Podcasting Glossary


Measuring Your Podcast

Demographic There is limited information that podcast metrics services can gather about your audience. For PRX Metrics, demographics refers exclusively to location. We can break down the location of your listeners by country and metro region.
Devices Metrics will give you a breakdown of the devices people are listening on, including a breakdown of operating system, device type (computer, mobile, smartspeaker, etc.,) and podcast app. 
Download When a listener downloads an episode podcast metric applications will count that download according to a set of standards set by the International Advertising Bureau (IAB). Multiple downloads of an episode on the same device within 24 hours will count as one download. If you want the long PDF version from the IAB, you can have at it here. 
Enclosure prefix URL This short URL code is provided by metrics tracking applications for custom tracking. Services such as Podtrac, Blubrry, and most importantly PRX Metrics, can be incorporated in the enclosure prefix URL. The enclosure prefix URL is embedded in your feed and makes sure that all download requests for an episode are re-routed through our servers as well as Podtrac/Blubrry.
Podtrac/Blubrry Two of the most common podcast metrics applications for tracking download numbers. 

In PRX Metrics reach refers to the size of your audience for your podcast, measured exclusively by downloads. You can use the Metrics application to view your reach over a certain time period, for a specific episode or set of episodes, daily, monthly, etc.  


Podcast Advertising Sales Terms


Refers to an episode that intentionally does not have ads running on it, typically per producer request. These episodes should be tagged with the "ad-free" label and communicated to the ad-ops team.

Clean audio

Audio segments that contain only episode content (no ads or promotional announcements.)

Advertising operations (aka ad ops)

The team, processes, and systems that support the sale and delivery of advertising campaigns.

Insertion order (aka IO)

A contract/agreement between two companies, for one to deliver services for the other, promoting an advertising campaign or campaigns.


An organized directive by a company/sponsor/brand or a representative of a company/sponsor/brand (like an advertising agency) to promote a product or service of said company/sponsor/brand. An insertion order is signed by both parties to agree upon the terms of the campaign.


The amount of saleable ad zones, based on the number of downloads a show has. If a show has two pre-roll zones, pre-roll impressions would equal approximately 2x expected show downloads.

According to the IAB standard, DAI systems count an impression when all the bytes for an injected ad have been served:


 "Ad Delivered: an ad that was delivered as determined by server logs that show either all bytes of the ad file were sent or the bytes representing the portion of the podcast file containing the ad file was downloaded."


This is how our server-side podcast DAI system works, and it will both count impressions based on byte counts, and send tracking events to pixel urls when an ad is fully served.

Show structure

The combination of episode segments, house ad zones, and paid ad zones that makes up the final version of audio that is delivered through Dovetail to the consumer.

Ad sections (Pre-roll/mid-roll/post-roll)

The places that exist within a podcast episode where ads will be played, depending on its show structure. Pre-rolls take place before the episode starts, but sometimes after an intro. Post-rolls occur after the episode audio. If the show structure involves more than one segment, mid-rolls can occur between the segments near the middle of the podcast. Shows can also have multiple mid-roll sections if they have more than 2 episode segments.

Ad zones

Ad zones make up the ad sections. There are typically 1-3 ad zones per ad section. One ad audio file is assigned to each ad zone by Dovetail, based on criteria set in the ad server.

House ad

An ad produced at the behest of the podcast producer or podcast producer’s marketing team, promoting a live event, merchandise, survey, fundraiser, cross-promote another show (producers may agree to promote another show, that does the same for them), or other announcement. This type of ad is identical to a paid ad on the technical end, but does not generate revenue and is typically run in a house ad zone.

Paid ad

An ad paid for by an outside company (i.e., Casper, Quip, Progressive). Copy is provided by the advertiser and the ads are produced by either the podcast producer(s) or the PRX production team.


The amount of impressions available to be sold.

Dynamic ad insertion

A technical process that allows the entire catalog of a podcast feed to be monetized through ad sales. A listener request for episode playback will be sent to a server that will identify the location of the listener and the requested episode. The appropriate podcast episode files will be pulled from a content management system and the appropriate ads will be pulled from an ad-server. The files will be stitched together and returned to the listener as seamless audio.

Ad server

A system used by the ad ops team to set up, deliver, and report on ad campaigns.


Using a listener's location (based on IP address) to determine which ads should be delivered to them. Geo-targeting is based on DMA (Designated Marketing Area in the U.S.), State/Province, or Country.


The International Advertising Bureau. Sets industry standards for ad sales and metrics, like determining what can be counted towards download numbers.

Baked-in ads

Advertisements that are embedded within the episode audio files generated by producers. Baked-in ads remain embedded for the lifetime of the episode unless they are manually edited out. This is the alternative to dynamically-inserted ads.

PRX Publish Terms

Drop date/release date

The day your episode drops into your RSS Feed and becomes available to listeners. Publish allows you to designate a drop date and time, down to the second.
Scheduling You schedule an episode when you assign a future release date to an episode in Publish. The episode will drop automatically when the date arrives.
Published/scheduled/ draft The three status your episode can be in. Published means the episode is in your feed and available to listeners. Scheduled means your episode is designated to drop on the date and time specified by the producer. Draft means you are still working on it, and no one will see it until the status changes. 
Production calendar A feature in PRX Publish that allows you to view/plan/manage your release schedule and automatically generate a draft for all future episodes.
Series "Series" is synonymous with "podcast" on PRX Publish. Each series has its own set of subscribers and episodes. 
RSS Import A feature in PRX Publish that pulls in episodes and all associated metadata from an existing podcast hosted by a different platform (Libsyn, Art19, etc.) This ensures seamless transition from a previous hosting site to PRX Publish. 
PRX Publishing Platform  The umbrella term for the set of three applications designed by PRX to manage, monetize, and measure podcast feeds hosted by PRX. These are comprised of PRX Publish, PRX Metrics and PRX Dovetail. 
Metrics/Dovetail/Publish  The three applications that make up the PRX Publishing Platform. Publish is the content management system where producers update their feed with new episodes. Dovetail is the behind-the-scenes code that stitches ad files into episode segments for dynamic ad insertion. And Metrics keeps track of your audience with interactive and customizable displays. 


General Podcasting Terms

RSS Real Simple Syndication. Yupp, that's what it stands for— and it truly is simple. An RSS feed is essentially just a long file of HTML/XML code that can be submitted to "feed-readers"(like podcast apps). Feed readers can scan the RSS file for updates and turn the information in the file into displays for listeners and readers. 
Public feed/ Feed proxy The public feed is the RSS feed you submit to podcasting apps and the feed that listeners subscribe to. Ideally, it is a proxy for a private feed. The private/public feeds are identical, but allows a podcast to move hosts in the future without losing subscribers.
Podcatcher  A podcasting app like Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, etc. 
GUID Stands for Global Unique Identifier, pronounced goo-id or gwid (pick your team). The GUID is a unique number assigned to each podcast episode, crucial for feed management and dynamic ad insertion. 

Protip: If that GUID changes, RSS clients and podcast apps will think that is a new post. It's important to preserve your GUID's when changing podcast distributors. 

iTunes Categories  A label chosen by producers and applied on the series level that allows iTunes to categorize your podcast. Categories include Arts, Technology, Health, etc. Producers may choose an optional sub-category. 
iTunes Tags Labels chosen on the episode level to improve discoverability of your episode. Producers can enter up to 20 tags per episode. 
Redirect If a podcast moves from one hosting site to another, the producer can request that the old hosting site sets up a redirect so listeners will be directed to the feed at its new location. Using a feed proxy avoids the need for redirects.
Segment An audio file that contains podcast episode content. An episode can have one or more segments. Ad files are not considered segments. 
Capped Feed Producers can choose to set a maximum number of episodes that will appear in their feed. Some may choose to do this if their feed is getting too large, or if they want to put their back catalog behind a paywall. 
Feed validation Before a feed is submitted to podcasting apps, or after it has moved to a new hosting site, the feed should be checked for accuracy. There are a few feed validators online that will check for any errors in the feed. 


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