IAB releases v2 of Podcast Measurement Guidelines — public can comment

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released a second version of its Podcast Ad Metrics Guidelines (released in September of last year). The retitled and revised document is now called IAB Podcast Measurement Guidelines Version 2.0. Public is invited to send comments. (GO HERE for downloading the guides and getting the email address for commenting.)

The Guidelines are not addressed to advertisers, but to producers and technical personnel who are trying to sell advertising.

The main changes are in section 5, formerly called Podcast Ad Tracking, and now headlined Podcast Measurement. In this section the IAB provides a detailed process for conducting server measurements, filtering results, removing unreportable data, isolating fraudulent download requests, identifying unique listeners, and handling server situations such as play-pause-stop and incomplete downloads. this part of the paper was created by the IAB’s Podcast Technical Working Group.

Measurement details are separated into Content Metrics, Audience Metrics, and Ad Metrics — as in v1 of the Guidelines, but ordered differently in the new doc. The new text identifies partial downloads as a server report that should be recognized.

The new paper maintains the clear distinction between downloading and streaming which was asserted in last year’s version: “Despite the use of the word “streaming” in podcasting, “streamed” podcast files are progressively downloaded via the standard HTTP protocol. True streaming—typically reserved for live events—requires a specialized server and uses an entirely different protocol.”

That distinction is invisible to consumers, who are likely to touch a podcast episode title in a listening app and begin hearing playback immediately — feels like streaming, but on the server side, where metrics are gathered for advertisers, the difference is important.

Brad Hill