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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.
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.
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 customeras well.
Make sure you go full screen with this Demo so you can see the HD version of this!
We know . . . no matter how eager you are to charge ahead technologically, â€œchangeâ€ itself is like that distant cousin youâ€™ve never met who your mom makes you take to a movie; the one youâ€™re pretty sure youâ€™re going to be stuck with entertaining the rest of the night if not the rest of your life! Weâ€™ve been there. So, when we announced that weâ€™ll be changing our business model a little bit we tried not to make it too scary. Here â€˜tis: We now require that shows that enjoyed our free statistics that have in show advertising from a competing network or on their own,Â and have no advertisingÂ with RawVoice/Blubrry upgrade to our premium stats package.
Not too scary, we hope. To Hammer-time it a little more (you know, â€˜break it downâ€™):
And, to top it off, and this oneâ€™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 oâ€™ dough will allow us to expand our awesome tools such asÂ 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, youâ€™ll get bunches of value when you update toÂ Â 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, excitingÂ and welcome addition to the family.
With Apple’s iPadÂ 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can deploy your own branded Podcast / New Media Statistic service.
We are proud to announce the availability of the new Blubrry API. The Blubrry API extends our commitment to the community by allowing 3rd party applications and web sites to work with our services.
The new Blubrry API allows developers to buildÂ applications to interface with our media hosting and statistics services. Applications can delete, upload and list media files as well as retrieve media statistics information.
The RawVoice team is very proud to announce that our Basic Podcast Statistics that where free for 90 days at a time, when community members completed an advertising survey are now 100% free with no pre-conditions.
Effective today all community members get access to the Basic Podcast Statistics service by just being a community member.
We realized that in these tough economic times, that while many podcasters want to monetize there podcast, a segment of shows are not ready for advertising but need the reliable accurate podcast statistics data to continue to build their shows. This was a large factor in us removing the requirement for podcasters to fill out the ad survey to get access to the stats service.
Podcasters that still want to monetize their shows need to update the ad surveys every 90 days so we have up to date information on their podcasts.
With a large majority of our community members using the Basic Podcast Statistics service it only made good business sense to do this. For those that want the Premium Podcast Statistics that service is available for a low monthly subscription fee of $5.00.
For those not familiar with our Basic Podcast Statistics here are some of the data sets we provide.
Consider this a small gift from RawVoice.
Todd, Barry, Angelo, Brian & Jeff
RawVoice CIO Angelo Mandato has been elected to lead the Association for Downloadable Media “Measurement” Committee. Here at RawVoice we have worked hard over the past 3 years to always have podcast statistics that advertisers and media producers can trust, and we could not be happier that Angelo is leading the “Measurement” committee.
Measurement Standards are very important and having nearly 3 years of experience working with various advertisers and podcast statistics reporting we feel that Angelo is well positioned to lead the committee in helping to solidify podcast measurement standards. [RawVoice]