There are two types of "download":
- An actual download - someone physically downloads your podcast audio file to their device via a subscription or manual download within a podcast app.
- A stream (well, actually "progressive download", but we'll call them "streams" for simplicity) - Spotify, for example, is a streaming service and as such podcast audio isn't downloaded quite like the other podcast apps. Sure, you can download podcast audio from Spotify to your device but the default option in Spotify is to stream it, which means that the audio is downloaded as you're listening. This is a simplified version of that process but covers the basics.
What does "IAB" mean?
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the body that sets the standards for Internet advertising and many metrics.
Podcast download measurement is always changing as the industry refines the accuracy of download statistics and as listener behavior and technology changes.
The IAB works with podcast hosting & analytics platforms like Captivate to ensure that downloads are as accurate as possible and each podcasting platform, including us, is at some stage of becoming "IAB Certified", a fairly recent initiative from the IAB to make sure that every hosting platform "talks the same language" when it comes to download statistics.
Captivate has always been exceptionally IAB compliant, even prior to certification existing, and as such, Captivate's podcast analytics are of the highest accuracy.
Further, Captivate continues to work with the IAB to gain IAB certification, a relatively new certification, to ensure that Captivate's podcast analytics are standardized within the podcasting industry