Day Soda #15: Year Three Coda

Plus: A song for the road

Day Soda #15: Year Three Coda
Photo: Mohamad Babayan

Good morning, and welcome to Day Soda, the only newsletter that provides commentary and additional insights on the Night Water newsletter. Oh wait—I think that intro is actually true.

This week, I published my big annual check-in post, chock-full of numbers and insights from Night Water’s third year. I have a few extra odds and ends specifically about Day Soda, my revenue and conversion goals, and plans for achieving said goals that I thought I’d share with you all here in the interest of transparency. “Business” insights—it’s part of the Day Soda package, folks!

But first, before I throw up the paywall, a small aside about…

Substack’s horrible podcast analytics

I couldn’t find a way to work this into the main Year Three post, but one thing that moving away from Substack’s built-in podcast hosting has underlined for me is just how horrible their podcast analytics are. If you have a podcast on Substack, you should be aware that your analytics are probably trash!

Substack is not IAB certified, which essentially means that its analytics do not filter out bots or automated traffic that might inflate your download count. This is particularly important for advertisers, who pay based on downloads and impressions and want those numbers to be accurate. It should also be important to podcasters—at least, those who want to understand how many real people are listening to their show.

To be fair to Substack, this is not a secret—they’ve published a help article confirming this and encouraging users who need IAB-certified metrics to integrate with Chartable. But new podcasters might not be aware of IAB certification or why it’s important, and Substack should aim to present the most helpful and accurate analytics possible, even if the publisher is not selling ads.

Apparently, Substack is experimenting with helping podcasters sell ads—specifically, noted transphobes Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog (natch)—but still hasn’t bothered with IAB certification. Curious, to say the least.