Backtracks, the data analytics and advertising platform, today announced a new suite of publisher tools designed to bring transparency and better measurement to podcasting. With a proprietary searchable index and real-time data exploration of over 15 million episodes of 500,000 podcasts, Backtracks Charts™ allows publishers to analyze and explore an entire ecosystem of podcast data. Backtracks Switchboard™ and Backtracks’ developer SDKs provide publishers with the ability to measure audience engagement regardless of where their content is hosted and how it is delivered.
“Podcasting has exploded over the past several years, but the lack of confidence around listener data is hindering growth,” said Jonathan Gill, Co-founder and CEO of Backtracks. “With no standardized metrics across the industry, publishers are left with inaccurate and inconsistent engagement data and low transparency. As a result, advertisers can’t accurately quantify their ad dollars, podcasters are unable to monetize their content effectively, and consumers are stuck listening to the same mattress ad over and over. For the past four years, we’ve had our heads down, building a provider-agnostic, tech-centric platform solution that promotes standardized, verified and transparent analytics for all podcast participants.”
Backtracks’ suite of publisher tools gives content providers and creators exciting new capabilities:
- Standardized and Verified Analytics: Podcasters currently have no way of knowing if someone listened to an episode, if it was auto-downloaded, whether that listener finished an episode, listened to specific ads or skipped over content. Backtracks’ native SDKs for Apple (iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS), Android (Android OS and Android Wear OS) and React Native, give publishers verified data of who is listening to their content, which segments they actually listened to, what parts they skipped and on what device. The result is a read out of standardized metrics publishers can use to accurately report listenership and demographics to potential advertisers and partners.
- Complete Ownership of Listener Data: Backtracks puts data in the hands of publishers so they are no longer locked into a specific hosting provider. With Backtracks proxy-style Switchboard™, publishers can now change providers for any reason, at any time, and take their data with them. Backtracks Switchboard™ is available to all content creators, for free, no matter where they host.
- Discoverability Made Simple: Today, content covered within a podcast is relatively undiscoverable. Listeners rely solely on podcast titles and basic descriptions to find relevant content. Backtracks Charts™, with its proprietary searchable index and real-time data exploration of over 15M episodes and 500k podcasts, allows listeners to seamlessly search for specific topics across the podcast ecosystem.
- Fraud Detection, Removal and Added Privacy: Backtracks’ fraud detection technology finds and removes fraudulent traffic using anomaly detection, digital fingerprinting, and other techniques. Backtracks maintains an updated list of bad actors and bots to ensure they don’t have access to the Backtracks platform. For added privacy, all of Backtracks’ data is anonymized, so no specific user information is ever shared.
- Beautiful, Customizable Players and RSS Feeds: The updated Backtracks Player™ can be customized to fit any brand and can be embedded anywhere, from a publisher’s website to social channels like Twitter and Reddit. Publishers can use the Backtracks Chapter Editor™ to add and edit chapters in audio files directly from the web and have podcast listening applications pick up the updated episode organization. By coupling the Player with Backtracks Switchboard™, publishers can also customize RSS feeds to match their style guidelines, creating beautiful, graphical feeds.
Backtracks’ new suite of tools has been in an invite-only beta for over a year and is being tested by a group of select partners, including McKinsey & Company, Y Combinator, Samsung Next, The Globe and Mail and Mediahuis, who rely on Backtracks to power their audio content.
For more information about Backtracks and to use Backtracks’ publisher tools visit www.backtracks.fm.
About Backtracks: Backtracks, Inc. is a data analytics and advertising platform based in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2016 by engineers Jonathan Gill and Kevin Wright, Backtracks is on a mission to modernize the podcast medium by providing podcasters and advertisers with the tools to measure, discover and monetize their content and data. Backtracks recognizes that in every medium a player comes along that fundamentally changes the way key actors in the space interact with each other and like Google and Facebook for display ads or Nielsen for TV, Backtracks goal is to be that catalyzing force to help podcasting reach its full potential.