August 7, 2006, 12:00 AM

OneUpWeb launches PodTractor to track podcast performance

Search marketing firm OneUpWeb, producing podcasts for marketers, develops analytics that measure podcasts’ effectiveness. The data can help optimize podcasts for search engine results and more.

Some marketers are using podcasts as a way to enrich site content offerings and encourage customers’ loyalty, but measuring user uptake of the podcasts has been a challenging process generally requiring log file analysis or user software downloads. Search marketing services provider OneUpWeb takes on that issue with the launch of PodTractor, a new analytic service that tracks the performance of podcasts.

The service is provided as part of another service launched by OneUpWeb: producing podcasts on behalf of marketers. According to OneUpWeb, PodTractor provides a variety of metrics including an overview of performance by week, day, and month; top downloads; data on which domains visited and what each downloaded, and identification of subscriber versus non-subscriber downloads. Relative to search marketing metrics, PodTractor identifies which directories are delivering the most listeners to podcasts; which keywords by directory are most effective at converting into podcast downloads; abandonment statistics and more.

The practical value of this information for marketers is that it can be used to optimize podcasts for search engine results pages, coordinate pay-per-click advertising around popular podcast search terms, and for other purposes.

“Marketers can’t afford to spend time and money in a tactic just in case it might work,” says OneUpWeb CEO Lisa Wehr. “If podcasts contribute a high return on the investment, companies need to know so they can continue that success with management’s support.”

According to OneUpWeb, its hosted analytic solution improves on existing mechanisms for tracking podcasts. One such method offered by directory sites, for example, limits tracking only to their own audience, providing limited data on users downloading from their sites. Another method, registration-based systems, requires that listeners download tracking software onto their listening devices, which also limits the resulting data set.

A third method in which media research firms have adapted in-house meters for use with mobile devices also results in limited data collection, as this system requires individuals willing to have their mobile devices tracked to carry the meter around during the day, attached to the device, and return it to a docking station at for data capture, according to OneUpWeb.

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