Podcast tracking

Nielsen Analytics recently reported that more and more internet user are attracted to podcasts. According to the study, more than 9 million internet user in the United States downloaded podcasts to computers and mobile devices last month.

Ten percent of the study's 1,700 respondents said they download eight or more podcasts a week. And of the podcast users, 38 percent said they listen to the radio less because they're listening to podcasts. More than 75 percent of all podcast listeners are male.

Obviously podcasts became a huge market, but how to track them right? Here are some proposals:

1. Download tracking 

Many webanalytics vendors offer downoad tracking. But not all of them are able to track if your download only began, interrupted or even completed. If your vendor doesn't offer an adequate solution you can have a look at your logfiles. In order to increase accuracy of your numbers you also should make sure that download managers like Getright , Gozilla and others are included in your statistic.

2. Tracking Streaming

Tracking streaming is another interesting part of tracking podcasts. Only the top 5 tools are able to identify the average / minimum / maximum audience size for a certain time period or completion rate.

3. Time spent listening (TSL)

The TSL is the amount of time the average listener surveyed spent listening to each radio/podcast station at one time, before changing the station/podcast or turning it off. Most if not all of the webanalytics vendors won't be able to track the TSL.

In order to track the TSL of your podcast you probably have to work together with a radio audience research company like Arbitron. Arbitron uses a Portable People Meter (PPM(SM)) system, which can be used to track audiences who listen to podcasts.

The Portable People Meter is an audience measurement system that uses a passive "audience measurement device", about the size of a small cell phone, to track consumer exposure to media and advertising. The PPM detects inaudible codes embedded in the audio portion of media content.

Carried throughout the day by randomly selected survey participants, the PPM device can track when and where they watch television, listen to radio as well as how they interact with other forms of media and entertainment. The PPM is equipped with a motion sensor, a patented quality control feature unique to the system, which allows Arbitron to confirm the compliance of the PPM survey participants every day. At the end of the day, the meter is placed in a docking station that extracts the codes and sends them to a central computer.

Sounds like a Nielsen system for your podcast