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.
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.