Articles on: Podcasting

Why are my analytics different in Transistor compared to other places?

Why are my analytics different in Transistor compared to other places?

You may be looking at your Spotify or Apple Podcast analytics and wondering "why are my Transistor analytics so much lower than on Apple or on Spotify?"

Simply put - each platform measures different things.

Let's look at Spotify and Apple analytics

You may look at Spotify and see this:

You may look at Apple Podcasts Connect and see this:

You can hover your mouse over the ? icon next to each metric in your own Spotify or Apple analytics and see how each metric is calculated.

What does Transistor measure?

Transistor measures everything in downloads. We combine all of the ways to consume a podcast (listens, steams, plays, downloads) into one metric called 'Downloads'. Take a look at our guide here > What constitutes a download?

What are the differences between Transistor analytics and platforms like Spotify and Apple?

Now we know that:

Transistor measures Downloads
Spotify measures Starts, Streams, Listeners and Followers
Apple measures Plays, Listeners, Engaged Listeners and Followers

You'll see that neither Spotify nor Apple measure in Downloads, which is why numbers in Transistor are different. Generally Transistor numbers will fall somewhere in the middle of the range that Spotify and Apple offers.

What do they all actually mean and how do they compare?

Here's a run down of those metrics, in volume order, highest first.

Apple Plays - Everyone who pressed play on Apple (including duplicate listens)
Spotify Starts - Everyone who pressed play on Spotify (no min playback time)
Spotify Streams - Everyone who pressed play on Spotify and listened for at least 60 seconds
Transistor Downloads - Every audio file request, same day duplicates filtered out by IP address.
Apple Engaged Listeners - Every play listened to for at least 20 minutes or 40% of the episode.
Apple/Spotify Listeners - Unique people. This may be IP based or login ID based.
Apple / Spotify Followers - Everyone who clicked Follow or Subscribe in the app.

What about when my Transistor analytics are higher than Apple or Spotify?

A couple of final things to consider that can make Transistor numbers higher than Spotify and Apple:

1) Apple only collects podcast data from newer devices, so sometimes we collect more Downloads than Apple collects in Plays. We record every unique download regardless of device age. Here are the Apple Podcast Data Specifications of which devices they collect podcast data from.

2) With Spotify there are scenarios where we count a download first e.g. an episode saved for offline listening. Spotify would only count that as a stream a later date when it is actually listened to.

Some additional analytics resources

Here are Apple's Analytics Guidelines.
Here are Spotify's Analytics Guidelines.

Hopefully this helps you to better understand the differences between our metrics and platforms like Apple and Spotify. If you have any further analytics questions, please reach out to our support on Live Chat or email at:

Updated on: 14/09/2022

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