Podcasting Glossary

Content & Feed Management Terms

Drop date/Release Date The day your episode drops into your RSS Feed and becomes available to listeners. Dovetail Podcasts allows you to designate a drop date and time, down to the second.
Production Calendar

A feature that allows you to view/plan/manage your release schedule and automatically generate a draft for all future episodes.

This is important, so we can generate an accurate forecast to maximize your ad revenues for future episodes. See Forecasting.
PRX Dovetail The umbrella term for the applications designed by PRX to manage, measure, and monetize podcast feeds hosted by PRX. These are comprised of Dovetail Podcasts, Dovetail Inventory and Dovetail Metrics.


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.
RSS Import A feature 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 Dovetail.
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.

"Series" is synonymous with "podcast". Each series has its own set of subscribers and episodes.


Podcast Measurement Terms

Demographic There is limited information that podcast metrics services can gather about your audience. When we refer to demographics we exclusively mean location. We can break down the location of your listeners by country and metro region.
Devices We provide 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 A podcast episode download. As defined by the IAB 2.1 Podcast Measurement guidelines, a listener must download enough of the episode MP3 file for 1-minute of audio to be counted. Multiple downloads of an episode on the same device within 24 hours will count as one download.
Drop Day A feature that allows you to view the number of episode downloads on the days after an episode is released.
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, 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.
Reach Reach refers to the size of your audience for your podcast, measured exclusively by downloads. You can use the analytics dashboard to view your reach over a certain time period, for a specific episode or set of episodes, daily, monthly, etc. 
Unique Listener Metric (ULM) In its simplest terms, Unique Listener Metrics (ULM) estimate the number of unique devices that download/stream a podcast.  Please keep in mind that while we can count every download, ULM’s are trickier to count than downloads, as it requires parsing out multiple data points. However, ULM remains a useful tool to understand if your listener base is growing or shrinking over time.


Podcast Advertising Sales Terms

Actuals The number of real Impressions a flight has already received.
Ad Ops (aka Advertising Operations) The team, processes, and systems that support the sale and delivery of advertising campaigns.
Ad Server A system used by the ad ops team to set up, deliver, and report on ad campaigns.
Ad-free Refers to an episode that intentionally does not have ads running on it, typically per producer request. These episodes should be tagged with the Screen_Shot_2021-10-04_at_3.21.52_PM.png label. 
Allocations The daily inventory counts reserved by a flight. May include additional targeting info such as Episode, Country, State, Keywords, etc.
Availability The amount of unreserved inventory left in the system (subtract the Allocations for whatever days/targeting you’re looking at).
Baked-in Flight

In the early days of podcasting, before dynamic ad insertion, producers would edit in the ads to the MP3 itself. Every listener would hear the ad. We feel there is still utility to simulate this experience using dynamic ad insertion.

Baked-In Flights will serve exclusively and in unlimited amounts on their days, taking all allocations away from all other flights. They have the highest priority in Dovetail's system.

Examples of when to use a baked-in flight: Sonic IDs, Billboards, High priority show announcements that need to be on every download, New Podcasts (when an accurate forecast may not be known), or instances when an advertiser buys every impression within a target.
Campaign 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.

In our terms, this represents an Inventory Order (IO) for a single advertiser. It can contain many Flights.
Capped Flight

With dynamic ad insertion, we can balance the priority at which most I/Os are delivered against one another. This is where Capped Flights come in.

Capped Flights will serve with other competing Capped Flights during their date range, according to their provided priority, until the total goal is reached. Any competing Baked-in flights will be served first before capped flights are considered. Any competing Remnant flights will be served after all capped flights have been served. 

We consider Capped Flights to be the default type for typical I/O set up. 

The Priority field is unique to Capped Flights. It allows Ad-Ops teams to balance priorities against each other. Dovetail will serve the lower-numbered priorities first. That is: 1 is the top priority.

Use the Daily Minimum and Velocity fields to signal to Dovetail the rate at which impressions should be delivered. By default Dovetail attempts to deliver impressions evenly (proportionally per day) across the given time range. If delivering fast, this flight will attempt to deliver as many impressions as available early in the date range.
Clean Audio Audio segments that contain only episode content (no ads or promotional announcements.)
Download Floor
The minimum number of downloads allocated for ad placement applied per day, per ad zone.
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.
Flight One or more MP3 ads plus a set of targeting information to serve with a podcast. Configured with Zones, a date-range, and an Impression goal. Ads are fulfilled by reserving Allocations against future Inventory. The ad MP3 files are sometimes referred to as “Creatives”.
Flight Statuses

Track progress of each flight in the system:

Draft:  Previews the flight targets and available inventory.

Hold: Inventory is allocated and reserved [for 5 days]

Sold: Inventory is held, the campaign can be approved once the creative is finalized.

Approved: The flight is published and is running or will run when scheduled.

Paused: The flight is approved but has been manually stopped.

Cancelled: The flight has been cancelled. Already consumed impressions have been counted for reporting purposes.
Flight Targets

By default, flights will be available to be heard on every download (based on availability) unless specified. Here are the targets that Dovetail supports.

Country: Only downloads with IP addresses in the selected country will receive the flight.

Episode: The creative will only appear on the selected episode.

DMA Code: Only downloads with IP addresses in the selected metro area will receive the flight.

Subdivision: Only downloads with IP addresses in the selected state, province, region, or territory will receive the flight.

Keyword: The flight will only appear on episode downloads containing the provided keyword.

Dropdate After: The flight will only appear on new episode downloads after the specified date.

Agent: The flight will only appear on downloads on the selected podcast player or device.

Referrer: The flight will only appear on downloads or streams when the player is embedded on a specific domain. 
Flight Types The Flight Type field in the Impressions section, helps determine how impressions will be delivered and how the flight's impressions will delivered against all other competing flights. There is a built in priority to each type, so the distinctions are important. See Baked-in Flight, Capped Flight, or Remnant Flight.
Forecast The daily forecasted downloads we expect a podcast to receive in the future. May also be broken out by Episode, Country, State, Keywords, etc.
Geo-targeting 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.
Historical Data
Download data available from the earlier life of the podcast.
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.
IAB The International Advertising Bureau. Sets industry standards for ad sales and metrics, like determining what can be counted towards download numbers.
Impression An impression is a full ad that has been downloaded within a podcast download. Also defined in the IAB 2.1 Podcast Measurement guidelines, the listener must have downloaded all of the bytes in the episode MP3 file where the ad can be heard to be counted. Also see: “Actual
Insertion Order (aka IO) A contract/agreement between two companies, for one to deliver services for the other, promoting an advertising campaign or campaigns.
Inventory The daily number of Impressions available for ad Zones to be sold into in the future. (Equal to the Forecast multiplied by the ad Placements - original segment Zones do not get Inventory).

Inventory Regeneration

Reassessment and report of the ad delivery. The selected Regeneration Period Days can range from every day up to every ten days.
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.
Placements/Show Structures The configured layouts of a podcast’s audio segments. Each is made up of a list of Zones. If there are no placements configured for an audio template, vanilla/ad-free audio will be served. Example: [Preroll1 Preroll2 Original1 Midroll Original2 Postroll]
Podcast ID

The feeder number of the ID as shown in the PRX Feed in the “Podcast Info” tab of a series in Dovetail Podcasts.

Remnant Flight

Remnant Flights are the lowest priority and will serve in equal proportions with other competing Remnant Flights during their date range. You can either set a total goal after which the flight will stop, or leave the field blank to serve an unlimited amount.

Any competing capped or baked-in flights will be served first before remnant flights are even considered. The allocations that will be served before this flight can be seen below in red.

We recommend using Remnant Flights along with VAST tags or in situations where you want something to fill an ad slot if no other ads are available
Scale Factor
The scale of inventory for the series, in terms of a multiplier. (eg: 1 is normal, while .75 is 75% or ¾ of normal, and 1.25 is 1¼ or 25% more than normal)
Sections A grouping of consecutive ad Zones into a single block. May also distinguish between “paid” and “house” ads. Example: Preroll (containing both Preroll1 and Preroll2)
An acronym that stands for Video Ad Serving Template. VAST is a way for multiple ad servers to communicate and serve ads, replacing individual ad audio files for a campaign with a VAST URL.
Zone A single audio segment within an episode, including both original and ad segments. Example: House Preroll 2


General Podcasting Terms

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.

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 the discoverability of your episode. Producers can enter up to 20 tags per episode.
Podcatcher A podcasting app like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, etc...
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.
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.
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.
Segment An audio file that contains podcast episode content. An episode can have one or more segments. Ad files are not considered segments.


Web Monetization Terms

Digital Wallet

Where you receive micropayments

Micropayment Very small (think less than a penny) monetary transactions that occur when someone who is opted into a micropayment service engages with your content over a period of time.
Payment Pointer

URL-esque ID for your payment account

Example: $wallet.example.com/prxrulez

Web Monetization

A proposed API standard that allows websites to request a stream of very small payments (e.g. fractions of a cent) from a user.

Learn More


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