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Analytics Troubleshooting
Analytics Troubleshooting

Having some sort of issue with the Analytics in your Wistia account? Here are some tips and tricks you can try to get back on track.

Caroline F avatar
Written by Caroline F
Updated over a week ago

Is something strange going on with your Analytics? Maybe your heatmaps aren’t showing up? We’ve got you covered.

Can't see Heatmaps

So you’ve uploaded your media to Wistia, and you’re ready to play it and start pulling in analytics. But they don’t appear in your engagement graph, or the Viewer Stream!

This is because Wistia separates any logged in plays (Account Owner, Manager, User) from audience plays. If you’re logged into your Wistia account (and playing your media within your Wistia account) your plays will be logged as Private User Sessions.

Access Private User Sessions

Heads up - this is different from IP Filtering. IP Filtering will ignore any plays from designated IP addresses, and these will not be logged as Private User Sessions.

Another reason you might not see heatmaps is that podcast episodes played in a podcasting app (like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.) don’t generate heatmaps. We can only generate heatmaps for media plays that take place within the Wistia player.

Still can’t see your heatmaps? They should show up pretty immediately. First check out our status page (we’ll tell you if heatmaps are at all behind real time). If everything is good, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll get to the bottom of it!

Why are total plays and play rate plays different numbers?

Sometimes on your media analytics page you’ll see a variation between Total Plays and the amount of people who played the media as calculated in Play Rate. Kind of like this:

Video Stats Page Example

This is because the first number is actually the total plays. The second number is individual or unique plays. So you might have a few people who played your media more than once without clearing their cookies or using a different browser.

So in the case of the above analytics, two people watched that video twice on two separate visits, which is why you see 13 unique plays and 15 total plays.

Anti-Tracking Software

If someone you know has played your media but did not show up in your analytics, they could be using an anti-tracking software. Let’s cover some of the most commonly used applications:

  • Ad-blockers - Although the original intent of these extensions is to stop advertisements, oftentimes they can block browser tracking as well. Our player relies on certain tracking to measure play events and record analytics. If the user disables this then we would have no way of recording that information.

  • Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) - A VPN is essentially a server that acts as an intermediary between the user and the website they wish to connect to. So rather than your viewer/listener playing your media directly, they connect to the VPN first, and then the VPN will play your media from where the VPN server is located. Using this method, we may be able to record a play event for the media that this person played, but their audience information can be misdirected and inaccurate.

  • Security Browsers - There are browsers that are made for maximum privacy and by default they disable all cookies and caches from being saved. Often times they double down by having a built in ad-blocker as well (for example: Chromium based browsers like Brave or Epic). These browsers only make up a small portion of all internet users, but it never hurts to cover all your bases!

Analytics Tracking Test

Now that you know what common factors can stop a play session from being recorded, you can run a test to make sure your medias are tracking analytics as expected!

First, you’ll want to open an incognito browser. Why, you ask? Because an incognito browser starts a new window with no previously saved cache or cookies, and their default settings are to disable third party extensions.

Afterwards, go to your Wistia media URL - it’ll look something like this (be sure not to log into your account):

Play your media, even if just for a few seconds. Now that you’ve played your media you’ll want to go back into your media analytics and see if your play was tracked. Your plays are tracked in real time, but just in case you don’t see it right away wait a minute and do a page-refresh.

If you still don’t see your own play session populate, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help!

Make sure you’re not filtering out your own IP address since this can block your own tracking, even if you were in an incognito browser.

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