Analytics Updates

In an average week, 2.4 million people listen to public radio via NPR stations' live digital streams. Even though that number had been growing steadily over the years, it plateaued in 2014-2015, making us all wonder whether big growth in digital listening was only going to be about podcasts from now on.

For Core Publisher stations, we are launching the next generation of Community Calendar, replacing our old Public Interactive Events platform that we will retire at the end of this summer. We hope that you’ll be able to use the updated events functionality to engage your audience in real life, not just over the air or on your website.

Over the past few years we've used our station analytics data to learn a lot about our digital audience. Recently we've been looking at the characteristics and behavior of our users over a longer timeframe through a Google tool called BigQuery. We call this endeavor our Digital Conversion Study and have previously publish our insights about donors and our insights about repeat users.

In July, the Station Analytics team started an on-going investigation into the long-term site interaction trends that correlate with higher levels of site engagement and donation. Recently we shifted our focus from donors to repeat users of our sites with the goal of better understanding our loyal audience. Here's what we were able to learn about visitors who come to our sites more than once. 

By now you may have heard the news about an exciting collaboration amongst public media partners to develop new guidelines for tracking podcast audience metrics. Below is a bit of background information, details on how the new guidelines are being incorporated into the on-demand audio dashboards in the NPR DS Station Analytics System, and what the change may mean for your own podcasting stats.

New Public Radio Podcast Measurement Guidelines

In July, the Station Analytics team started an on-going investigation into the long-term site interaction trends that correlate with higher levels of site engagement and donation. This project uses Google’s BigQuery tool to load granular Google Analytics data starting from April of 2014 and building into the future. This tool allows us to analyze user data across longer periods of time than what is currently available in the Google Analytics interface and to perform more complicated custom calculations.

NPR Digital Services is pleased announced a partnership giving NPR Member Stations access to eMarketer Research - an industry leading research firm, providing data, insights and perspective for marketing in a digital world.

Any employee of an NPR Member Station with a station email address can get full access.

More information and the NPR Member sign-up link is available on nprstations.org.

What is eMarketer?

Update: Due to a late breaking bug in final QA, we are moving the transition to December 1 to keep data integrity a priority. 

We’re pleased to announce that the Devices Dashboard is now available in the Station Analytics System (SAS)! The dashboard will add to our new tab titled “Sources”, and provide stations the opportunity to compare website traffic trends across those visitors using Desktop, Smartphone and Tablet. You will also be able to view what those trends look like compared to the average station. This chart shows information about website traffic only (and does not include information about streaming or on-demand traffic). 

We’re pleased to announce that the Sources Dashboard is now available in the Station Analytics System (SAS)!

The dashboard will provide stations the opportunity to compare traffic trends in channels like direct, search, referrals, email and social, and view what those trends look like compared to the average station.

Update: Due to a late breaking bug in final QA, we are moving the transition to December 1 to keep data integrity a priority. 

On Demand audio measurement works very similarly to webcast measurement.

We need to access your logs to process them for On Demand metrics, via a FTP account where we can download the logs nightly. Please note these are not the same logs used for SoundExchange reporting nor live streaming measurement - these are on-demand specific files.

We all have access to useful metrics on our sites and our live streams. But on-demand audio created by stations - including audio segments, archived programs, and podcasts - has been a black hole. Not anymore.

From the start, the local/national partnership that is NPR One has been about experimentation and learning based on data. So we're delighted to announce the launch of a new dashboard that provides each station with data on how its audience is using this new platform, so we can all learn together.

The new dashboard, part of the Station Analytics System, is focused on answering three key questions:

On August Station Analytics insights webinar we talked about data that was collected using custom variables in Google Analytics.  If you missed that webinar you can view the video. For Core Publisher stations the digital services developers handled the set up, but if you are not using Core Publisher here is how you can start tracking additional data about your site.

Last month we launched our project to understand the public media audience lifecycle by using better segmentation. This month we are looking into one of those segments to gain insight into whether our new users are returning to become loyal users. The key to growing our digital audience is attracting new users to our sites.

NPR member stations are successfully using a web first approach to digital news that is rapidly capturing new online audience. We have watched our social media traffic grow and are consistently improving our reach through new tools, platforms and partnerships, but to fulfill our long-term goals we'll need to encourage deeper engagement and direct relationships between stations and their new audience.  

In late 2013 Google Analytics added demographic information to its capabilities, allowing reports to be viewed and segmented by user characteristics like age and gender.  This information comes through the use of Google's ad network tagging and it determined using a combination of estimates based online behavioral data or Google+ information when it is available.  The results can be informative but are also limited.  

The Station Analytics System adds a number of benefits over the standard Google Analytics tag. One of these is the creation of a number of custom variables design to track common elements of articles.  You can now summarize pageviews and visits by Author, Keywords, Source Organization or Program. In this video you can learn how to create custom reports that use these customized fields to track station specific data.  If you don't have time for the video you can download templates for some of the custom variables from the table below.

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