NetDynamix has broken their silence about the online radio listenership statistics in a press statement, saying that they have no reason to inflate the listener numbers as they do not charge on a per-listener basis.
According to Dewberry’s report, which used live statistics from NetDynamix’s Shoutcast servers for Ballz Visual Radio and 2Oceansvibe Radio, these online radio stations have a few hundred simultaneous users instead of the claimed 60,000.
“We do not agree with the basis and method that Mr Shaun Dewberry has used to arrive at his findings simply because he does not have full and unhindered access to our entire network,” said NetDynamix in its press statement. “He does not have an understanding of the methods that we employ to manage our network and its resources.”
NetDynamix highlighted that they are aggrieved that they were not invited to engage with Dewberry during his process of researching his article, and that they would have been able to illustrate that his view was not holistic.
Yesterday (26 June 2012) NetDynamix issued a legal letter to Dewberry asking him to remove his report from his personal blog, and remove his statements from Twitter and Facebook, or face the risk of an urgent High Court interdict application against him and a claim for damages for any financial loss by Net Dynamics.
Dewberry did not remove his blog post or social media statements, saying that “I do not feel that my allegations have been suitably proved wrong to compel me to apologise and revoke them”.
NetDynamix explained that they provide their clients with listener numbers based on server “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,” explained NetDynamix.
NetDynamix did not say which or how many servers they use to gather these statistics, instead explaining that “the technology and means used to distribute our clients radio stations is not something that we are willing to make public as this enables us to deliver a cost-effective solution to our clients where others find it difficult.”
“We stand by what we have presented and reiterate that we are investigating a way to independently verify these figures and methodology via an impartial technical specialist, auditor or journalist,” NetDynamix said in its press statement.
NetDynamix spokesperson Hanz Stricker told MyBroadband that their system uses multiple platforms to distribute the audio streams of their clients.
“We utilise the actual log files and specific reports from all the platforms and simply add them together to give us the total figure. The number is based on the active sessions during that particular time period,” said Stricker.
Stricker said that they are currently using the following server technologies (platforms):
- Shoutcast: Our network comprises of a number of physical servers in a private network accessible via a bank of external IP addresses. We currently make use of two methods of load balancing on this network which make up part of our Intellectual Property. This is probably the smallest connection point for the bigger clients such as Ballz and 2OV.
- Flash Media Server: This Content Distribution Network is hosted by one of our suppliers and these nodes are managed and provisioned as dictated by the traffic. This is our biggest connection point for listeners on the internet and we utilise it for the bigger clients in our portfolio.
One of the prominent points raised in Dewberry’s report is the publicly available Shoutcast statistics which are far lower than the quoted listener statistics from Ballz Visual Radio (Ballz) and 2Oceansvibe Radio (2OV).
Stricker said that for 2OV and Ballz, the publicly available Shoutcast numbers represent a small portion of the total log activity and stream primarily to what they refer to as “legacy devices” (non Flash enabled devices).
“We mainly use Shoutcast to deliver the stations to mobile devices (phones) that are not Flash enabled,” said Stricker. Some of the devices, Stricker explained, are Blackberry and Android devices with certain OS build numbers.
“In the case of 2OV – their own developed applications that point specifically to the external IP address of their specific Shoutcast load balancer,” said Stricker.