RSS feed intermediaries are all the hype sometimes.... but as we discussed in this article here, they can be more detrimental to your feed delivery than you are led to believe.
Of course, it behooves us to discuss them more in depth, to help understand the bits and bobs of intermediaries and how they interact with feeds and podcatchers in general.
Podcorn promises easy sponsorship and monetization opportunities transparently, independently, and without [upfront] cost to you. In order to do this, you simply need to add a Podcorn prefix (https://pdcn.co/e/) to your RSS feed to pass your feed through Podcorn to track and report on your show downloads.
As Podcorn notes, however, at Acast we don't support prefixes. You can learn more about why we don't support prefixes here, but to summarize, we don't support prefixes because it puts something between us and the podcatchers, mean we can't stand behind our word and support any problems with feed delivery to the podcatchers. At a less technical level, though, our team is constantly working around the world to develop the largest pool of of potential advertisers and sponsors, so you've already got us working on your side to help you monetize.
Trackable is one of Chartable's features, offering a prefix to put into your RSS feed for download and demographic information. The feed would first go from Acast to Chartable, then to the podcatchers. Again, for technical purposes we do not support this, as it puts something between us and the podcatcher. If there's an issue with the delivery of your files, we're not able to troubleshoot it for you.
If you're looking instead to track the delivery of a particular ad that's run on your show (at the request of the advertiser), then let us know! This is done via tracking pixels, which is different from the prefix requirement, and we're happy to see if this is something we can implement for you.
FeedBurner is an old go-to that doesn't actually use a prefix. FeedBurner launched in 2004 as a web management tool for things such as RSS feeds. Rather than implementing a prefix to your feed, FeedBurner obfuscates your current feed and becomes the new feed. You then provide your FeedBurner feed to all of the podcatchers during submission.Though it's not a prefix, this can often lead to feed delivery issues.
FeedBurner does have feed size limitations, and after your feed reaches a certain size, it stops updating entirely. We're unable to troubleshoot anything on our end, and it is up to you and your team to sort what is happening and to resolve the issue directly on your end. This can be quite frustrating for podcasters and listeners alike, as they wait for the latest and greatest episodes to become available.
FeedBurner itself is a bit archaic in design, and Google deprecated the FeedBurner API back in 2012.
(If your'e currently using FeedBurner, don't worry. We've got you...just follow the steps in the article here to remove FeedBurner from the equation moving forward)
Similar to Podcorn and Chartable's Trackable above, PodTrac requires the use of prefixes that are included in your RSS feed via media enclosures. These prefixes (http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/) serve to redirect to PodTrac before delivering to the podcatcher, and yet again leaves potential for feed delivery issues.
Switchboard serves a bit like a hybrid of the prefix stats services and FeedBurner. On the back end, they take your existing RSS feed, add a prefix to the enclosures, and deliver you an entirely new RSS feed URL. You then take the Backtracks RSS feed and submit that feed to the podcatchers... requests for your feed go through Backtrack, but your enclosures are still served by your podcast host. While it seems like a much less troublesome set up, it still serves as that go-between that makes our promise on feed delivery hard to support.