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Stitcher Downloads to Count Toward Your Podcast Stats

  • Posted By Andrew Zarian
  • July 06, 2013

Stitcher is making an update to its service that will result in changes to the way downloads on Stitcher are tracked and reported. All content partners have been sent an email with information regarding this change. Now Stitcher statistics will count toward your regular podcast statistics

Many Internet Broadcasters use services like Podtrac ,Lybsn, and Blubrry to track podcast analytics. This information can be useful when acquiring advertisers or sponsors for your podcast. The update will go into effect for IOS in early July 2013, and for Androd in late July 2013.

Below is the Q & A stitcher provided on their website to answer some questions on their new service:

Q:  Why is Stitcher making this change?
A:  We are making this change at the request of partners looking to understand audience size relative to iTunes and other platforms.  We currently only report actual Listens in our partner portal, a number that is an apples to oranges comparison number relative to iTunes.
Q:  What can I expect when this change is made?
A:  As noted in the email, the magnitude of the change may vary significantly from show to show but generally you should see an increase in Stitcher attributed downloads via your hosting provider’s stats dashboard as well as within the Stitcher Partner Portal (an update to reflect this change in the Partner Portal is in development and should be available soon – we will let you know when it is). 

Q:  What’s the benefit to me as a podcaster?
A:  Stitcher listening stats should be accurately reflected via your media hosting provider. You will no longer have separate, incremental Stitcher metrics. Stitcher's Provider Portal will continue to provide you with additional advanced metrics beyond what typical hosting providers deliver.If you are working, or plan to work with advertisers, this change helps simplify the process. Your total audience size is now more accurately reflected, resulting in the ability to sell a larger audience.

Q:  Is this a one time bump or should I expect ongoing changes?
A:  There will likely be multiple bumps in the coming months - first when our updated iOS app is released and later when our updated Android app is out.  Additionally, the numbers will vary as users update their Stitcher app to these new versions.  Our goal is to keep you updated on major changes as they come. 

Q:  Is there a user facing impact to this change?
A:  In some cases users may benefit from this change in the form of quicker show starts.  Over time, Stitcher is looking for ways to more broadly and significantly increase this potential benefit.
Q: When will the change happen?
A:  You will begin seeing changes in your hosting partner metrics within the next few days, as soon as our iOS update is available.  You’ll also see some changes when our Android app rolls out later this month.  We plan to add the new stats to the Stitcher Partner Portal within the next few weeks. 

Q:  What about existing stats - will there be any changes?
A:  Existing stats will remain the same and still be available in the partner portal.  Note that the old ‘Downloads’ metric will transition to this new measurement and the old ‘Downloads’ metric will become ‘Listens’. 

Q:  How exactly are you now counting downloads?
A:  We’ve been extremely careful to examine how the iTunes family of products (desktop app, Podcasts app) behaves in order to accurately emulate the behavior only, rather than create a new metric of our own.  Generally speaking, iTunes downloads new episodes that listeners subscribe to when the app is launched, a behavior Stitcher now emulates.  More specifically: 

On launch, Stitcher pings each show in the listener’s custom playlists (in iTunes terminology “subscriptions”), emulating a download.
Stitcher stops doing this when it reaches 5 unheard episodes and resumes only when a listener listens to the show. Both these behaviors are consistent with iTunes.
If a show is played that is not in the listener’s playlists, a ping is used to record a “download”.


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