Omny Studios

A top podcast hosting company executive has thrown cold water on Omny Studio’s claim that it can track a sample of podcast consumption on Apple’s iPhone and other iOS devices. As Inside Radio reported Wednesday, Omny Studio head of content Matt Saraceni said the Australian podcast publishing platform can capture a sample that represents about 30% of Apple podcast listening.

But Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations at Libsyn, says the announcement from Omny is much ado about nothing. “There is definitely no breakthrough here,” Walch told Inside Radio in an email in response to the story. “What they appear to be doing is looking at their own data from their web player and own app, which just happen to be on iOS devices.”

Omny’s claim is seen as a significant development in data collection, especially given that as much as 80% of podcast listening takes place within Apple’s walled garden platform, and the tech titan doesn’t currently make consumption data available to podcast producers. “What this means is we have found a whole new chunk of data that we can run consumption analytics over,” Saraceni said Tuesday during a RAIN-sponsored webinar, adding that the data is “representative enough” to provide insights that the company is confident are accurate. During the webinar, Saraceni declined to disclose precisely how the company arrives at the data, other than to say it’s collected and analyzed from listening that takes place on Omny’s network via widget players and custom mobile apps built for its customers.

Walch, however, isn’t buying in. Omny claims its new podcast measurement system is “a game changer.” Walch calls that “misleading.”

“This does not at all unlock or get data back from Apple via any iTunes or Podcasts app consumption,” he said. “What Omny appears to be claiming to do is not new and not even relevant to the consumption that happens via Apple’s iTunes and the Podcasts app.”