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Libsyn Changes Stats

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:29 am
by StephenJondrew
It looks like Libsyn has made an announcement that they are changing the way they track stats.

Here's the information from the email they sent out:
** Important Libsyn Stats Announcement
------------------------------------------------------------
Libsyn is announcing a stats update today that is a part of our
preparation for a larger stats update planned for December. The stats
system is being redesigned to allow for IAB compliance, new features
and the future expansion of stats reporting.

Libsyn has been working towards Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
Podcast Measurement compliance with a conversion to reporting daily
unique downloads. In order to make this change, stats processing is
being overhauled. This will position stats reporting for future
growth, changing consumption patterns and advertising measurement.
Additionally, libsyn will upgrade the stats reporting interface and
add new features.



** Why are we changing our stats reporting?
------------------------------------------------------------

Podcasting has evolved over the last 10+ years with episode lengths
increasing to over an hour or more and a shift to listening on mobile
devices via progressive download. Technology has changed where and how
podcasts are consumed. Our stats system needed to change too. Not only
do we want to provide industry standard measurement of downloads but
be best positioned for future changes and opportunities from client
side reporting.


How will stats be affected?

With the current system, we can get close to IAB compliance, but not
all the way. A new approach, new hardware and new software are
required to get us there and also continue to provide you with the
close to real time stats reporting you have always enjoyed with
libsyn. To accommodate this change and to provide our producers with
stats reporting that is as close as possible to what they will see
with the daily unique numbers, we have begun making changes to our
existing stats..

In August, the first sets of changes were made to stats processing in
preparation for reporting daily uniques. On Sept 18th, we will be
making another significant change that will bring downloads to within
2-5% of the daily unique number being rolled out in December. Making
the change to stats now will allow producers to see the impact of the
daily unique number on downloads and reduce uncertainty in the
interim.

In December, the daily unique number will be shown alongside the stats
numbers and will have a month’s worth of historical data loaded.
Producers will be able to review their stats and compare apples to
apples. Along with the daily unique number, libsyn will roll out a new
interface for stats reporting and new features. We will be talking
about those on libsyn’s podcast, The Feed and the libsyn blog.


What will happen to download numbers?

The IAB metrics (developed with industry participation including that
from libsyn) were designed to address the definition of a download
that is consistent across the industry. Currently, each company uses a
slightly different algorithm to measure downloads. There is agreement
that with these various approaches to stats, there is and will be some
variation due to multiple use cases. Streaming behavior or progressive
downloads account for some of that as does “rogue” technology which
can artificially inflate audience numbers like bots, sampling,
pre-load players or pages, and ill-behaving podcast apps- and the
larger the media file the greater the variation.

The level of impact to download numbers will vary depending on the use
case for each podcast. However, the use of the daily unique numbers is
intended to provide a precisely defined measurement that is consistent
throughout the industry. The use of daily unique downloads and IAB
compliant metrics are meant to eliminate inflation of download
numbers. It is expected that some shows will see larger decreases to
download numbers than others. Changes we made in August are already
impacting some shows, as will the new changes on September 18th. Not
all shows will be impacted noticeably by these changes but these
changes will provide all users with more meaningful download numbers
especially with regards to unique users. More importantly, this step
is necessary to move towards an industry standard by which all podcast
metrics will be based.

At libsyn our mission has always been to provide distribution to as
many places as possible and then as accurately as possible report back
on that distribution. We believe the changes we are putting in place
will help us now and into the future to meet the later part of our
mission.


More about the IAB*:

The “IAB Podcast Measurement Guidelines” are the result of the Podcast
Technical Working Group’s (which Libsyn is a member) efforts to
provide clarity in the marketplace by developing a common language
around measurement. The focus of the guidelines document is on server
side measurement (but will be extended to client side measurement once
the client side opens up). In addition to defining standard metrics
for both podcast content and podcast ads, this document also provides
guidance on some of the technical details such as request filtering,
in order to reduce the discrepancies currently seen across podcast
publishers and tech vendors.

*From the IAB


** Still Have Questions?
Happy to Help.