5-star Apple Podcast, anomalous leap in the App Store ranking


If you go to see the rankings of podcast app on the App Store, you will immediately notice that the official one from Apple – Apple Podcast – is al first place and has an almost maximum rating. Normal, one would think, also because it is pre-installed on Cupertino devices. This success, however, is completely unexpected: his ambiguity stems from the fact that until a few weeks ago on the store it had just 1.8 stars. And now, suddenly, he’s almost 5.

The reason is obvious: with iOS 15.1, released just under a month ago, Apple Podcast introduced a in-app rating system with which yes stop transmissions asking users what they think of the service. All right, God forbid, and the user himself is free to disable this function by accessing Settings> App Store> In-app ratings and reviews (“Help developers and other users understand what you think about a product by letting apps ask you for feedback “). Too bad that, as formulated, the feedeback request has been misinterpreted by the vast majority of users, thus going to judge the podcast being listened to rather than its container.

How did “Apple Podcasts” suddenly go from 1.8 to 4.6 stars? Is Apple manipulating their own app ratings now?

And so the climb began: from an objectively insufficient judgment we quickly moved to a more than positive one, influenced by comments that instead of being focused on Apple Podcasts concern the podcasts themselves. There are many examples that are reported by The Verge after the reports on Twitter of the watchdog Kosta Eleftheriou, much along the lines of: “These are great shows“,”I’m so glad my friend introduced me to this podcast because I’m addicted to it now“.

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The fact of having introduced an in-app evaluation therefore seems to have created a bit of confusion among users: not only the feedbacks have literally multiplied in the last few days (over 6,000 only on November 17th, for example), but they are also all positive, and focused on the show you are listening to. According to The Verge, then, this strategy tends to facilitate the release of positive feedback as (a) those who are not satisfied with the app do not give a (negative) in-app judgment, but go directly to the App Store to leave a comment and (b) cannot be excluded that the 5 stars are given on impulse in order to return to listen to the podcast without being interrupted by windows that suddenly open.

Apple confirmed that “with iOS 15.1 released last month Apple Podcast started inviting listeners to issue a rating and review just like most third-party apps, using the standard Rating & Review request available to all developers“.