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Web Player Analytics FAQ
Web Player Analytics FAQ

A guide to Simplecast's Web Player analytics.

Luke avatar
Written by Luke
Updated over a week ago

What is a 'Stream'? 

This is measured when someone clicks the PLAY button on the Simplecast web player and the browser downloads at least 60 seconds of the episode. This is an IAB compliant metric. 

What is the difference between a ‘Stream’ and a ‘Download’? 

We use the terminology ‘Download’ to mean someone listening to your episode from any player in most of our Analytics (the audio is incrementally downloaded in order to be played from a device). 

 A ‘Stream’ from the Simplecast web player means essentially the same thing. It is measured when someone clicks the PLAY button on a web player and has streamed the audio for at least 60 seconds. 

We changed the terminology on this page because the Simplecast web player also allows users to download the entirety of the mp3 of the episode. These are not counted as ‘streams’.

What is a 'Start'?

In short, 'Starts' reflect web player listening activity up to 59 seconds, and would not be reflected in the overall download count, whereas 'Streams' reflect web player listening activity over 60 seconds and would be reflected in the overall download count. (It would be extremely rare for these numbers to be identical, especially if a show has a large audience.)

Why can’t I see data for Web Player analytics from before July 5?

We began tracking events within the Simplecast web players on July 5, 2019 

Retention Chart

I changed the date range on my Web Player analytics page, but the retention chart looks exactly the same. Why is that?

The Retention Chart is an all-time chart. It is showing data for your episode from July 5th onwards, regardless of the date range you have selected. This is because the listener trends become more apparent (and useful!) with a larger dataset. 

I clicked ‘Play’ on my Web Player and listened for a couple of seconds. Why don’t I see that reflected on my retention chart?

 We show data on the retention chart for listens that are at least 60 seconds in length. The reason for this is that someone who listens to a second of your episode and then subscribes somewhere else and listens may skew the overall trend for your episode listening activity. This chart is intended to be a representation of listeners who are genuinely tuning in. 

Why wouldn’t I see 100% of listeners showing up on the retention chart?

This occurs because the percentage shown is out of the total unique listeners who listened to the web player. Simplecast Web Players allows the listener to scrub to a specific time to begin listening - sometimes people will skip the beginning of the episode. For example, if you see 85% of people listened to the beginning of your episode, it means 15% began listening at another location. 

What is my ‘Average Listen Time’?

This metric is the average amount of time that your listeners played your episode. Note that if you had two listens, and one listener only played one minute of your episode, and the other listened for the entire episode, your average listen time would show that about half of the duration of your episode is the ‘average’.

What are completion ratios?

Completion ratios help you to get a high level breakdown of your drop-offs in your episode. For each quarter of your episode, you can see what percentage of your overall listeners were listening in that part of the episode. 

Show and Episode Streams

What is the difference between Average Playback Duration and Hours Listened?

Average playback duration is the average time that listeners played each of your episodes. Hours listened is the total cumulative time that listeners have played your episode.

What does Playback Speed mean?

Playback speed refers to the option on the Simplecast Web Players to either speed up or slow down the audio on the web player. Some people like to listen to podcasts incredibly fast, and others need a little bit more time. One way to make use of this metric is that if many of your listeners prefer a speed that is different than the normal speed (1x), you may decide you want to change the pace at which you speak!

Embed Locations

Why does Embed Locations use ‘starts’ instead of ‘streams’?

 This is due to the way that the embed location is tracked in our Analytics system. A ‘Start’ event from the player sends data to our system that includes the Embed Location url. When that happens, we report that in this chart grouped by the location.

I see “Unknown Location” in my Embed Locations chart. What does that mean?

 This means that the browser did not deliver embed location data along with the rest of the data from the player.  

Why don’t my Embed Locations Start count add up to the number of Starts in my Show Streams and Episode Streams charts?

Some Web Player reports like Embed Locations will not always match the total starts for a given timeframe for the show or episode. 

The reason is that if someone listens to your episode in two different web players (say, one is embedded on Facebook and the other is on their website), the Embed Locations will show each play as a count toward its relative website. However, the Show and Episodes Streams charts will consider that a single play due to our ability to recognize the fingerprint of the listener.

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