  3. There will be advantages to advertisers to having better data, and consequently to podcasters too if that means more accurate listening data. However if you look at what radio offers today it seems to me to be majorly less than what podcasting offers even now, so why the hurry to improve? Let’s walk before we start running. And if advertisers want this stuff then let the advertising industry fund it. Otherwise, they will be getting it ‘free’ off the budgets of the infrastructure providers, and anything free will be demanded and consumed to an infinite degree, so they’ll never be satisfied with enough.

Comments are closed.