This article is about IAB Compliancy and what it means for your analytics and statistics. Simplecast 2.0 analytics are IAB Compliant. Your IAB compliant metrics will be a badge you can wear with pride!
Don't feel like reading? Watch a recording of one of our IAB webinars, where our team transparently explains what IAB standards are and how it can affect your historical download counts.
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What is IAB?
IAB stands for Interactive Advertising Bureau, an advertising business organization that develops industry standards, conducts research, and provides legal support for the online advertising industry. You can visit their website here.
IAB & Podcasting
The IAB is working to standardize statistics in podcasting.
Some podcast analytics platforms use listens, others use downloads, others try to track streaming and byte-range requests. Some count partial streams as downloads in different lengths. Apple Podcasts downloads shows in chunks, other apps download before you even hit play.
IAB is attempting to eliminate inflation of download numbers and level the playing field of podcast analytics by implementing best practices of data collection and measurement.
Simplecast & IAB Compliance
Simplecast analytics are now IAB compliant. We're very proud of this new analytics engine we've built to provide you with the most reliable data you can use to track progress, audience engagement, and share with advertisers so they know they’re getting the same dollar value for one podcast as they are for another.
IAB Compliancy means you will know how many people are actually listening to your episodes — not servers or apps, not multiple downloads by one person, but actual humans experiencing your show.
Will your 1.0 numbers be affected by IAB Compliancy?
It is possible you see a decrease in numbers from Simplecast 1.0 to the new IAB Compliant analytics of Simplecast 2.0. Some shows will see a small change in numbers, while other shows will see a larger degree of change.
While seeing lower total downloads for your show may be concerning at first, it is a good thing because you're now seeing analytics data that conforms to the new industry standards created by the IAB. And just as a reminder: The actual size of your audience has not changed, and you haven't lost any listeners.
What makes Simplecast analytics more accurate under the new IAB compliant system?
We’ve developed a unique filtering and comparison system to identify what network provider a listen came from.
- Is this a trusted network, or one which is known for scraping RSS feeds?
- We log “questionable” networks, so filtering will only improve as our harvester gets smarter.
- We’ve developed a completely anonymous fingerprinting mechanism, so the harvester can determine if a user hits “stop” and “play” during an episode.
- This allows us to track a single listening session which is making multiple requests back to our servers, preventing inflated statistics from scrubbing or stop/play actions.
- We’re able to better discern the difference between a “metadata download”, when a podcast player downloads only a portion of an episode, to simply determine things like audio bitrate and such.
- We’re now able to better determine if a podcast is being downloaded by a bot for indexing purposes. This ensures each registered play is from a legitimate pod-catcher with a human being on the other end.
Will all of my analytics on Simplecast 2.0 be IAB compliant from the start?
Yes. Our new analytics harvester has been up and running silently in the background for well over a year now, aggregating and processing new data on how listeners interact with your show.
We’re even tracking listener’s drop-off and skip points in your embed players, which is a brand new report. This means when you gain access to your new Dashboard, you’ll have many new metrics which are all IAB compliant.
To learn more:
- Better Together: Simplecast’s New Analytics + IAB v2.0 Standards
- IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines
- Jimmy and the Magic Pizza Shop (A great non-technical explanation from Dan Misener of Pacific Content)
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Still have questions? We'd be happy to answer them. You can start a live chat with someone from our team by clicking on the chat icon down there on the right.