Podcast platforms Podlove, podCloud, and Castopod have announced support for open source data analytics services from the Open Podcast Prefix Project (OP3), supporting the drive for open podcasting performance data.
Podcast prefix analytics services allow podcasters to measure various aspects of performance and listener demographic information by attaching a tracking URL to a show’s RSS feed. While many prefix services charge paid subscriptions for access to certain features, OP3’s open source nature means it’s entirely free to use.
Users of Podlove, podCloud, and Castopod will now be able to freely share their own data and compare it to others in the wider ecosystem by enabling the OP3 analytics service on their account settings. The service can also be disabled at any time if they change their minds.
“As a strong supporter of open standards – like the RSS format – for many years, podCloud is always excited to see new open source and open data initiatives within the podcast community.” said CEO of podCloud, Giovanni Olivera. “We are happy to support the project and eager to see the path it will take.”
“As an advocate of open source and open ecosystems, OP3 is the analytics solution we’ve been waiting for.” said Benjamin Bellamy, CEO of Castopod developer Ad Aures. “Moreover, it offers free third-party validation and it guarantees that data are not altered.”
The OP3 project was launched in September 2022 by John Spurlock as a way to allow podcasters within the industry to freely and easily analyse the performance and analytics of their podcasts and compare data with other users without the need for any technical expertise.
Podcast publishing platform Transistor.fm was the first company to support the initiative when it launched, and podcasters using the platform can enable ‘Open Podcast Prefix’ analytics through the advanced settings on their accounts.
On its website, Transistor.fm said the reason behind supporting the project was based OP3’s commitment to open data and listener privacy, providing open and auditable infrastructure, and an open API for logs and eventually downloads in the future. Transistor.fm also says that future plans for OP3 include publishing open charts about podcaster’s performance data, similar to Podtrac’s charts which monitor top podcasts by category for paid subscribers.
“The more shows participate in OP3, the more everyone benefits,” said Spurlock. “[I’m] honoured to see these pioneering podcast hosting platforms offering first-class OP3 integration, and excited to make OP3's novel open data approach benefit participating podcasters and the wider open podcasting world going forward.”