Triton Digital has been quietly building its podcast measurement service during the past year leaving the question of “when” not “if” it would track the U.S. market hanging in the air. The answer is now known: March 2020. That’s when Triton’s Podcast Reports will begin being published in the U.S. with four clients on board so far, including NPR, Entercom’s Radio.com, Cumulus Media, and Stitcher—which, like Triton, is owned by E.W. Scripps.
Triton will only measure those podcasters that sign up for the service. The measurement is done by Triton directly integrating with those publishers’ podcast hosting platforms, which it says will eliminate “inconsistent” measurement practices and self-reported data. The reports that Triton will give clients will provide a ranking of the top networks and top podcasts in the U.S. Reported entities will be ranked by average weekly downloads which Triton says will comply with Version 2.0 of the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines
“We are pleased to leverage our 10-plus years of digital audio measurement expertise to provide reliable and informative data around podcast consumption in the U.S.,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital. “Our Podcast Reports will provide buyers with the trusted, third-party podcast measurement they need to make informed decisions around podcast advertising. Furthermore, our reports will provide podcast Networks with the reputable consumption data they need to grow their podcast strategies, gain a better understanding of their listening audiences, and increase their advertising revenue.”
The first U.S. Podcast Report will debut in March. Triton data will also be made available within FreeWheel’s Strata platform, which offers comprehensive media planning and buying solutions for agencies. Joy Baer, General Manager at FreeWheel, thinks it will become a “critical tool” for both agencies and publishers moving forward. “With podcast consumption on the rise each year, it’s important we provide our clients with the information they need to ensure they can optimally add podcasts to their media plans.,” Baer said.
Triton Digital joins a podcast measurement business that already includes several other services. Podtrac releases monthly updates of the biggest publishers and shows among its clients. Edison Research announced last spring that it would begin producing a four-times-a-year ranker of what shows people are listening to. Its ten charter subscribers last month received their first data. And Nielsen launched its Podcast Listener Buying Power Service in July. While not a quantitative service that counts downloads, Nielsen’s qualitative service uses data from Nielsen Scarborough to help podcasters understand what their listeners buy and where they shop, while allowing advertisers to target audiences with specific interests and buying habits.
‘An Important Step Forward’
NPR is one of the few that’s subscribing to more than one of the measurement services, with Triton now part of its data arsenal. Joel Sucherman, NPR's VP for New Platform Partnerships, said Triton’s metrics will allow NPR to better serve its listeners, and grow the overall podcast audience. “Since the early days of podcasting NPR has advocated for reliable third-party data measurement, we are excited to participate in Triton’s Podcast Reports and will continue supporting efforts that increase transparency in the podcast industry,” Sucherman said.
Entercom is another of Triton’s launch clients. The company has in recent months taken a series of steps to capture a bigger slice of podcast listening on its Radio.com app. Entercom Chief Digital Officer J.D. Crowley said they were excited about the introduction of a digital audio measurement serviced provided by a trusted and IAB Tech Lab-certified partner like Triton. “We believe this is a critical step to increase engagement from advertisers and significantly impact the growth of the podcast industry overall,” he said.
Larry Linietsky, Senior VP, Digital Operations and Business Development at Cumulus Media, echoed that sentiment. “The Triton Podcast Reports are an important step in providing a snapshot of reliable, accurate, transparent, and objective measurement for partners at this critical time of explosive growth in audio via podcasting” he said.
Sarah van Mosel, Chief Revenue Officer at Triton sister company Stitcher, agreed. “While we have long prided ourselves on providing reliable and trustworthy data to our clients, the ability to compare apples to apples across the industry is an important step forward,” she said.
Triton Digital currently publishes Podcast Reports in Australia and Latin America. It announced last month that the Netherlands will join the list early next year.