Category Archives: Statistics

3 Things Every Podcaster Should Understand About Their Stats



With all the attention podcast statistics are getting right now, we thought it seemed like a good time to sum up the most important things podcasters need to know when it comes to crunching those numbers…and making them count:

podcast stats

Podcasts that are listened to from a browser window (like on a website or show notes post) do “count” as downloads. 

Contrary to what many believe, if a listener plays your podcast in their browser window, it is a download, and is recorded just like it would be if they were listening on iTunes or another podcast application. So while it’s great to get people to subscribe to your show in iTunes if possible, it’s not the end of the world if some of your listeners prefer to listen the old-fashioned way!

Blubrry and other industry leaders use sophisticated methods to accurately measure each podcast’s listenership.

Contrary to recent implications of a “Wild West” environment when it comes to reporting podcasting statistics, Blubrry and other industry leaders have long ensured that download data is accurate, measurable and honest. In particular, Blubrry has always taken great pride in the accuracy of our statistics, which means we work hard to cancel out erroneous downloads via constant monitoring and proprietary algorithms that we regularly tweak. Blubrry has built custom filters to prevent fraud, and in some cases, even white label IP’s that originate from enterprise networks.

So if you’re using Blubrry statistics, you can be confident that the number of downloads reported for your podcast is as accurate as is scientifically possible. Combined with the provided show trending data, podcasters can get a very good picture of their show’s overall audience size and whether the show is growing.

Numbers aren’t everything. 

As RawVoice/Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane said emphatically in our recent Q&A about 2016 podcasting trends: to Blubrry, you’re more than just a set of numbers! Whether your show is large or small, or you have 50,000 listeners per episode or 10, you’re important to us – and as they continue to evolve along with this space, you’re increasingly important to advertisers, too.

The upshot? Definitely keep an eye on your podcast stats – they can tell you a lot about trends and help you watch your audience grow, and they’re essential for landing deals with advertisers. But don’t obsess. Numbers are important, but they aren’t everything. Focus on creating the highest-quality content you possibly can and building a relationship with your audience, and watch your influence – and yes, over time, your stats – grow.


RawVoice / Blubrry responds to the public radio podcast measurement guidelines



While perhaps well intentioned, the Public Radio Podcast Measurement Guidelines document released Feb. 3 by the public radio coalition is fraught with measurement shortfalls and an inflammatory statement that threatens to undermine the credibility of podcasting and podcast measurement. RawVoice / Blubrry takes serious exception to the characterization of the podcasting industry in the first line:

“Measurement of podcast usage is, at best, the Wild West. There has been no standard or even informal consensus around how to count downloads, listeners, or time spent listening.”

For the past 11 years, RawVoice / Blubrry and other leading companies in the podcasting space have worked tirelessly to provide accurate reporting to podcasters and media buyers. The “Wild West” statement in the document is so egregiously false that RawVoice / Blubrry is asking the coalition to retract the language, and publicly recognize those who have successfully championed meticulous, rigorous and precise podcast reporting.

RawVoice / Blubrry is a podcast service provider that offers a full line of services, including podcast hosting, statistics and podcast advertising opportunities. Today 35,000 active podcasters and many major podcast networks use RawVoice / Blubrry Podcast Statistics.

“Since the introduction of our podcast statistics platform in 2005, we have strived to offer precise podcast metrics to our customers, and provide accurate media reporting metrics to the hundreds of media buyers with whom we have done business,” explains Todd Cochrane, RawVoice CEO. “Our customers and the podcast community know we have been tireless in championing accuracy in reporting and providing precise, reliable media statistics.”

In 2008, RawVoice CIO Angelo Mandato led the former Association of Downloadable Media to develop the industry’s first podcast measurement standards. These standards are the foundation of the RawVoice / Blubrry podcast metrics system today. RawVoice / Blubrry is also a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and actively participates in ongoing podcast measurement committee work: Mandato has been instrumental in shaping the language in the forthcoming IAB podcast measurement guidelines document.

Upon reviewing the Public Radio Podcast Measurement Guidelines document, the RawVoice / Blubrry team determined that it follows many established protocols. Several protocols and standards mentioned in the document were established by RawVoice / Blubrry and other industry leaders. CIO Angelo Mandato stressed that RawVoice / Blubrry meets and exceeds these standards in areas where the coalition’s analysis falls short, and the RawVoice / Blubrry metrics system will hold true to the toughest scrutiny in the industry.

“The measurement guidelines from public radio at face value look great, but are flawed,” said Mandato, who for more than 11 years has overseen the development of podcast measurement services at Blubrry. “The public radio guidelines do not address situations where the user agent could be spoofed, which is a major concern that we (Blubrry) addressed early on in 2006 in our podcast measurement system. The public radio guidelines are missing key ingredients to prevent fraud.”
Cochrane said the RawVoice / Blubrry teams will continue to work closely with the IAB podcast measurement committee, which will later this year publish podcast measurement guidelines.

“This should address any shortfalls in the public radio measurement guidelines and set the gold standard,” Cochrane said. “In the meantime, we encourage the public radio coalition to re-engage with the IAB, and collectively we can, as one, stand behind a set of standards that serves the entire podcasting space.”

Those Media Buyers / Reporters / Podcaster looking to get a deep understanding podcast measurement are encouraged to review a recently deep dive into podcast measurement that the RawVoice / Blubrry team produced.


Deep Dive on Blubrry Podcast Statistics



Podcast statistics are not a deep mystery, but some would like to think they are. Todd Cochrane, CEO, and Angelo Mandato, CIO, of RawVoice / Blubrry recently spent some time doing a very deep dive on Blubrry Podcast Statistics. This is an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at how Blubrry Podcast Statistics measure and filter every podcast downloaded / live play delivering an accurate report to our podcasters, network customers and media buyers.

This deep dive video, while long, is perfect training for podcasters, reporters, media buyers and anyone else in the media space that wants to understand how podcast statistics work.

RawVoice / Blubrry has 11 years of experience in podcast measurement. Our team has led and participated in the podcast metrics standardization, with the current IAB Podcast measurement committee, and chaired the prior Association of Downloadable Media measurement committee.

If you have questions on this video, or would like a question answered, feel free to email ceo@rawvoice.com for any inquiries.


Lets Talk Podcast Statistics



As part of my fiduciary duty at RawVoice, I am required to make sure all of our advertising campaigns are reporting and being billed correctly.  Having highly accurate reporting is priority number one to me so that we can pay our podcasters on ad deals fairly, but also to ensure our advertisers are billed only what we have delivered.

I love statistics; it was one of my favorite courses in college so I often drive my team members crazy by asking them to calculate a weird stat or explore a new trend. What I aim to do in this series of articles is answer questions you might have on podcasting trends and provide you helpful insights. Feel free to reach out to me via the contact info on the site to send me questions.

Today, I want to talk on two topics: Truth in reporting podcast statistics; and a new statistic we’re calculating for our corporate clients that shows what percentage of a media file is actually streamed and / or downloaded.

I have been managing podcast ad deals since 2005 and have seen the good, bad and the ugly.  My sole philosophy when it comes to podcast stats is simple: I don’t care what the number is so long as I know what the true number is.

Truth in Reporting.

A week does not pass without someone contacting me to tell me they have 100,000 listeners per episode and want to work with us on securing advertising. My response to them has always been to get on our stats and we will talk in a couple of weeks. Often, the follow-up discussions are spent explaining to them why their audience size assessment was inaccurate.

The past couple of years we have been involved in the audits of podcasters’ reporting data that has more times than not ended disappointingly for the podcaster. It is not usually negligence on their part, rather their trust in a home-grown tool, or some non-podcast stats system.

Let’s look at the impact of improper reporting. If a podcaster was audited to have delivered 100,000 downloads from a trusted stats system, yet had originally billed for 500,000 from a system they employ, this will significantly, negatively impact the performance of the campaign, not to mention the cash that has to be returned to the media buyer.

The podcaster may be denied a follow-on campaign, whereas they may have extended the campaign had the initial reporting been accurate. These situations cause advertisers as a whole to lose faith in podcast advertising.

What constitutes a trusted stats system? From experience, we know that we have to tweak our stats engine weekly to keep up with all the bots, rouge apps, bad code and the overall deviations on the Web. We also know you need volume to see trends. For instance, we found a recent update of a browser that was causing bloated numbers — without weekly monitoring that would have caused inflated data.

If you have created your own solution, and it does not have the scale/volume and safeguards to see and flag trends such as a single-browser version inflating calculations, over time issues such as this will compound and cause inaccurate numbers reporting, both high and low. Most shows and networks do not have the time, traffic volume or staff resources to track such changes.

Media buyers are already starting to ask hard-hitting questions, and some are implementing or contracting statistics solutions that require podcasters to be on the media buyers’ tracking and stats system. You do not want to be on the wrong side of reporting numbers when an audit puts you in a position that could have a negative financial impact.

If you are a member of a network and they are doing ad deals for you, your reputation could be damaged by improper reporting, so always question the network leadership about how the podcasts statistics are being determined. As important, ask questions of your existing stats provider.

How much of a media file is being streamed / downloaded?

We recently did some research that we revealed at the New Media Expo this past January. We have been studying activity that can be broken into five categories detailing what occurs when a media file is queried. We found the following information that should give you some new insights into media consumption.

To do this, we took a snapshot of a network of podcasts, episodes in this network had billable downloads ranging from 2,000 downloads to 120,000 downloads per episode. We took a one-month sample of every episode / show and averaged out the totals below.

  • 55.9 percent of downloads where uncountable (duplicate, repeats, bogus)

  • 5.7 percent were unique IP completed downloads

  • .8 percent were repeat completed downloads

  • 17.7 percent unique IP partial downloads (2 percent-99 percent)

  • 19.9 percent repeated partial downloads (2 percent-99 percent)

Now these numbers may shock you, but take into account that the network ended up having more than 5.60 million billable downloads.

In future posts I will go much deeper and explain details on each of the above data points. What I want to impress upon you today is that unless you have specifically coded a filter for requests that are duplicate, repeats, bogus, etc., it is easy to understand how a show could end up with 55 percent more reported downloads than actually occurred.


Announcing RawVoice Certified Podcast Statistics



This is a big day for us here at RawVoice, we are announcing via Press Release RawVoice Certified our Podcast stats certification program.

Announcing RawVoice Certified: The seal of verified podcast metrics
Designation offers third-party, validated metrics to advertiser, media creators and network managers

RawVoice, a national pioneer in digital media metrics, monetization and content creation, announced the implementation of RawVoice Certified, a third-party podcast/network validation of media statistics. Tapping into eight years of data collection and analytics, the RawVoice Certified seal is the foremost authority in validating podcast statistics.

“At RawVoice, we know that podcast statistical validation is critical when a network / podcast has to corroborate audience size, demographics and how the media was consumed,” said Todd Cochrane, RawVoice founder and CEO. “Our years of experience in collecting and processing statistics for tens of thousands of podcast and networks puts RawVoice at forefront of analytics critical to our customers. Our certified service is the gold standard for media buyers, networks and podcasters.”

RawVoice Certified Stats gives content creators and media buyers detailed network delivery statistics, analytics, audience demographics and it tracks exactly how the media is engaged, providing near real-time reporting capability, all certified by RawVoice.

A variety of algorithms are used by RawVoice Statistics to filter out data that would otherwise inflate the media statistics. RawVoice provides podcast analytic / statistic services to 16,000 plus independent podcasters and networks, Cochrane said, including major television and online networks and universities.

Since 2005 RawVoice has been measuring podcast statistics for media buys and buyers to include some of the biggest podcast networks in the space. RawVoice, parent company of Blubrry.com and TechPodcasts.com, has unparalleled insight into how podcast media is being consumed. For more information, contact RawVoice Sales at sales [at] rawvoice.com.

Contact: Network Managers should contact RawVoice for bulk pricing, individual podcasters can get RawVoice Certified here today. Check out all the details on the product details page.


Updated Podcast Statistics Service Interface Demo!



Once you see this demo of our new Podcast Statistics Interface and the add features, you are going to want to make sure you are using our podcast stats service if you are not already!  Plus we encourage you to become a premium statistics s

ervice customer as well.

Make sure you go full screen with this Demo so you can see the HD version of this!

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Breakin’ down the stats policy to build our success



We know . . . no matter how eager you are to charge ahead technologically, “change” itself is like that distant cousin you’ve never met who your mom makes you take to a movie; the one you’re pretty sure you’re going to be stuck with entertaining the rest of the night if not the rest of your life! We’ve been there. So, when we announced that we’ll be changing our business model a little bit we tried not to make it too scary. Here ‘tis: We now require that shows that enjoyed our free statistics that have in show advertising from a competing network or on their own,  and have no advertising with RawVoice/Blubrry upgrade to our premium stats package.

Not too scary, we hope. To Hammer-time it a little more (you know, ‘break it down’):

  • No advertising on your show = free stats
  • Advertising with Rawvoice/Blubrry = free stats
  • Advertising with Rawvoice/Blubrry + advertising on your own or other network = free stats
  • Advertising on your own or other network = upgrade to premium stats to help us advance the system
  • Shows that are part of another organized network = upgrade to premium stats to help us support the system

And, to top it off, and this one’s a beta blocker for your racing hearts: Premium stats packages start at a whole $5 a month. That gets you unsurpassed insights into audience consumption; it lets you find out who is linking to you and gives you listener-base demographics and geographical data with worldwide mapping. You also benefit from custom reports and daily email summaries.

That little bit o’ dough will allow us to expand our awesome tools such as PowerPress and hosting for your shows on a world class CDN, and continue to provide you the opportunity to be discovered on Roku and Boxee. In fact, look for a major update to our stats system shortly! But even before that launches, you’ll get bunches of value when you update to  premium stats even if your show qualifies for the free stats.

So, yup, you might just find that this mysterious cousin is pretty awesome to hang out with and, like our premium stats package, is a dynamic, exciting and welcome addition to the family.


Tracking all iPads!



With Apple’s iPad now arriving in the hands of hundreds of thousands of media consumers, it is destined to be a highly popular media consumption device. We have added the iPad to the list of devices we track in our podcast media statistics service, ensuring that your media — no matter what platform it is seen or heard on — is being counted.

Our basic statistics service is free, so sign up now and add your show to Blubrry to make sure all your downloads are being tracked, including those from the iPad. Need a bit more than the basics? Check out our Podcast Statistics Premium.

This is only the beginning. Our team has been working hard on some awesome stuff, so keep your eyes peeled! We have a number of exciting announcements to make in the coming days.


Podcast Statistic Usage Increased 35% in March



Our Podcast Statistics service which is free to all members of our 3 communities, saw an increase in usage of 35% in March. We have had significant month to month increases but this is the largest jump in new users to date.

In conjunction with that utilization jump we continue to see a proportional  increase in the number of tracked downloads in the 10’s of millions per month. Overall we continue to see healthy listener growth across the podcasting space. 

Demand continues to grow for serialized new media content, with RawVoice having the only commercially available podcast / new media download and streaming statistic service, we know that companies / podcasters using our service are getting the most accurate reporting in the industry.

While other leading podcast companies have to rely on third parties to measure and validate their download data, we are proud that RawVoice has led the way in setting measurement standards for advertisers.

Get a free podcast statistic account by simply listing your podcast on Blubrry.com. If you are a corporate client contact ceo@rawvoice.com to find out how you can deploy your own branded Podcast / New Media Statistic service.