Why does Chartable show different download numbers than my hosting provider?

Chartable adheres to the IAB v2.1 standard. However, there are a lot of areas that are open to interpretation in the IAB guidelines, which can lead to discrepancies even among hosts that are compliant or certified. At the end of the day, we get our download information from the same place as your hosting provider -- the RSS feed -- but our algorithm may process the information in a different way.

Here are some of the factors that may cause Chartable’s numbers to differ from your hosting provider:

  1. History. Our analytics prefix can only track downloads from the moment it’s been installed. So if it’s installed at noon, it’ll only collect downloads from that time forward, and the first day will have only partial data.

    This also means that our numbers for episodes released before the prefix was installed will differ, because there will be a gap between the time the episode was released and when we started seeing downloads.

  2. Download windows. We define unique downloads on a calendar day in the UTC timezone per the IABv2 guidelines. Your hosting provider may not deduplicate unique downloads, in which case our numbers will be significantly lower. Or your provider may use a different time period for unique downloads, such as a rolling 24-hour window, a 1-hour window, or a 24-hour day in a different time-zone.

  3. Blacklists. We don't count all downloads from known datacenter IP ranges (e.g. AWS, Azure) or other IPs or user-agents that trigger our abuse detection systems. This affects some podcasts more than others. Some hosting providers may not use a blacklist, or may use a different one than ours.

  4. Whitelists. The IAB guidelines allow vendors to implement a whitelist for known “high-density IP addresses” like dorms and corporations. We don’t use a whitelist because identifying these IPs seems to us a manual and potentially error-prone process. Your hosting provider may differ.

  5. Embedded players. Some hosting providers, including Soundcloud and ART19, don’t allow for analytics prefixes like ours in their web-embedded episode players. If you rely heavily on these players, our numbers may differ because we can’t “see” these downloads.

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