Stitcher downloads will now show in your regular podcast stats

Stitcher Logo (Black BG)

Stitcher announced to all of their partners that downloads through the Stitcher app and website will now count toward your regular podcast statistics.

This is fantastic news for podcasters who want to see their episode download stats in a single place. With Stitcher’s change, any download or stream of your podcast media will emulate a download of your media from your host.

How it used to be

Previously, podcasters would have to check their download stats with their media host (such as LibSyn or Blubrry) or third-party stats service (such as Blubrry or PodTrac), and then check separate stats from Stitcher. This was due to Stitcher’s downloading podcast media only once, then re-encoding and caching that media to serve to its users.

The new versions of the Stitcher app for iOS (early July, 2013) and Android (late July, 2013) will ping your media host each time a Stitcher user launches the episode of your podcast. To stats providers, this will look like a download.

Beneficial for advertisers and monetization

You will be able to include your Stitcher numbers with the rest of your podcast stats as measured by a single service. Podcasters with a CPM advertising campaign will especially benefit from their Stitcher downloads counting toward the metric by which advertisers pay.

Stitcher will still re-encode and cache media

Stitcher will continue to download your media and re-encode it according to their requirements for streaming to mobile devices. Instead of this only ever counting as a single download in your media stats, it will ping your host every time someone listens to an episode. It will be as if they’ve downloaded the media directly, but with Stitcher’s encoding.

UPDATE: This won’t affect your bandwidth much

Addison Todd below asked a great question about how these “pings” will affect your bandwidth. This is important if you’re charged for bandwidth usage, such as with Amazon S3.

Stitcher has confirmed that only about 1 KB will be downloaded with each ping, so this won’t affect your bills or download limits.

Stitcher will grab just 1k each time. It will definitely vary by each show usage and your account plan but we do not anticipate a major increase in provider bandwidth use.

[Stitcher representative]

I think this is a great move for Stitcher that provides a balance of meeting the low-bandwidth demands and providing reliable stats to podcasters. I will no longer have to say, “All of your podcast stats, except for Stitcher ….”

For more information, read Sitcher’s FAQ for this announcement.

If you don’t have media hosting yet, then I highly recommend LibSyn. Get your first month of any hosting plan for absolutely free with promo code “noodle” when you sign up.

  • Addison Todd

    So when you say “ping the host” as if it’s downloading.. how will that work using Amazon S3? I would get charged as if it were downloaded again, I’m assuming? Thanks for all your help, Daniel.

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      That’s a great question. I would think it would only count as a partial download, such as the first 100 KB. But I forwarded this question on to Stitcher.

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      I just updated this post with Stitcher’s answer. They will only request 1 KB from your host.

  • Entrepreneur On Fire

    YES! enough said. YES!

  • JordanHarbinger

    Does this happen automatically then? Or do we need to ‘install’ something on S3 to make it work? I’m wondering if this is why we saw a sudden ‘spike’ in our media downloads a few months back.

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      Is S3 your only source of download numbers? If so, it may register the Stitcher request, but the stats you’ll get from S3 will be seriously inflated because S3 doesn’t know how to properly account for podcast downloads.

  • Bryan Kesler

    It appears to record downloads if you embed the Stitcher player on your website without actually playing the episode. It looks to be automatically downloading episodes once the webpage has loaded. Anyone else experience this?

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      Yes, that’s an issue with some browsers. I think Stitcher is aware of it.