Expert third party audience measurement
Podtrac Measurement of online shows and audio and video podcasts is the industry standard. Developed by measurement experts, and used by more publishers and creators that any other system, Podtrac Measurement provides intelligence and consistency in measuring online show audiences and ad delivery, and it is a system trusted by leading advertising brands and premium publishers since 2005.
Methodology for Podtrac’s Free Third Party Measurement Service
This provides a technical summary of the technology, process, and methodologies used by Podtrac for its free third party measurement services. Podtrac has developed its measurement methodologies with a team of professionals who have developed:
Online Shows and Audio and Video Podcasts Defined
Podtrac defines online shows and audio and video podcasts as a recorded file or series of recorded files made available to Internet users through a distribution protocol known as Really Simple Syndication, or RSS. To be measured by Podtrac, media files must have an associated RSS feed. Individually recorded files, editions, or releases within a show are generally referred to as episodes.
Measurement Technology and Process
Podtrac is a complete measurement and reporting system, providing publishers and advertisers with information about thousands of online shows. The system begins with Podtrac providing the publisher a method for uniquely identifying the podcast so that Podtrac can collect data. The system continues with processing and categorizing collected data, and it finishes with analysis and reporting of the processed data.
Podtrac collects data using technology which encodes the "enclosure" XML of an RSS feed and the direct URL links on publisher websites. Whenever a listener or viewer downloads an episode via one of these encoding methods, Podtrac collects information about that transaction as an integral part of the fulfillment of the request for the actual episode file resident on the publisher's server. This operation is instantaneous and transparent to the end user.
Podtrac's measurement of media usage is at the lowest (most granular) level, the individual episode. This enables usage to be measured whenever it occurs. Once data is collected, it is then analyzed using Podtrac's proprietary nested analysis technologies. This provides advertisers and publishers with the most reliable data set for better understanding user activity on a per episode basis.
Data Collected by Podtrac
Podtrac gathers the following information about each Podtrac-encoded episode:
Podtrac uses these data points, along with proprietary information about show episodes, series, and sources to summarize and aggregate usage.
Measurement Analysis Provided by Podtrac
Podtrac's analysis technology produces the following information on both a daily and monthly basis about each encoded online show:
This is a measure of the number of times a specific episode file is requested during a given period of time. Downloads include file requests coming from RSS software, website directories, and publisher websites. The Downloads metric recognizes that, unlike some other media types, online shows can be enjoyed without the user waiting for the entire file to download. Therefore, if ads or sponsorship messages are placed near the beginning of an episode, users can be exposed to these messages without downloading or listening or watching the entire episode.
Unique Downloads is an unduplicated count of individually identified machines that began downloading a specific episode during a given analysis period. Podtrac defines Unique Downloads through a combination of cookies and algorithms based on IP address.
Download Source is a measure of the client software used to download a podcast being counted, or the web site or server the user last accessed prior to downloading the episode.
Downloads by Country of Origin
Downloads by Country of Origin is a measure of Downloads for an online showoriginating from various countries during a given analysis period. Podtrac utilizes best of breed databases to infer country origination from download request data.
Limitations of the Data Collection and Analysis Methodology
Every measurement system has its limits, and Podtrac's is no exception. The Podtrac measurement methodology has the following limitations that should be considered by users of the data:
Certain RSS software packages do not provide a referrer, in which case the client software being used cannot be identified.
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