Comparing podcasts stats to Apple, Google and Spotify
  • 17 May 2021
  • 2 Minutes to read
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Comparing podcasts stats to Apple, Google and Spotify

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Comparing analytics provided by iono.fm to stats from your Apple, Google or Spotify account will not always match closely (or at all). This article covers some reasons for this.

Controlling the "client"

Our analytics dashboard is based on IAB compliant analysis of server logs to derive audience measurements. We have this log data for every podcast file accessed directly from our platform.

On the other hand, Apple, Spotify and Google control the end-user client application where the actual listen happens, so they will always be able to have more accurate statistics for the number of listeners and sessions that happened inside their own app.

Unfortunately none of them use IAB reporting standards - they each use different ways to measure a "session". This page covers what we know about how they measure podcast access.

This page provides information on 3rd party services, some of which may be incorrect or become outdated. These services do not all publicly state their exact measurement standards, and occasionally change their implementatio. We make a best effort to keep this page up to date - if you spot any incorrect items on this page, or can provide more accurate information please send us an email.

Apple

Apple treats a “play” as a user listening for at least 5 seconds to an episode. It does not seem to implement session expiry or exhaustion windows; rewinding and listening to an episode again wil track that as more listening. Their Podcast Connect portal do give stats on how far an audience listens to a podcast.

Apple "plays" may be higher than the number of "sessions" reported by iono.fm because we require 60 second listens and only track sessions once every 24 hours.

Google

Google Podcasts treats a “play” as a user listening for at least 5 seconds to an episode. Google does implement session expiry and exhaustion, with repeated listens of the same segment on the same day not counted.

Google Podcast "plays" may be higher than the number of "sessions" reported by iono.fm because we require 60 second listens.

Spotify

From the Spotify Blog:

At both the podcast and episode levels, you’ll be able to see the number of starts—that’s how many people actually press play—as well as the total number of streams. A stream is calculated after a full 60 seconds have been played.

  • Spotify "plays" will be much higher than the number of "sessions" reported by iono.fm because we require 60 second listens.
  • Spotify "streams" may correlate closer to iono.fm sessions, but other aspects like session expiry will still cause these to differ.
  • If a podcast is syndicated via your own Spotify account the iono.fm analytics will not contain any stats from Spotify listeners.

Note on Spotify

Spotify allows two means for a podcast to be syndicated:

  1. Submitting a show under your own Spotify account
  2. Submitting a show under the iono.fm Spotify account

If a show is submitted via your own Spotify account, episodes will be cached and served by Spotify - none of your Spotify listens will be visible on our analytics portal. This is a limitation in the way Spotify works and ouside our control.

See our article on "Syndicating to Spotify".

References

See also this excellent article on Podnews - "Understanding Podcast statistics".