Marco Arment:

Podcasts are just MP3s. Podcast players are just MP3 players, not
platforms to execute arbitrary code from publishers. Publishers
can see which IP addresses are downloading the MP3s, which can
give them a rough idea of audience size, their approximate
locations, and which apps they use. That’s about it.

They can’t know exactly who you are, whether you searched for a
new refrigerator yesterday, whether you listened to the ads in
their podcasts, or even whether you listened to it at all after
downloading it.

Big publishers think this is barbaric. I think it’s beautiful.

Big publishers think this is holding back the medium. I think it
protects the medium.

Couldn’t say it better myself.