Question

Why are RSS Stats Not Reflected in Total Plays? Needs to be addressed

  • 24 May 2015
  • 6 replies
  • 197 views

I'm reposting this because it's gotten such a lackluster response from anyone at Soundcloud...I am a podcaster and I like the new RSS stats broken out, it gives great visibility. HOWEVER, the "plays" under tracks and under "plays in last 24 hours" should reflect "Total Plays". Then when you drill down you should have it broken down by "on Soundcloud" and "RSS". I get about 8,000 downloads a week from RSS, but only about 300 from Soundcloud. So my "plays" went from 8,300 to 300. And the track's popularity is not reflected to the Soundcloud community.

It's annoying when companies don't understand their customer base. I've been so happy with Soundcloud and it's kind of a slap in the face. What is the purpose of hiding the RSS plays? It makes no sense other than to show the podcasting community you don't really care about them. I know music is a big deal on Soundcloud and most musicians get their plays directly on site instead of through RSS. But for podcasters its totally different. So far you're lucky Soundcloud is the best thing around, but apps like you get replaced overnight with small improved features by other products waiting to gain market share. If someone else comes around with an app that responds better to its consumers, believe me, your podcasters will jump ship in a heartbeat.

6 replies

Userlevel 5
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yea you already posted about this here: https://www.soundcloudcommunity.com/soundcloud/topics/new-rss-stats-need-to-be-reflect-in-total-play...

feel free to see my reply there.

also double posting is the fastest way to be annoying and is poor forum etiquette. just hope that soundcloud wont be less likely to consider your request because you double posted about it... just sayin 🙂
Haha, yes I did! after they changed my last post status to " Not a Problem" - they should have changed status to "acknowledged". I figured it needed to be raised again as a "Question" instead of a "Problem" because I'm asking them here WHY they did it in the first place and to make sure it's not simply cast aside as not an issue. Maybe they'll give us an explanation. And my god if they are actually less likely to consider my request simply because I double posted, that really would be terrible customer service. I'm assuming they don't have skin that thin 🙂 Don't worry, I'm on your team here!
Userlevel 5
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Haha, yes I did! after they changed my last post status to " Not a Problem" - they should have changed status to "acknowledged". I figured it needed to be raised again as a "Question" instead of a "Problem" because I'm asking them here WHY they did it in the first place and to make sure it's not simply cast aside as not an issue. Maybe they'll give us an explanation. And my god if they are actually less likely to consider my request simply because I double posted, that really would be terrible customer service. I'm assuming they don't have skin that thin 🙂 Don't worry, I'm on your team here!
also keep in mind that this is just a community based forum... kind of a way to crowdsource support questions and the like. while there are official SC reps that are active on here, unless officially stated, these threads are just threads, and not necessarily 'real' support tickets/cases.
Userlevel 7
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Hi there,

Thanks for explaining Dubstep.

@Thisisactuallyhappening, you are right, we did expect feedback about how podcast stats are displayed now and created this help article to explain. As it says in the article, previously we lumped together rss downloads and plays because we had not yet built out the ability to count them separately. Now that we have dedicated engineering resources to podcasting and brought the podcast feature out of beta we wanted to give podcast stats more clarity. Your play count is the play count on SoundCloud and the RSS downloads is just that, the number of downloads. We get that this means that the number can be smaller because of the split but do you really prefer the combined number so that a bigger number shows? Please don't take offence to the question but help me understand your reasoning. Also, we leave posts as 'problems' if it is a bug or downtime. Since your question was not a problem but instead a question then this is why it was switched to 'not a problem' but you are again right that we should have changed it to "acknowledged." I'm sorry that I made you feel we were just trying to do away with the post.

Thanks for returning to the forum to get answers, look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Gina
Thanks for your detailed reply Gina. I love that you have broken out the RSS stats. It's wonderful. But what all of us are asking for is the "plays" to be reflected as "Total Plays". Think about it from the podcasters perspective. You're a podcaster and someone goes to your track and under the track they see let's say 100 plays. Meanwhile that track also has about let's say 1000 RSS plays as well. You would like the Soundcloud community (and potential sponsors, etc.) to know that that track actually has 1100 total plays, right? Not just 100? Then if you or the user wants to dig deeper into where all those plays come from, that's where they should be able to access the RSS versus Soundcloud plays. Similarly, let's say you're a podcaster, you go to your stats and see "Plays in the last 24 hours" - many of us track those numbers to see whether certain social media posts have had an impact, whether being featured on a show has an impact, and what episodes do well and which do not. You'd want primary stat to show you ALL of the plays, RSS and Soundcloud combined, right? THEN, you might go into the "stats" button and there you could dig deeper into the broken down stats to find out where all those came from. It's not an "either the plays are broken out or they are combined". We all love you guys for providing us more visibility. But it can be combined in the main stats and under the tracks AND broken out when one digs deeper...Thanks again for your response, I'm so happy you are providing podcasters more clarity, but it actually hurts our public numbers, and potentially sponsorship, when the total plays are not reflected for each track. Hope this helps provide clarity for some of the users' frustration. See the link provided by Dubstep (now DopeLabs) to the other discussion which has more community members' responses.
Hi there,

Thanks for explaining Dubstep.

@Thisisactuallyhappening, you are right, we did expect feedback about how podcast stats are displayed now and created this help article to explain. As it says in the article, previously we lumped together rss downloads and plays because we had not yet built out the ability to count them separately. Now that we have dedicated engineering resources to podcasting and brought the podcast feature out of beta we wanted to give podcast stats more clarity. Your play count is the play count on SoundCloud and the RSS downloads is just that, the number of downloads. We get that this means that the number can be smaller because of the split but do you really prefer the combined number so that a bigger number shows? Please don't take offence to the question but help me understand your reasoning. Also, we leave posts as 'problems' if it is a bug or downtime. Since your question was not a problem but instead a question then this is why it was switched to 'not a problem' but you are again right that we should have changed it to "acknowledged." I'm sorry that I made you feel we were just trying to do away with the post.

Thanks for returning to the forum to get answers, look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Gina

I've already taken issue with support about this but I'd like to chime in anyway.

The 'bigger number' is crucial for podcasters. Why?

1. It reflects the popularity and influence of the content. It has been shown that high play counts attract more viewers/listeners. For example, if you see a YouTube video with 3M views, you may stick around to find out why so many others watched. Not so true if that same video has 500 views.

2. We use these numbers to sell advertising! This can have a huge impact on our bottom line. Not to mention that potential advertisers may be confused by why we report one set of numbers in a sales proposal, while they may see a very different number on SoundCloud.

I think separating SC from RSS plays in the Stats page was a great idea (although I think there should still be a "Total Plays" metric so we don't have to do the calculations ourselves). However, removing RSS plays from the play count was a foolish mistake. Who else does this? Does YouTube differentiate between desktop, mobile and embedded plays? Not to mentions that, to the user/listener, why should they know/care wether the plays come from SC, RSS or download. This informations is only valuable to the podcasters themselves.

I feel that if your engineering team would have take the time to ask even the top 10 podcasters on your platform what they thought of this change, the unanimous response would have been "NO!".

I would also like to add that communication around this change was just horrible. We signed in on day and all our stats were different, and I had to contact support and wait for days before someone got back to me with a response explaining what had happened. The least that could have been done would have been a popup message pointing to a detailed blog post on why the service we pay for had all of a sudden chosen to change something which is so core to our business.

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