Ever feel like your streaming experience is being bogged down by the amount of content being recommended and re-recommended to you? With reams and reams of years of listening being shown to you each time you log in, you might start to feel like you are stuck in a bottomless pit of content.
If so, don’t lose hope just yet, as today we will be offering you a guiding hand out of this misery, as we break down how to clear your podcast history.
Table of Contents
Why do platforms keep your search history?
There are a few reasons why your favorite streaming service keeps a record of what you’ve been searching, and there is more to this search history than meets the eye.
The first reason is to help you as a user of the app. Often times you might hear the name of a show, or get given it as a recommendation from a friend, and so you look it up. As you go about your day you can very easily forget the name of the podcast you wanted to listen to, and so instead of letting that name be lost to time, platforms keep search history as a track record.
This is the same for if you click on a show while browsing podcasts. While you may certainly intend to listen to back when you’ve got some free time, life gets in the way, and having a history section as a backup allows you to scroll through your activity and find something you may have otherwise forgotten.
This list also helps you to find things you haven’t even heard of. By searching for something, or clicking on it in a browser, you are showing that you have some interest in that show. By keeping a record of your activity, streaming services can learn what your preferences are, to accurately recommend shows you might like in the future.
While you can delete your history on the app, typically this data is stored as analytics by the platform. But you shouldn’t start worrying about people knowing everything you’ve clicked on, as this data is stored simply to get to grips with what it is you are interested in and is completely private.
Spotify is the biggest streaming platform currently available, with a whopping 32% share of music streaming subscribers worldwide.
There are a couple of ways you can go about clearing your history on Spotify. Today we will be looking at how it can be done on the Spotify desktop application.
When on the Spotify app, you will see a home screen like this.
As you can see, there are a few different shows in your ‘recently searched’ history section.
The first way to clear these out is one at a time. Notice that there is a small x in the top right of each show-card, this can be used to remove the search. This method is ideal if you are looking to remove certain shows, and keep others for later – the only trade-off is that clicking one at a time can be tedious if you have a long search history.
If you are looking to wipe all of your history, you can try the clear all method. While on the recent searches section, you will notice a ‘See all’ button in the top right corner. This is used to pull up a list of all your previous searches.
By clicking this button, you will see it replaced with a ‘Clear recent searches’ option. If you go ahead and click this, you can quickly remove your entire search history.
Apple Music is the second biggest music streaming service, following close behind Spotify. One main difference between the two platforms is that while Spotify aims to integrate music and podcasts in one app, for better or worse, Apple Music provides a dedicated podcasting app.
This app, aptly named ‘Podcasts’ allows you to browse all of the shows available on Apple Music, and while it is indeed possible to clear your history on this platform, it’s not easy.
On Apple Music’s homepage, the ‘listen now’ tab features a recently played list right at the bottom, keeping track of the podcasts you’ve been listening to.
To remove a show from this list, you must first mark it as played. This might seem counterintuitive, but if you haven’t listened to the episode all the way through, you won’t be able to access the next option to take it off the list.
Once clicked, you will need to reselect the three dots, and mark the episode as unplayed.
If you aren’t following the podcast, you should now see that the show is removed from the list. However, if you follow the show, it will remain in your history – so next you will need to head to the ‘Shows’ tab on the left.
Now you will need to go to the show you want to remove and click on the three dots. Then proceed to unfollow the entire show. Only once you have done this will you find that the show and episode have been removed from your history.
The final platform we will be looking at is Amazon Music. While not as popular as the previous two streaming platforms, Amazon Music is a part of the Amazon Prime subscription service, meaning that if you are prone to a bit of online shopping, this platform might be the most obvious choice to use.
Unlike the other apps, Amazon Music only offers its music service as a desktop application. It is for this reason that we will instead be looking at their web-based podcast player.
One of the things you’ll notice when you open up Amazon Music is the ‘Jump back in’ tab. This is the services history function, showing you the shows that you have yet to complete, gently persuading you to finish the episode.
Therefore, to remove a show from this list, you need to make Amazon think it’s been completed. There is no button to do this, so you first need to click on the show you want to remove.
You’ll need to make sure that before you do anything, you click the play button to ensure the show is loaded in the control panel at the bottom of the screen.
From here you will need to skip the play head to the end of the episode.
Now it is a case of letting it play out, making Amazon think that you’ve listened to the full episode. If done correctly, you will now see that the show is no longer in your jump-back list – Just make sure not to let the next episode start, or else you will then see that one in the place of the old one!
It is clear to see that despite all serving a similar function, all three platforms have very different ways of working. What is a few simple clicks on Spotify, is a convoluted workaround on Amazon Music.
But sometimes getting rid of a show isn’t enough, you might even feel compelled to let the showrunners and other members of the community know a bit more about your personal listening experience – if this is the case you might be interested in learning a bit more about ‘How to Rate and Review a Podcast’.