Sunday, March 04, 2007

Podshow metrics showdown: Adam Curry says 52,000,000/month, KATG says 12,000/day

Following on from the claim by Keith Malley of the Keith and The Girl podcast that Podshow had only 12,000 downloads a day of its podcasts (which I blogged about last week), Adam Curry has hit back with a number of his own:

For the record, In December 2006 the network produced 52 million download requests.

At first glance this seems to be a huge discrepancy, but as with most metrics discussions, we're talking apples versus oranges here. First, Podshow hosts podcasts but users can also search for podcasts outside the Podshow network through Presumably, the phrase "download requests" would also apply to searches for podcasts which are not hosted on its network... in other words, that 52 million includes people who listened to Diggnation or Morning Coffee Notes or even Keith and the Girl itself through Podshow searches. This is obviously a ridiculous metric.

Even if we're just talking about shows hosted on Podshow's servers, there are more than 25,000 podcast shows hosted on Podshow according to the comments in the thread, but so-called "Podshow shows", i.e. shows that are wholly owned and produced by Podshow, are far less numerous. Wikipedia only lists five flagship shows: "The Dawn and Drew Show, Curry's own Daily Source Code, Madge Weinstein's Yeast Radio, CC Chapman's Accident Hash, and tech vidcast GeekBrief.TV". It is far more believable that Keith's 12,000 figure was relating to those flagship shows, not the third-party hosted shows and definitely not the podcast searches.

Adam Curry is being fast and loose with the facts, but that is to be expected in an environment where credible metrics are non-existent. Along those lines, I would be interested to hear the opinions of podcasters on this comment on the Curry story by Homer the Great (who also appeared in the comments of my last post):

I as a listener have donated money, bought products, supported movements and entered contests. The only thing that I can say is that is the only way that any shit talk could be put to rest is by everyone voluntarily agreeing to a common measuring stick. This said, I think it is a lousy idea. As soon as this is done, then podcasting becomes another form of media publishing that has no clue or commitment to the listeners. People who enjoy podcasts because they don’t behave like traditional media.

Having a Nielsen or Hitwise for podcasting is a double-edged sword. It puts a stop to pissing fights like this one and gives advertisers a reason to invest, but it does smack of the dreaded professionalism that Dave Winer so mistrusts. Just as AdSense-driven Web sites have an advantage over newspapers in that their metrics are completely granular down to the individual reader, podcasters can find out where each and every one of their listeners is coming from. Instead of tailoring content for pre-skewed focus groups and abstracted demographics, the Internet is supposed to herald a new age of perfect market knowledge.

Adam Curry is not helping matters by fudging his own figures. Adam, please break out that 52 million into external shows, hosted shows, and flagship Podshow shows. If you don't, your number has no credibility.

UPDATE: Keith Malley confirmed in KATG episode #454 that his 12,000/day figure was referring only to Podshow contracted shows. Adam Curry has still not coughed up an answer to this specific number.


Blogger FooBarBoy said...

52million from shows hosted with podshow.

3:00 am, March 05, 2007  
Blogger Paul Montgomery said...

Okay Adam, thanks for that. So how about breaking out the number for your flagship shows, the five mentioned in Wikipedia? Does that figure resemble 12,000 a day?

3:10 am, March 05, 2007  
Blogger Leslie said...


9:07 am, March 05, 2007  
Blogger Leslie said...

how many podshow programs are in the top 20 in the itunes store? zero?

9:16 am, March 05, 2007  
Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone said...

By currys numbers (i.e. 52000000 downloads and CPM of $100), Podshow is doing 62mill revenue a year!

Hmmmmm.. If thats the case, the investors must be ecstatic!

7:36 pm, March 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Podcast requests(the equivelant to Web1.0 "hits") are very different from complete downloads. Especially since Microsoft came out with their "BITS" technology which creates a request for every bits block! If your show is 30MB or more, you can easily rack up the requests.

2:59 pm, June 29, 2007  

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