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The great SA internet radio stats debacle explained

In the world of South African internet radio, all eyes were recently on NetDynamix, the audio streaming provider that services online radio stations such as 2OceansVibe Radio and Ballz Radio.

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Richard Hardiman from 2OceansVibe radio claims that the internet radio station attracts an average listenership of 35 000 [an hour], while Ballz co-founder Darren Scott, a former national DJ, recently told media news site Media Update that “weekly statistics for May show an average hourly listenership of just over 51 000 between 12:00 and 18:00″. Shaun Dewberry an IT specialist from Pretoria, called the numbers reported by the radio stations into question.

The radio stations pointed to NetDynamix, saying that they are only reporting the numbers as provided by the audio streaming provider. If they are doing just that, they might have misinterpreted NetDynamix’s figures.

In a press release, NetDynamix gives the following explanation of the numbers given through to the radio stations.

“NetDynamix, on request, provide their clients with numbers 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 reestablished, or the change in IP address of that connection or change in route from point of connection to breakout onto the internet; to name just a few examples of multiple sessions being initiated to the service. It would not be in the interest of NetDynamix to give their clients any information other than the raw numbers generated by these “sessions”.

The figures reported to the radio stations are sessions and not unique listeners and it is the responsibility of the radio stations to report the numbers as such.

For example, NetDynamix states that on a random day in May of this year, Ballz Radio initiated a total number of 59 764 sessions during the hour of 2PM to NetDynamix’s servers.

It’s quite clear then. Since we are counting sessions, it would be remiss to say that Ballz Radio had 59 764 total listeners during the hour. If I connected to the radio station, lost my internet connection and reconnected, I would create two sessions. Yet, I am only one listener.

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