If you haven’t already heard, the Libsyn stats measurements and interface is undergoing a major update.
There are some new features and updated metrics as well as a beautiful new mobile-friendly interface.
Any time that we change anything to do with stats, we often start to get a ton of questions.
The following FAQ provides answers to many of the questions our support and social teams have already been seeing.
Please feel free to scan to your favorite question! If you have any more specific questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Why are stats changing?
The IAB in collaboration with podcast companies (like Libsyn!) and influencers in the podcasting industry developed the “IAB Podcast Measurement Guidelines.” These guidelines were created to provide clarity in defining standard metrics in podcast content and podcast ads.
Abiding by these guidelines ensures that looking at numbers between company A, B, or C will incur less discrepancy.
Having data that is designed to adhere to meet IAB Podcast Measurement Guidelines helps us, as podcasters, talk to sponsors. It also helps us truly define a unique download, and have that definition be the same across the podcasting industry.
What is the definition of a ‘unique download’?
An application (such as an HTML5 media player or a podcast app) used by a listener may request the media from your hosting server several times to fully download the content during playback, or a listener may manually re-request a download several times in a short timeframe.
A unique download is a filtered statistic in which those requests are determined to be from the same overall download request, showing one unique download rather than the raw request count.
How were numbers calculated previously? Were they not ‘unique downloads’?
Libsyn provided an estimated download count that did not process specifically for a unique download. A small amount of filtering was done on the data previously, but it did not go as far as to provide a unique download count.
What algorithm changes have been made to cause the difference in data going forward?
The new algorithm accounts for two important pieces of information:
- IP Address
- User Agent
If a request or group of requests (such as in a progressive download) comes from a single IP address using the same user agent, it is counted as a single unique download, rather than counting that as multiple downloads.
The aim is to try to determine a single download from what may be several requests for the file from the listener, giving a more accurate representation of downloads rather than a less filtered overall download count.
Why is the data different between the new interface and the old interface?
The new interface will display the updated unique download data, the previous interface does not display the unique download data.
As the two are filtered using different sets of algorithms, the data reported is different.
How much change should I expect to see in the data for my show?
Across the Libsyn network, we have seen an overall decrease of 6–8% in overall download numbers.
With that said, the change between legacy data and the new data will vary from show to show. There are several factors involved, including (but not limited to) audience behavior or even file size. Some shows will see a much higher drop, some shows will not see a noticeable change.
Why am I only able to see data in the new interface going back to November 1st?
As these updates change the definition of a download entirely, we cannot simply include the past data as there is no direct comparison between the two.
Will the old interface with legacy stats remain available so I can compare data going forward?
The legacy stats interface will remain in place for the foreseeable future. You will be able to toggle back to them via a button in the upper right-hand corner of the new interface.
The development team at Libsyn is also working hard to reprocess numbers from the year of 2017 which will give you the full year of data to work with.
This is a slow process and is not expected to be available until mid-2018.
Where can I find more information about these changes?
You can read the company announcement here and the blog post here. You can also view our tutorial on Advanced Stats here, and review our webinar hosted by Rob Walch (VP of Podcaster Relations) and Krystal O’Connor (Support) here.
Lastly, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to email@example.com.