It seems every new Quarter that we do Advertising Buys we continue to see the same topic come up. In our solicitation to podcasters to join advertising buys we ask a series of questions. The question that most often is not answered correctly has to do with Podcast Statistics.
My philosophy is very simple trust but verify, and more often than not shows sometime simply have no clue what their real numbers are. Sometimes podcasters have been hyping their show publicly saying they have XX,XXX number of monthly listeners to only find out that the real number is X,XXX.
This causes me huge problems because often times I am counting on a show to deliver X number of downloads and when they miss that number, or even worse when they deliver 5X what they said they were going to deliver it jeopardize everyone else in the campaign.
This is why I always give priority in advertising buys to shows that have been using our Free Stats service for at least 30 days. The data is there in black and white and this makes my job easier.
Podcasters sometime do not like it when I tell them, in order to be on our Podcast Advertising buys you have to run on our stats. The reason for this is simple, my butt is on the line to deliver what we contracted for. If someone is playing games with their download numbers it ends up being a issue for everyone and can negatively effect the ROI for the vendor.
While we make exceptions, it is usually because the podcaster is running on one of few system that we trust (2) and evidence of data can be made by providing screen shots of the output data from those services.
In Quarter 3 we had 99% of our shows on our stats system. This has led to quicker accounting and easier tracking.
People are worried about their Podcast Statistcs being mined or sold. Here is our policy.
We never look at a shows specific numbers unless they have said they want to be considered for a specific buy. Only two people at RawVoice have access to the admin level stats data. We only share aggregate data aka we will group 100–200 shows together and provide a snapshot of the overall volume to a vendor, we never share individual level show data without written permission. We will never sell a shows data to another source.
We understand the sensitivity of this data, as we are all podcasters as well. But when it comes to 100’s of thousands of dollars on the line each quarter we have no choice but to validate shows numbers in order to make sure our vendors are getting the ad deliveries that they have paid for.