How "unique users" are measured can make a drastic difference to the results produced by audio analytics.
The iono.fm analytics platform uses only server access logs to assemble it's data and does not store any "private" data, nor does it requires any privacy invading user tracking.
How is a "unique user" identified ?
Our analytics uses the IAB definition of a unique user from the podcast measurement specification, which is the combination of the request IP address and the software "User Agent" string.
This method is only defined formally for measuring podcast usage, we employ the same mechanism for stream and ad tracking to ensure a coherent and consistent view accross audio products.
Is this accurate ?
In some cases this may cause under reporting of unique users, and in many more cases it may cause over reporting of unique users. The benefits of using a standarised metric however outweighs any potential optimisation to get a more "accurate" view of unique users.
Furthermore, to improve accuracy requires persistent tracking inside the client software. Stream and (especially) podcast content is typically consumed over a large variety of different software and hardware clients, making it impossible to use this as the standard means of tracking.