How Listener Analytics Work in Castos

Accurate and consistent analytics are a big part of everyone's podcast. Whether your show is a hobby project, for your business/brand, or you have sponsors that rely on this data we know that getting the right data to you at the right time is paramount for you to run a successful show.

As a result, our engineering team has spent an enormous amount of time to deliver to you the most comprehensive analytics data possible. 

But especially if you're new to podcasting you might have some questions about how Castos Analytics work. Here we'll dive into some of the most popular questions from other podcasters:


Why are listener analytics in Castos different than stats in the Seriously Simple Stats plugin?

As a Castos hosting subscriber you'll want to rely more on the listener analytics available in your Castos dashboard than the stats available via the Seriously Simple Stats plugin.

The analytics in Castos reflects listener stats across all platforms, no matter where the listener accessed the episode. Compared to the analytics available via the plugin, these stats only reflect the listens that occurred on your website and platforms using the RSS feed in your WordPress Admin dashboard on the Podcast > Settings > Publishing page.

In your Castos dashboard you might have noticed there's a different RSS feed URL on the Settings > Distribution page. If this RSS feed was submitted to a podcast platform, the listener stats would not be included in the Seriously Simple Stats data. For example, if the podcast was submitted to Spotify or Amazon using our direct integration both platforms are pulling content from the Castos RSS feed instead of the WordPress feed. 

In the end, the analytics available in your Castos dashboard are the stats that provide a more complete and accurate picture of your listener analytics.


Why are Castos Analytics different from Apple Podcasts?

Apple Podcasts gives you data on one small aspect of your show's total listenership. Even if Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) is the largest single listening source for your podcast for many shows this doesn't even make up half of their total listenership in terms of platform/apps. Other third party tools like Overcast and Pocketcasts as well as platforms like Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify all have a growing number of listeners each month.

So, while your data from Apple Podcasts may be (for instance) 200 listens for a given episode, but your Castos Analytics says that you've had 800 listens it is because your audience is consuming your show on different platforms, or mobile apps, and not the Apple Podcast app or directly through their Podcasts desktop app.

Castos Analytics gives you listenership across your podcast from every listening source, not just one platform or tool.


Why are Castos Analytics different from my Google Analytics?

Similar to the logic behind the difference between Apple Podcasts and Castos Analytics, Google Analytics on your WordPress site (if you're using our Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin) gives only page views to your individual podcast episode posts. 

If someone came to a post on your site for a podcast episode it is possible that someone listened to the episode there (but not even guaranteed).

Google Analytics would give an incomplete view of your show's total listenership, as this attributes only those who are listening to your show directly on your site. Not those who subscribe via an RSS feed in apps like Overcast, Pocketcasts, or the native Apple Podcasts app.

Podcast listeners don't have to visit your site in order to listen to your show. Most often they subscribe to your show one time via your RSS feed, and then automatically get every episode as they're published.


How can I tell whether someone downloads or streams an episode?

In the podcasting world when it comes to analytics there isn't a great way to discern between streaming events and downloads.  When Castos Analytics reports a "Listen" it is that the file has been requested by a mobile app, web browser, or platform (like Apple Podcasts) and has either been downloaded or streamed.

Currently, a restriction of podcasting technology is that there is no way to tell across all platforms how long someone is listening if they are streaming an episode, or even if they downloaded the episode how long they listened (if at all).  

Unlike other media platforms like YouTube (where all of the content is managed under a centralized platform), the very nature of podcasting is that it is distributed and as such once a file is downloaded from our servers it is essentially "gone" from our ability to track what happens after that time. The following video includes additional details:


Do listens on my Castos podcast pages or WordPress site count towards my Castos Analytics numbers?

Yes, absolutely. Castos Analytics is drawn straight from our servers that deliver the media files for your show. So any time someone plays an episode in a player or downloads a file it counts as a Listen, regardless of where that Listen comes from.


Do you filter out bots and crawlers from our analytics numbers?

Yes we do. Artificial forms of traffic (bots, crawlers, spiders) online are relatively easy to tell apart from "normal" traffic to your media files, and as a result, we exclude this artificial traffic from your analytics. 

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