How Podcast Seasons Appear in Different Podcast Apps

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Most podcast hosts allow you to choose “Serial” instead of “Episodic” types for your podcast.

  • Serial – Use seasons.
  • Episodic – No seasons.

However, not all apps support seasons, and the ones that do don’t agree on the way seasons are displayed. I’ve compiled a list of major podcast apps and how they show podcasts that use seasons.

You’ll notice that most apps simply choose to reverse the order of the feed, showing S1E1 (the oldest episode) at the top of the list rather than the most recent. Some don’t flip the order, but just add a label with season and episode numbering.

Some show a clear delineation when scrolling the list of episodes with season numbering headers grouping the episodes. Others are helpful by having a selector that allows listeners to navigate quickly between seasons.

What’s baffling is the inconsistency, sometimes among the same app on different platforms, like Pocket Casts on Android vs iOS. Or even Overcast before and after subscribing. The app version of Apple Podcasts will show seasons nicely, but when previewed on the web version, a podcast won’t show the seasons.

Apple somewhat uniquely shows Episode 1 of the most recent season rather than S1E1. (Pandora also does this, but doesn’t allow for private feeds, which we focus on here at Hello Audio.)

Castbox’s web version (admittedly low usage) strangely shows the episodes that aren’t part of a season first, then goes into the seasoned content.

If you’re considering using seasons for your podcast, I recommend consulting the table above to see how it will look to your listeners on various apps.

In my opinion (Derek @ Hello Audio), it would be great if apps at a minimum showed S1E1 at the top of the list if seasons are being used. Google Podcasts is the biggest holdout with this. My bonus wishlist includes allowing users to choose a label for the season so they can be used almost as tags to group episodes, or if “season” is synonymous with another grouping such as a course podcast that would prefer the “module” language. You can see examples of how folks are using podcasts that don’t fit typical use cases here.

To create a private podcast that uses seasons (or doesn’t!), start a free trial at HelloAudio.fm.