Chartable will help podcasters track how listeners find their show

A recently launched podcast analysis company introduces its new product today: traceable URLs that allow creators to know how listeners found a podcast and if the marketing message that brought them there was effective. The tool, called SmartLinks, comes from Chartable and emphasizes the amount of work that must be done so that podcasts are as traceable as the rest of the web.

At this time, podcast marketing often involves sharing links to a program, whether that means Instagram, Facebook, newsletters or other podcast program notes. It's easy to track if someone clicked on those links. What is more difficult is to know if someone really pressed to play an episode once they clicked. At this time, that information is not widely available, but the new Chartable product should open it to many more podcasters.

SmartLinks combine a custom URL with a cookie to track users on social networks when they click on a podcast link. Chartable collects the IP address of each person and then cross-references the IP addresses of the listeners of a program. That will allow marketers to know how effective their message was and where listeners are learning about the programs. These custom links can be established with specific rules, such as directing all listeners from the iPhone to Apple Podcasts or allowing listeners to choose the application they choose.

Chartable co-founder and CEO Dave Zohrob says that the listener's information should be reflected one hour after a user downloads the episode. Point out that the IP address checks are not perfect, imagine a space as an office where several people have the same address, but that is "better than what is available" at this time, which is not much. Other companies have tried to solve the problem of linking to a program that is developed on multiple platforms, but those solutions have not tried to track how many people became listeners.

The tool has been in beta with a few dozen partners, including Verge's parent company Vox Media, for the last month and a half, and Zohrob says the comments have been positive. "It does what we said it would do," he says, so the company is already focusing on the next iteration. "What we're working on now is if I buy ads with this [tool] how can I optimize the ads?" He asks. So, if a marketer has two versions of an ad for a podcast, Chartable would like to help him discover which ad brings more listeners.

For SmartLinks to work, podcasters have to integrate Chartable into their RSS feed, and Zohrob says that more than 1,000 creators have already done so. Chartable offers basic functions for free, including SmartLinks, but certain professional features, such as URLs that use custom domains, require a professional subscription that costs $ 100 per month.

Chartable also announced today that it has raised $ 1.5 million in seed funds, which it plans to use to continue expanding. Zohrob says the team is looking to "build our promotional audio market" or help podcasters reach potential listeners in other podcasts while providing analysis and attribution of how those ads perform.

The podcast industry in general has experienced a wave of investment recently, led mainly by Spotify, which has said it plans to invest $ 500 million in space this year. Other podcast startups, such as Luminary and Himalaya, have received $ 100 million each. The industry generated $ 314 million in revenue in 2017 and is expected to grow to $ 1.6 billion by 2022, according to an Interactive Advertising Bureau / PwC report. Part of that maturation involves improving and formalizing advertising products that allow better and more reliable advertising tracking, and Chartable's effort clearly speaks of that movement.

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