News24

Online radio stats proven fake

2012-07-02 16:00

Cape Town - After a week of claims, threats and confusion, independent auditors proved on Monday that online listenership figures of certain radio stations have been inflated.

In a report released by technology website MyBroadband, the listenership figures provided by audio streaming company NetDynamix to online radio stations such as 2oceansvibe and Darren Scott's Ballz Visual Radio were shown to be incorrect.

Instead of having hundreds of thousands of listeners, listeners of both stations peaked at less than a thousand.

Last week Shaun Dewberry, an IT specialist, made technological waves when he claimed on his blog that the figures of certain online radio stations were wildly inflated.

Darren Scott's station Ballz Visual Radio was attracting an alleged 51 000 listeners in its peak period, while 2Oceansvibe Radio was claiming as many as 60 000 listeners an hour.

Both of these radio stations used audio streaming company, NetDynamix.

Audit

Technology website MyBroadband used independent companies to audit listener figures for Ballz Visual radio and 2Oceansvibe radio based on raw Shoutcast log files provided by NetDynamix.

These are the same log files used to provide the two online radio stations with statistics.

The graphs showed that Ballz Visual Radio typically had between 200 and 300 listeners.

"It's great they did an independent investigation which matches closely with what I've done," Dewberry told News24.

"I wouldn't have published my results if I didn't feel certain about what I was saying."

NetDynamix revealed last week that it provides figures to radio stations based on "sessions".

A session is defined as a connection to the server(s) in order to receive the audio/video stream.

"This does not take into account that a listener could change devices or lose their connection to the server, at which point it needs to be re-established, or the change in IP address of that connection or change in route from point of connection to break-out onto the internet; to name just a few examples of multiple sessions being initiated to the service," NetDynamix explained.

Response

2Oceansvibe and Ballz Visual radio have severed ties with NetDynamix.

In an online interview Darren Scott said he hasn't received an explanation as to where NetDynamix got their numbers from.

Scott said the issue was "tantamount to fraud". He also apologised to Dewberry for his "knee-jerk reaction" after lambasting him on air.

"We're still waiting for feedback from advertisers and adjustments will be made accordingly," Scott said.

In a statement released online, 2Oceansvibe described the newly released audited figures as a "massive shock".

Dewberry said he was looking to the development of a "proper measurement technique".


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Comments
  • Lyndatjie - 2012-07-02 16:27

    If adds were sold based on fraudulant figures, then we are looking at a LOT of angry companies wanting their money back... What a BLOW for eradio.

      clinton.badenhorst - 2012-07-02 16:34

      With all the publicity these 2 radio stations are getting with this I am sure their stats will increase to what was initially reported.

      stefanus.nel.50 - 2012-07-02 18:14

      @Bardy that doesn't make any sense. They lied about their listener figures so I'm now going to listen to them / advertise on them. I don't think so.

      cherri.pye.5 - 2012-07-02 19:08

      @stefanus The radio stations didn't lie, NetDynamix inflated the figures. You can hardly blame them for that can you?

      CraigColinRoyMcLeod - 2012-07-03 09:45

      I know people who work at one of the 2 and it was widely known the stats were being fluffed, but since it meant making no money everyone just kept quiet.

      norman.depluhm - 2012-07-03 17:30

      Stephanus, it makes perfect sense, there will be a spike in listeners just keen to check it out. This may not translate into stats that the ad people will continue to pay Ballz well for, but publicity it certainly is. Darren Scott needs to post an apology to YouTube in the same way the video lambasting Shaun went up, and if anything, a HUGE thank you for all the new exposure this has handed them. I had no idea Ballz existed. NetDynamix are in a lot of poo, rightly so, this is the sort of ethical starvation our society is faced with in all spheres.

  • steven.haywood.52 - 2012-07-02 16:41

    Their stats may increase, but fortunately for them they're not with NetDynamix any more, as BOTH stations had outages caused by capacity issues when interviews about this subject were aired...

  • pwcrook - 2012-07-02 21:14

    Problem is eradio is still expensive if listened to on a mobile device, and has no dedicated device that uses wifi... Methinks someone could make a fortune if done properly - from the web, you have many 1000s of stations to choose from...

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-07-02 23:44

    All publicity is good even when bad.

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