A Web Bot or Crawler is a program or automated script that browses specific websites or services in a fully automated manner. 

In most cases, these kinds of bots are unharmful and are being used by legitimate websites like search engines, social media, or radio directories as a means of providing up-to-date external data and information to their visitors.

On Live365, within recent years, we've noticed an increased number of services that are using web bots to connect to some of our community stations for different reasons. They generally start by just periodically checking if the station is on-air to advanced SEO indexing.

These bots are showing up in the Realtime statistics of each affected station with different user agent names which are usually related to the service they are gathering information for. 

Because the bots are not considered real active listeners, the time they spend connected to a Live365 station is not being counted towards the monthly Total Listening Hours (TLH) usage, neither captured as royalty-bearing traffic or for ad impressions.

How to observe and report potential bot traffic

If you notice a listener with an unknown user agent reported as being connected for a long time within your Realtime Analytics, please navigate to Analytics ➡ Historical, then click on Platform/Devices to check if the specific user agent is being counted towards your recent TLH reports. If it does, please don't hesitate to check with us by creating a new support ticket here.