What do my analytics mean?

If your podcast is distributed to external platforms, it’s important to know that certain platforms measure engagement with your podcast differently, which can impact how (and when) your statistics appear in Anchor. That said, we strive to apply industry standards across all platforms to give you the best data we can about your audience.

How we currently measure your analytics:


A play indicates that your episode, or some part of it, was heard by a unique listener. At a high level, industry standards define plays as either downloads or streams.


Downloads refer to when your podcast was pre-downloaded to a phone or computer. It’s typically impossible for data from listening platforms to definitively show whether that episode was actually listened to after downloading. Therefore, a download will always count as a play.


Streams refer to when someone listens to an episode without previously downloading it onto their phone or computer. For a stream to count as a play, the listener would need to listen to one minute of an episode’s audio.

Ad impressions 

If you’re using any Ads by Anchor tools in your podcast, we track ad impressions in a similar way. For an ad to count as heard and contribute to your total impressions for that ad read, we need to ensure it was played — i.e. downloaded, or streamed. There are a few reasons why ad impression data may differ from regular play data:

  • In order to present accurate numbers, we won’t register the plays of bots or RSS feed crawlers. (We’re always working on filtering those out from general plays, too)
  • Plays of an episode on Anchor won’t count as ad impressions unless the ad itself was heard (as opposed to some other part of the episode)
  • While most "podcatchers" and distribution platforms will update our system regularly with new play data, some will update only once a day, in one batch. This means you might see a delay of up to 24 hours before your Anchor analytics are fully updated. That said, when they do update, they are always attributed to the correct day

Analytics if you’ve switched to Anchor

If you’ve switched your podcast over to Anchor recently, it’s possible that you may see slight variations on your podcast plays or ad impressions. This can happen for a few different reasons: 

  • Some hosts don’t apply the same standards to play data
  • You submitted independently to one or more distribution platforms and those plays aren’t syncing in your Anchor account
  • Our analytics only include data since the time after you switched over to Anchor

 If you’re not seeing plays where you think there should be plays, you can always send a message to our support team.

Do my current analytics on Anchor match up with those from my previous host?

The way that Anchor tracks plays is mostly in compliance with industry standards. External platforms track metrics differently, but Anchor measures consistently across those platforms to give you analytics that are representative of your audience.

  •  Anchor analytics only present numbers based on plays that occurred after you redirected over to Anchor
Was this article helpful?
154 out of 218 found this helpful