Listen Time Calculation

OP3 primarily computes "Downloads", which is the current industry-standard way of measuring a podcast's audience.

Downloads measure server-side requests, an upper-bound estimate of actual listener plays, but not an exact measurement. Only the podcast player app knows which episodes a listener actually plays, and which segments of the audio they listen to.

If all player apps in the open podcast ecosystem shared anonymized client-side playback information with podcasters, it would provide a fuller picture of which parts of their shows are connecting or not with their listeners - above and beyond the relatively opaque metric of a download.

How does OP3 calculate listen time?

It turns out eight podcast apps already provide a decent approximation of this client-side playback information via an existing mechanism: enabling listeners to send small digital payments every minute.

As a podcaster, you can take a look at the received data directly, or include services in the payment that can aggregate streaming payment statistics on your behalf.

If OP3 is included in this loop, it can now display this information in a special "Listen time" section in your OP3 show stats page. Example →

While not all podcast apps support this, and not all listeners will choose to send these payments, it's better than no cross-app-comparable client-side data at all - and useful to analyze in addition to server-side downloads.

How do I enable listen time on my OP3 page?

For podcasters that have already enabled OP3 for their podcast:

Podcast apps