Category Archives: Statistics

Podcast Stats Soundbites: Political Podcasts After an Election



Podcast Stats Soundbites

Podcast Stats Soundbites: Political Podcasts After an Election

A few weeks ago we examined podcast stats related to religious podcasts. So, in the interest of continuing to talk about the taboo, in this week’s edition of Podcast Stats Soundbites we thought we’d take a look at political podcasts. Because here we are again–in the US, at least. A few months removed from the 2018 midterm elections, and just under two years from the 2020 presidential election. Which means, of course, that the party not in the White House is off to the (primary) races. Which got us thinking: how does the podcasting space react to elections in the US? But first, the obligatory disclaimer: we are here to look at podcast stats data, not to endorse a particular political point of view.

Well. It’s like you might expect: a presidential election year generates an increase in the number of Political podcasts. But, in the 9 months immediately following a presidential election–going back to 2008–there are new podcasts added in all categories across the board. And Religion reigns supreme. By far.

News & Politics podcasts did see a (relative) 25% jump (from 4.35% to 5.4%) in the number of new podcasts in the 9 months following the 2016 presidential election. But that only took them to 5.4% of total new podcasts created.

Presidential Election Year Percentage of New Podcasts That Are Political
2008 4.44
2012 4.35
2016 5.40

So, for all the attention the news media gives presidential elections, and for all the chatter on social networks, it appears that people would rather share their perspectives and stories in podcasts about religion, culture & travel, comedy, and business. In a followup post, we will examine the number of listeners these new podcasts generate. Here’s a hint, though, from a previous Podcast Stats Soundbite: Religious podcasts dominate both new podcast creation and downloads per episode.

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Podcast Stats Soundbite: Brazil In Bloom



Podcast Stats Soundbites

Podcast Stats Soundbite: Brazil In Bloom

BRICS “is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.” They account for about 40% of the world’s population, 23% of the gross world product, and are forecasted to grow at a faster rate than the rest of the world. Kind of a big deal. And, when we took a deep dive into our proprietary podcast media download statistics–which go back a decade, we found pretty interesting factoids. In this edition of Podcast Stats Soundbites, we take a look at the Brazilian podcast market. Spoiler alert: it’s large and growing quickly. Might want to pay attention.

  1. In 2009, podcast downloads in Brazil didn’t even make the top 10. Floating somewhere between 13 and 20, Brazil wasn’t really on any podcast market radar. All that changed by 2012. Brazil podcast downloads grew by ludicrous triple digits year over year in 2010 and 2011. And, when they slowed down to only 70%+ in 2012, they had some serious momentum. Brazil’s average Q4 year over year growth rate for podcast media downloads is an astonishing 127% for the past decade.
  2. Brazil is now the second largest podcast download market in the world– bigger than the UK and Australia… combined. The US is still, far and away, the largest podcast market with 660M+ downloads in 2018. But Brazil saw 110M+ downloads in 2018.
  3. Brazil is huge. And growing. Based on our podcast stats, while Brazil saw podcast downloads grow by 33% in 2018, the other top five (USA, Canada, UK, and Australia) saw decreases of 3% – 12%.

The Brazil podcast market is huge and growing. Do you have a Portuguese language version of your show? Do you listen to any? Or, do you have any burning podcast stats questions you’d like us to answer? We have a wealth of data going back a decade.

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Podcast Stats Soundbite: A Prediction About Apple Podcasts



Podcast Stats Soundbites

Podcast Stats Soundbite: A Prediction About Apple Podcasts

As part of our continuing series Podcast Stats Soundbites, this week we’re going to take a look at a treasure trove of podcast media download statistics. Specifically, podcast download clients–Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.–some trends we see, and what that might mean for the podcasting space overall.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 1: Apple Podcasts Still Rules

Based on proprietary Blubrry Pro Podcast Stats data, Apple Podcasts, formerly known as iTunes Podcasts, is still the most used podcast download platform. In 2018 it was nearly 3x as large as the next nearest ecosystem (Google’s various devices and apps), and nearly twice as large as Google, Stitcher, Microsoft, Spotify, and Amazon combined.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 2: Apple Is Cannibalizing Itself

From January 2018 through December 2018, Apple Podcasts consumption moved from iOS to WatchOS in a big way. From January through August, Blubrry Pro Podcast Stats data show that Apple Podcasts on iOS grew from ~45% market share to ~50% market share. From September through December, Apple podcasts decreased to ~27% market share. That’s almost half. Where’d that market share go? Primarily Apple Watch, which grew from nothing to nearly 9% market share in that same period. What about the rest of that market share– where’d it go? Death by a thousand cuts. Everything from Stitcher (minor growth from 2.5% to 2.7%), to Spotify (grew from 0% to 1%), to CastBox.fm (which appears to be inversely correlated to Apple Podcasts: when Apple gains, CastBox.fm loses, and vice versa). As a market matures, it is common to see fragmentation as new entrants divide up existing market share. However, seeing such a precipitous drop by Apple Podcasts is not common.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 3: Apple Will Embrace Alexa

Based on the podcast stats data outlined above, we predict that Apple will create an Apple Podcasts Alexa skill as a way to hedge their podcast download market leader position. Amazon reportedly has 100 million Alexa enabled devices in the market. Among the primary use cases for these devices is listening to music and podcasts. So, just as Apple added Apple Music to the growing list of Alexa skills is 2018, it makes good sense, strategically, to have Apple Podcasts represented in this growing market. As an aside, while Google has more Google Assistant devices in the market, Google’s phones and Android also compete directly with Apple’s golden goose: iPhone.

Apple Podcasts is still huge, but it’s losing market share to… Apple Watch and a bunch of (relatively) new entrants. So we’re predicting that Apple’s going to produce an Alexa skill for Apple Podcasts. Bold or blah? What do you think, and why?

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Podcast Stats Soundbite: 3 Surprising Stats about Religious Podcasts



Podcast Stats Soundbites

Podcast Stats Soundbite: 3 Surprising Stats about Religious Podcasts

Maybe podcasting is a modern continuation of the prophets, town criers, and sages of old (which is pretty dang cool, if you think about it). Maybe podcasting is yet another channel where we create self-selecting “filter bubbles” lacking any diversity in life experience or perspective (but there are things you can do to fix that.) Whatever category, whatever reason over the past decade or so Blubrry has had the great fortune to be home to hundreds of thousands of podcasters in our Podcast Directory and our Podcast Stats & Podcast Hosting platforms. This year, we’re going to be focusing a bit on Podcast Statistics, making some predictions, and calling out what we believe are interesting factoids. We hope you’ll come along on this journey with us find some interesting, useful factoids.

The Inevitable Disclaimer

Let’s get this out of the way first: we are not here to promote one religion (or no religion) over another. This is simply looking at the production and consumption of religious-themed podcasts.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 1: Religious Podcasts Dominate

Of the 660,000+ podcasts in the Blubrry Podcast Directory, there are just over 92,000 podcasts in the Religious category. That’s almost half again as many podcasts in the Religious category than the next largest category, Culture & Travel which has nearly 65,000. Religious podcasts account for nearly 15% of total podcasts.

Podcast Stats Soundbite 2: Religious Podcasts Listenership Has Grown at an Astronomical Rate

Over the past decade, Religious podcast listeners (as measured by downloads) has increased by 85%. On average. Per year. 85%. That’s a phenomenal growth rate. Interesting side note: most of that enormous growth rate happened in 2015, when we saw a jump from roughly 110M downloads in Q4 2014 to nearly 680M estimated downloads in Q4 2015. If we remove that anomalous year, the growth rate still averages nearly 30% per year, which is nearly triple the average growth rate of all podcast estimated downloads.  

Podcast Stats Soundbite 3: Religious Podcasts Have Fewer Listeners Per Podcast

Ok. We’ve established Religious podcast have seen huge growth in both creation and listenership. But what about how many listeners each podcast can expect to attract? Well, Religious podcasts fall slightly below average on this measure. Religious podcasts attracted, on average, 8.75% fewer downloads per podcast (4,166 for religious podcasts vs. 4,565 for all categories) in Q4 over the past decade. This makes sense when you consider the massive number of religious podcasts that are created: it’s fragmenting the listener base. 

Not only are Religious podcasts the largest category–by far–but they’re also growing more quickly than average, both in terms of podcasts created and listeners (as measured by downloads). But they are slightly below the average number of listeners per podcast. Be sure to check back next week when we’ll be discussing Apple vs. Amazon and making a fairly bold prediction for 2019.

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Big, Fresh, Juicy Blubrry News.



Blubrry Podcast Stats are Certified IAB Compliant

Ok. We can’t keep it a secret a second longer, so pardon our excitement while we nerd out for a sec. We’ve been hinting at it, and there’s been buzz about it. But we are pleased to finally–and officially–announce that Blubrry has become the first ever podcast hosting company to receive Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab (IAB) Podcast Measurement Certification. Our podcast statistics are now officially certified to the highest set of industry standards. We’re officially official.

Fireworks! Horns! Party hats!

Why IAB Certification Matters

Ok. Seriously, though. Podcasting has come a long way since 2005 when we started providing podcasting statistics, and Blubrry continues to thrive and lead. “This is the gold standard. There are no substitutes or shortcuts to certification of compliance,” said Todd Cochrane, Blubrry CEO. “Ad buyers, networks, podcast hosting platforms, and podcasters now have an audited, certified platform ready to serve them.”

The IAB Tech Lab certification is important because it gives podcast hosting companies, media buyers, and podcasters the confidence that the numbers they’re seeing are accurate to the highest level in the industry. Meaning they can make more informed decisions about advertising & monetization.

The Road to Podcast Stats Being IAB Certified

We were one of several organizations who took part in the auditing and certification process. It was extensive. It was exhaustive. It was independent. And it was based on the standards within the IAB’s Podcast Measurement Guidelines. Plus, we’re in good company: National Public Radio (NPR) was the only other organization certified as of this posting.

As part of IAB’s Podcast Technical Working Group, Blubrry and 31 other podcast and traditional media companies contributed to the Podcast Measurement Guidelines, released in December 2017, that provide strict rules and guidelines as the basis of certification, including downloads, listens, advertising delivery and advertisement play.

Podcast Stats that are IAB Certified and Platform Agnostic

As of today, Blubrry Enterprise customers can label their podcast statistics as Certified IAB Compliant. Blubrry Hosting customers and those shows using the Blubrry redirect with other platforms will quickly follow as outlined in this blog post. Blubrry customers should expect no changes to their metrics as the certified platform system has been in place since 2013. Yeah. You read that right. Since 2013. Even when we weren’t certified, we still built a solid podcast stats platform you trust to accurately portray your audience and their consumption of your content.  

What’s more, and unlike other providers, Blubrry podcast statistics are platform agnostic. Which means our podcast stats services aren’t limited just to Blubrry hosting customers. Although, more than 50,000 podcasters have trusted Blubrry podcast stats for the past decade plus– whether they host their podcast with us or not.

What did the process cover? A ton. Blubrry CIO, Angelo Mandato said “The audit included reviews of our platform architecture, filtering, file threshold levels, identity, aggregate uniques, metrics generation, website player reviews and recommendations, disclosures and external audit of the code line by line.”

Thanks, as always, for your trust in and support of Blubrry. We’re in this because we love podcasting, and we want podcasters to have the best tools available to grow your audience. Keep up the hard work (we will too!).

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Podcast Stats and How to Analyze Them



What are Podcast Download Statistics and Why Do You Need Them?

Podcast Media Download Statistics, more commonly referred to as “podcast stats,” track how many times your podcast episode is downloaded, where it is downloaded from, on which devices/platforms, when, etc. Why do you need podcast stats? Why do you need a speedometer, gas gauge, or an odometer (or GPS) in your car? So you know how fast you’re traveling, how far away you are from your destination, when you need to refuel, and other such considerations. Similarly, podcast stats tell you how your content is performing, when/where/how it’s being consumed, and — over time — shows trends and patterns of behavior. ALL of which you should be using to build your audience and improve your podcast.

How To Analyze Podcast Download Statistics

Data. Data alone is great. Geography, devices, apps, platforms, when, & which episodes are popular. Blubrry’s Podcast Download Statistics platform is one of the most robust, accurate, and stable podcast stats platform available today. In fact, some of our original algorithms (from 2006!) are still in use today. And a lot goes into determining what counts as a download and what doesn’t which was just validated by IAB Auditors in our bid for IAB Certification. Some deep dives during that audit process have led us to highly recommend some guidelines we’ve developed to help you get the most accurate podcast stats. But data alone is only half the battle. You also need to develop your sense of intuition.

Data + Intuition = Podcast Stats Awesomeness.

Podcast download statistics alone aren’t enough. Sacrilege and blasphemy, seeing as how we are purveyors of podcast media download statistics, right? Wrong. We want to make sure you know how to get the most out of the powerful podcasting tools we build for you. Data alone is like buying the ingredients for a cake: if you don’t follow a recipe and put the ingredients together in the right way, you could end up with… well, with something gross. So, how can you become the Julia Childs of podcast stats? A few simple tips will help get you on your way.

  1. Know your platform. Click. Poke around. Read the Podcast Media Download Statistics FAQs. Learn the tool inside and out so you know how best to use it. There is a fantastic demo of our Podcast Stats platform available as well. And, as always, Blubrry customers receive complimentary phone and/or video chat support from real live humans, so don’t be shy. Reach out and say hello, we’d love to help.
  2. Wondering is wonderful. Put your two-year-old-you hat on: your favorite question was probably “why?” Why is the sky blue? Why do birds sing? Why? Why? Why? Similarly, as a podcaster reviewing your podcast stats, you should always wonder why: why did 20% more people download my most recent episode? Why was there a sudden drop off in Ohio? Wow! Most of my audience is on Android… I wonder why?
  3. Don’t hyperventilate, hypothesize. Seeing a trend? Whether it’s up or down, don’t freak out. Take a step back, ask yourself why this might be the case, and come up with some hypotheses — ideas to explain what you’re observing.
  4. Testing, testing. Once you’ve wondered and hypothesized, it’s time to test. What are some things you could test? Could you run a very targeted social ad campaign to your Ohio audience (you can geo-target both paid and non-paid posts on Facebook, so you don’t necessarily have to spend money)? Could you do a follow-up blog post (see our post on repurposing podcast content) on a similar topic, but make it more immediately relevant? Could you ask your audience for input?
  5. Use demographic data you have collected through the free Blubrry Audience Survey tool to help complete the picture of your audience makeup.

There are certainly more things to keep in mind when analyzing your podcast media download stats. But we wanted to get a few of the high-level, most impactful tips up. How do you analyze your podcast stats? Any tips you’d like to share? Let us know!

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New Geographic and Client Reporting Make Blubrry Stats Even More Robust



Blubrry’s customers already know that we have the best podcast statistics around. And in an effort to ensure that our users are always up-to-date with the most robust and useful information available, we’ve just introduced two new features: more in-depth international region reporting, and the ability to detect 7 new clients delivering your podcast’s listeners. What does that mean for the over 45,000 shows that use our stats?

Expanded Region Reporting:

From now on, Blubrry stats users will be able to take an even closer look at their international listener information, with the addition of regional reporting for Canada, Great Britain, and Brazil. While those countries once showed only summarized data, now you’ll get more localized information: for example, you’ll be able to see how many of your Canadian listeners are listening from Ontario versus British Columbia.

“This addition will give podcasters deeper data,” explains Blubrry CEO, Todd Cochrane. “We update stats on a regular basis, but this change gives users more granularity of where their media is being consumed.” In particular, this information is useful for podcasts advertising in those areas.

An example of the kind of in-depth regional data now offered via Blubrry Pro Stats.

New Podcast Client Reporting:

Simply put, a “client” is the application through which listeners access your podcast. We’ve added 7 new clients to our reporting, including:

  • Alexa
  • RadioPublic
  • TuneIn Radio(Android)
  • Radio USA
  • iHeartRadio(Android)
  • doubleTwist CloudPlayer(Android)
  • LibVLC

We have added a category called Intelligent Personal Assistants, which are the engines that process your requests via the smart devices they’re connected to, explains Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry. “An Intelligent Personal Assistant can reside in smart TV remotes, thermostats, your mobile devices, smart speakers, etc.” As other Intelligent Personal Assistants, like Google Assistant and Siri, reach more than a 1% market share, we at Blubrry will begin adding them as an available client for our Pro Stats users.

While client reporting is available to both Pro Stats and free stats users (available when you add your podcast to our directory), free stats only show the top 10 clients, so it’s unlikely you’ll see them show up unless you’ve gone Pro. Curious how many people are listening to your podcast via an IPA like Alexa or Echo? Consider upgrading to Pro Stats today.

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New Podcast Stats and Tags From Apple – Your Podcast 008



Soundclound may be in trouble, having a Plan B for your podcast if things go sideways, Apple’s new tags and stats and lastly, speeding up support if you’re a Blubrry customer. All of that with Mike and Todd, covering a whole plethora of topics. Thanks for listening to the show and please subscribe on PowerPressPodcast.com.

News:

  • Soundcloud – Rumors they are deferring salary reviews indefinitely.

 

Topics:

  • Plan B – Have one, no matter who you’re hosting with.
  • Apple’s new RSS tags and stats – Coming in iOS 11’s Podcast app update: What is does and does not do (such as giving you stats for the rest of your listeners, like Android or 3rd part apps).
  • Global stats – Blubrry’s insight.
  • Blubrry Stats Refresh! – It’s finalllly working for our pro stats customers.

Tech Support:

  • Help us help you! – You can speed up your support time by telling us your feed address and Blubrry account email.
  • Linking! – Connect your PowerPress / WordPress site to Blubrry (including your PowerPress Site). This also helps us help you if there is a problem. Bonus – you’re included in the Blubrry directory, the largest in the world.
  • Replacing a file – On our CDN a file is propogated to data centers all over the world. If you replace a file on our hosting server, it can take time to get the new version everywhere. To speed this process up, when you replace a file email support@blubrry.com so we can refresh the cache. That helps the CDN get the file to everyone quicker.
  • Support hours – Our main hours are 9-5 ET. And remember our advice, provide the following: File name, feed, and Blubrry account email. We’ll find everything much faster.

To ask questions or to comment on the show, contact Todd and Mike here: yourpodcast@blubrry.com

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3 Things Every Podcaster Should Understand About Their Stats



With all the attention podcast statistics are getting right now, we thought it seemed like a good time to sum up the most important things podcasters need to know when it comes to crunching those numbers…and making them count:

podcast stats

Podcasts that are listened to from a browser window (like on a website or show notes post) do “count” as downloads. 

Contrary to what many believe, if a listener plays your podcast in their browser window, it is a download, and is recorded just like it would be if they were listening on iTunes or another podcast application. So while it’s great to get people to subscribe to your show in iTunes if possible, it’s not the end of the world if some of your listeners prefer to listen the old-fashioned way!

Blubrry and other industry leaders use sophisticated methods to accurately measure each podcast’s listenership.

Contrary to recent implications of a “Wild West” environment when it comes to reporting podcasting statistics, Blubrry and other industry leaders have long ensured that download data is accurate, measurable and honest. In particular, Blubrry has always taken great pride in the accuracy of our statistics, which means we work hard to cancel out erroneous downloads via constant monitoring and proprietary algorithms that we regularly tweak. Blubrry has built custom filters to prevent fraud, and in some cases, even white label IP’s that originate from enterprise networks.

So if you’re using Blubrry statistics, you can be confident that the number of downloads reported for your podcast is as accurate as is scientifically possible. Combined with the provided show trending data, podcasters can get a very good picture of their show’s overall audience size and whether the show is growing.

Numbers aren’t everything. 

As RawVoice/Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane said emphatically in our recent Q&A about 2016 podcasting trends: to Blubrry, you’re more than just a set of numbers! Whether your show is large or small, or you have 50,000 listeners per episode or 10, you’re important to us – and as they continue to evolve along with this space, you’re increasingly important to advertisers, too.

The upshot? Definitely keep an eye on your podcast stats – they can tell you a lot about trends and help you watch your audience grow, and they’re essential for landing deals with advertisers. But don’t obsess. Numbers are important, but they aren’t everything. Focus on creating the highest-quality content you possibly can and building a relationship with your audience, and watch your influence – and yes, over time, your stats – grow.

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RawVoice / Blubrry responds to the public radio podcast measurement guidelines



While perhaps well intentioned, the Public Radio Podcast Measurement Guidelines document released Feb. 3 by the public radio coalition is fraught with measurement shortfalls and an inflammatory statement that threatens to undermine the credibility of podcasting and podcast measurement. RawVoice / Blubrry takes serious exception to the characterization of the podcasting industry in the first line:

“Measurement of podcast usage is, at best, the Wild West. There has been no standard or even informal consensus around how to count downloads, listeners, or time spent listening.”

For the past 11 years, RawVoice / Blubrry and other leading companies in the podcasting space have worked tirelessly to provide accurate reporting to podcasters and media buyers. The “Wild West” statement in the document is so egregiously false that RawVoice / Blubrry is asking the coalition to retract the language, and publicly recognize those who have successfully championed meticulous, rigorous and precise podcast reporting.

RawVoice / Blubrry is a podcast service provider that offers a full line of services, including podcast hosting, statistics and podcast advertising opportunities. Today 35,000 active podcasters and many major podcast networks use RawVoice / Blubrry Podcast Statistics.

“Since the introduction of our podcast statistics platform in 2005, we have strived to offer precise podcast metrics to our customers, and provide accurate media reporting metrics to the hundreds of media buyers with whom we have done business,” explains Todd Cochrane, RawVoice CEO. “Our customers and the podcast community know we have been tireless in championing accuracy in reporting and providing precise, reliable media statistics.”

In 2008, RawVoice CIO Angelo Mandato led the former Association of Downloadable Media to develop the industry’s first podcast measurement standards. These standards are the foundation of the RawVoice / Blubrry podcast metrics system today. RawVoice / Blubrry is also a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and actively participates in ongoing podcast measurement committee work: Mandato has been instrumental in shaping the language in the forthcoming IAB podcast measurement guidelines document.

Upon reviewing the Public Radio Podcast Measurement Guidelines document, the RawVoice / Blubrry team determined that it follows many established protocols. Several protocols and standards mentioned in the document were established by RawVoice / Blubrry and other industry leaders. CIO Angelo Mandato stressed that RawVoice / Blubrry meets and exceeds these standards in areas where the coalition’s analysis falls short, and the RawVoice / Blubrry metrics system will hold true to the toughest scrutiny in the industry.

“The measurement guidelines from public radio at face value look great, but are flawed,” said Mandato, who for more than 11 years has overseen the development of podcast measurement services at Blubrry. “The public radio guidelines do not address situations where the user agent could be spoofed, which is a major concern that we (Blubrry) addressed early on in 2006 in our podcast measurement system. The public radio guidelines are missing key ingredients to prevent fraud.”
Cochrane said the RawVoice / Blubrry teams will continue to work closely with the IAB podcast measurement committee, which will later this year publish podcast measurement guidelines.

“This should address any shortfalls in the public radio measurement guidelines and set the gold standard,” Cochrane said. “In the meantime, we encourage the public radio coalition to re-engage with the IAB, and collectively we can, as one, stand behind a set of standards that serves the entire podcasting space.”

Those Media Buyers / Reporters / Podcaster looking to get a deep understanding podcast measurement are encouraged to review a recently deep dive into podcast measurement that the RawVoice / Blubrry team produced.

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