Q: I only see Downloads in my Simplecast analytics. Are streams/plays/listens counted too?
A: File downloads and listens/streams are both reported as downloads in your Simplecast analytics.
We include them both as downloads, since someone who listens by streaming an episode from an embed player on Twitter is counted the same as a someone who downloads the MP3 to a computer or app and listens to it later.
Likewise, a listener who downloads an episode to listen to later in an iOS app is counted the same as a listener who streams that episode in the same iOS app.
Listens and downloads are simply unique requests made to either download or stream an MP3 file from your show's RSS feed, embed player, or website.
The only exception is podcast directories that re-host audio files on their own servers, like Spotify and Google Play. They provide information about streams and downloads separately.
Q: What if someone starts streaming an episode, stops, then starts again? Is that counted as two plays?
We do our best to reduce the number of duplicate listens for the same listener (and our analytics engine in the all-new version of Simplecast provides IAB Compliant stats), but there are times when it becomes tricky.
For example, the same listener may listen to part of an episode at home in the morning on their phone, but finish it at work on their computer. These are technically two unique listens even though it's the same listener listening to the same episode.
We do however eliminate what are known as 'byte-range' requests. These are essentially requests that skip around to different parts of an MP3 file (think fast-forwarding and rewinding). So a listener fast-forwarding through an episode will only be counted once.
You can learn more about how we filter and report plays/streams and downloads in this blog post.
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