Blubrry Podcast Statistics provide an accurate measurement of listener/viewer media downloads. Other stats packages and services (such as those that come with web hosting packages) are not designed to specifically measure media file downloads. Blubrry Statistics are first calculated by unique IP addresses, which are easy to explain and audit. Blubrry Statistics then further analyze each countable download based on both the user agent and geographical information. The final results exclude web-bots, crawlers and multiple downloads from the same network location. The final calculation is then adjusted to compensate for known Internet Service Providers (ISPs), universities and large businesses that have many users under the same IP address. We go to great lengths to make sure our stats are the most accurate media statistics available.
There are many reasons that your Blubrry Podcast Statistics will not match other statistics packages.
How you have the Blubrry Statistics Redirect URL implemented on your site and podcast feed will impact its effectiveness. The redirect URL, which you get in your blubrry.com account under ‘Measure,’ must be in front of all media URLs both on your website and in your podcast feeds. For instance, if you have it in your feed yet also have a download link on your site but don’t have the redirect in front of the link address, you will only be measuring downloads from the feed. If you have it on the link but not in your feed, you will only be measuring downloads from the site, but not from the feed.
Note: If you are using Blubrry PowerPress, once you link your Blubrry account with your WordPress with PowerPress website, PowerPress will automatically add the redirects to your web pages and podcast feeds.
FeedBurner Statistics and Podcasting
FeedBurner’s statistics measure a different unit than Blubrry stats. Blubrry Stats measure media downloads. FeedBurner measures how many people in the past 24-48 hours are subscribed to your feed (not download/listen/watch your media). This does not count how many downloads you have. It also doesn’t count how many computers (people) are subscribed to your direct feed, the one you have “burned” at feedburner.com. FeedBurner never counts downloads that occur directly from your website.
Further complicating matters are the changes in recent years concerning how feed subscriptions are managed. Since about 2009, cloud-based services such as Feedly host multiple subscribers into a unified service. This service will pull a feed from one source for all of their users. Cloud-based subscriptions have led to poor statistics reporting from FeedBurner. We do not recommend using FeedBurner since they will report a much lower subscriber total than what it actually is. Because of cloud-based services, there is no ideal way to measure feed subscriptions.
Web Server Statistics and Podcasting
The web stats package, such as Webalizer or AWStats, processes your website logs to make the data readable. It records ALL requests for all files on your server without regard for whom or how the media is consumed. This leads to a RAW total of how many times the media file was requested, lending to greatly inflated download numbers for each media file. Web statistics count web bots, spiders as well as multiple download requests from the same computer (which typically occur when playing via a streaming device). Web statistics will give you an accurate measurement on how much bandwidth your server uses, but it will not accurately tell you who is consuming your media from what device.
Shortened URL Hit Counters and Podcasting
Services such as bit.ly, tinyurl.com and goo.gl provide a shortened URL intended only for web browsers. The metrics these services report is a “hit count”, which refers to the number of times a web browser navigates to the unique URL. Hit counts are notoriously inflated when compared to download totals since they do not factor in the multiple hits that occur when downloading large files.
Shortened URLs to media files should be avoided at all times. Such URLs remove the file extension from the URL, which is required for iTunes and most other podcast directories. Furthermore, such URLs will be crawled by Web search engines as most search engines assume a shortened URL is to a Web page, not a media file. Blubrry Statistics has filters to filter out Web crawling and robot traffic.
Unfortunately, most shortened URL services’ reporting do not analyze the hits, what client consumes them and from what network. Shortened URL reporting should never be used to report podcast download measurement.
Blubrry Podcast Statistics
Blubrry Statistics are for individuals, business and advertisers who seek an accurate picture of how Internet media is being consumed. By using a unique “Redirect” URL in front of your media URL, Blubrry is able to record each time a media file is requested. Through various algorithms and processes, Blubrry will count valid requests as downloads and ignore erroneous requests from bots, web crawlers and other illegitimate sources.
Blubrry Statistics measures downloads from websites/web pages as well as from your podcast RSS syndication feeds. These sources include the popular desktop Web browsers such as IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera, as well as the popular mobile Web browsers such as Safari, Chrome, Android native browser, Opera, Firefox and IE Mobile. In addition, Blubrry Statistics reports more than 100 desktop and mobile podcatchers including iTunes desktop for MAC and PC, Official “Podcasts” iOS app from Apple, Stitcher Radio for iOS and Android, BeyondPod for Android, Miro desktop application, Podcast Republic Android app, DownCast for iOS and Android and many more.
When multiple downloads come from the same unique IP (unique Internet address), Blubrry Statistics filters these requests using proprietary algorithms to determine which are actual downloads. In many cases, multiple requests for a single media file from the same unique Internet address result from only one end-user. This happens for a number of reasons, though the most common is from applications such as iTunes that separate a large download into many smaller partial requests. To be as transparent as possible, Blubrry includes both our calculated download total and the unique Internet address total so you can see the delta between the irrefutable unique download total and the reported download total which accounts for legitimate shared network traffic from large networks such as from a university or corporate network.
Bandwidth Use and Podcast Statistics
Podcast statistics are not an accurate measurement of the amount of bandwidth used and cannot be used for comparing billing issues with your CDN. If you have excessive bandwidth traffic that does not match your podcast statistics, it is typically caused by incorrectly configured web servers incapable of efficiently delivering the content to play-streaming configured devices such as an Internet-connected TV, Google TV, Apple TV, or Flash/HTML5-based players. Any time the user pauses, seeks or rewinds the video, additional bandwidth use will result. It is important to use a service optimized for this traffic such as Blubrry Media Hosting.