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Glitch Artificially Boosted Some Apple Download Numbers After Show’s Move To New Host.

Apple says it has resolved a “download issue” that has been impacting what it describes as a “very small number” of creators and hosting providers. The issue arose when podcasts moved from one hosting provider to another. Typically that process goes seamlessly, but recently there was a bit of a glitch that created a phantom bump up in download numbers.

Apple says a “small percentage” of shows that migrated hosting providers may have had episodes redownload in the background, which may have led to an increase in downloads reported by the new hosting provider. “This did not impact automatic downloads, available storage, or users ability to listen, and shows that have not recently migrated were unaffected,” the company says in a notice to podcasters. Apple says the problem was fixed with the release of iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5 and macOS 12.4.

When Apple announced it was releasing the updated iOS 15.5 in May, it also said it was making a handful of changes that would help make Apple Podcast Subscription plans more attractive to users, giving users more control. Under iOS 15.5, users are able to configure new preferences for automatic downloads to ensure the episodes they want to hear are available for offline playback while at the same time also preserving device storage.

The updated podcast settings also permit listeners to choose how many recent episodes they want to store. While the default setting will be all new episodes are kept, listeners can switch their storage to options like all recently published episodes or a custom number of episodes of their choosing, such as the last three published. Apple notes that users will now also be able to option to save none which will mean that all episodes are streamed when played.

The other change directly impacted podcasters. The update allows creators to now offer annual subscription plans alongside monthly options to new subscribers under the update. It also gives monthly subscribers the option of switching to an annual plan.

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