Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines

Call to Renew Podcast Technical Certification

As podcast listenership increases and the technology to support that listenership improves, the podcast technical measurement capabilities are continuing to evolve at a rapid pace. As such, and to be aligned with other industry auditing programs, IAB Tech Lab is updating its compliance program to require annual recertification. 

Some of our initial compliant podcast companies were certified on earlier versions of Tech Lab’s Podcast Technical Measurement Guidelines (version 2.0) and have not renewed to meet the latest standards (version 2.1). We’re calling on all of our listed compliant podcast companies who are not certified for Tech Lab’s current standard (version 2.1) to sign up for certification renewal by December 31st, 2022. Re-certification must be completed by December 31, 2023 to maintain compliant status.  In addition, the IAB Tech Lab will move to a yearly cadence starting in 2023 and require annual recertification going forward. 

Please email compliance@iabtechlab.com to sign up for compliance with the latest Podcast Technical Measurement Guidelines v2.1. Sign-up must occur by Dec 31, 2022 and certification must be completed by December 31, 2023 to maintain compliance status.

Thank you for participating in this important program and building trust in the podcast advertising supply chain. 

Download the Podcast Measurement Compliance Guide

Podcast Technical Measurement Guidelines

In February 2021, the Podcast Technical Working Group finalized version 2.1 of the Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines. Several new items have been incorporated into the guidelines, including:

  • A new detailed recommendation for calculating IPv6 metrics, which recommends truncating IPv6 addresses to the first 64 bits prior to calculating unique Listener and Download metrics using a combination User Agent and IP address.
  • A new section with guidance on user agent structure
  • Filtering guidance for Apple watchOS user agents
  • Language edits such as typo corrections and replacement of whitelist/blacklist terminology
  • Updated data for the Podcast Player Market Share section
  • And a number of additional podcast player recommendation

About Podcast Measurement

Podcasting remains a rapidly growing industry, with ad revenues ballooning over the last few years to reach a projected estimate of nearly $1 billion in the US for 2020 (14% y/y growth), according to the IAB Podcast Advertising Revenue Study conducted by PwC. And that’s despite softened projections tied to impacts from COVID-19 which had previous estimates expected to reach 29% year-over-year growth.

In 2019 annual podcast revenue estimates reached $708 million with a whopping 48% increase over reported revenues from the previous year. Podcast listeners are highly engaged and growing as a whole which makes them an appealing target for marketers. However, historically a number of challenges have endured in getting a commonly agreed-upon set of metrics in the podcasting space. This is in part due to the lack of access to client side measurement, but also largely due to podcasting being a relatively new space that has been innovating over the past few years.

The IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.1 are the result of the Podcast Technical Working Group’s efforts to provide clarity in the marketplace by developing a common language around measurement. The focus of this document is on server side measurement (but will be extended to client side measurement once the client side opens up). In addition to defining standard metrics for both podcast content and podcast ads, this document also provides guidance on some of the technical details such as request filtering, in order to reduce the discrepancies currently seen across podcast publishers and tech vendors. 



Please email us any questions or comments to support@iabtechlab.com.


Previous Releases

Download Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines v2.0 (PDF)

Release Date: December 2017

Download Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines v1.0 (PDF)

Release Date: September 2016

Developed by the Podcast Technical Working Group

IAB Tech Lab Contact

Katie Stroud
Senior Product Manager