Podcast analytics just got RAD thanks to NPR, but podcasts still won’t target listeners

NPR rolled out a new tool called RAD to help creators track anonymous listener data.


December 13, 2018

NPR announced a new listener analytics platform that helps podcasters collect listening metrics, called RAD (remote audio data).

NPR has taken a lead in the podcasting industry, and this new release — in conjunction with more than 30 podcasting partners — aims to give podcast publishers (and their advertisers) greater insight into their performance.

This isn’t your average tracking platform

The analytics platform is open-source, and it only connects anonymized data that cannot be used to track and re-target listeners.

Unlike re-targeting that bombards people with ads for razors when they mistakenly Google their friend Harry’s address, RAD isn’t designed to hunt down new customers. 

Instead, according to its announcement, RAD just helps creators and advertisers know which parts listeners actually hear (which was previously difficult, although Apple launched a somewhat similar product).

Podcasters are real team players (at least most of them)

NPR has its own podcasting platform, NPR One, which will highlight the company’s new RAD system. But NPR made the technology available to any partners who wanted to make the podcasting industry more open.

NPR’s RAD partners include Google, ESPN, Panoply, PRX, The New York Times, iHeartMedia, and New York Public Radio.  Notably absent? Apple.

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