Tips & Trends

The Top Metrics to Track in Apple Podcast Analytics

Last updated on: 
July 28, 2022
CoHost Marketing Team
Podcast growth experts

When it comes to the success of your podcast, one key element is understanding your podcast analytics. If you’re just starting with your podcast or if you’ve been in the space for some time, it’s important to have a deep understanding of your analytics and finesse your ability to track metrics. Otherwise, it’s hard to keep improving your show, reach a larger audience, and drive more revenue. 

Before we outline what to look for when tracking your Apple Podcast Analytics, we first want to define: what exactly is podcast analytics? 

Podcast analytics is essentially a collection of data related to your podcast. For example, downloads, unique listeners, consumption rates, geographic data, etc. Once you have your podcast data, you can move on to analysis and reporting which involves the process of making decisions based on meaningful patterns within your data. 

For example, say your data reveals a trend where downloads are trending up, while consumption rates are trending down. By analyzing these trends, you can make decisions on what to change about your show and what to focus on moving forward. With this example, we may conclude that while our episode titles, cover art, and intros may be catchy to listeners, the remaining content isn’t of interest to them. Is our content misleading? Are our episodes too long? Is there a format change at the dropoff point? 

Apple tracks many meaningful metrics for your podcast which can be accessed at the Analytics tab within Apple Podcasts Connect. Here, it shows you a data visualization tool where you can review actionable insights into your podcast’s performance. In recent years, Apple has overhauled its Podcast Analytics tool to include improved metrics. 

It’s also important to note that it only ever contains data from the Apple ecosystem, so if you’re looking to analyze Spotify, Google, Amazon, or other listening app data, that will need to be done either in your hosting platform or within each listening app.  

So, let’s dive in!

1. Measuring Listener Engagement 

There’s a helpful metric titled “Engaged Listeners” that podcasters can use to monitor the performance of their podcast, and it’s especially great for branded podcasts. You can find this metric on your main Analytics dashboard for your podcast as a whole. If you want it broken down by episode, you can find it within the “Episodes” tab. 

It’s important to look beyond download and listener numbers to gauge the success of your podcast. Although we all know listenership is important, what’s more meaningful to measure is how engaged your listeners are. “Engaged Listeners” allows you to identify your biggest fans and report on listeners who are tuning in for either 20 minutes or 40% of an episode, depending on the length of your episode. This data is key as it points to how much value a listener is getting from your show and how you can improve your content strategy. 

2. Audience Attention (Consumption Rates)  

This is an important metric as it helps you understand if you’re creating content that is resonating with your audience (a pretty necessary accomplishment). Once you can see a pattern around engagement rates or listener drop-offs, you’ll be able to make meaningful changes to improve your show. Perhaps you will realize your intro is too long, you need better transition music, or your episode needs to be broken down into more sections. 

The attention piece is unique to podcasts because almost no other medium can keep an audience engaged for long periods (20, 30, 40, or  60 minutes at a time). A study by Wistia on optimal video lengths showed that after two minutes, engagement on videos begins to drastically decrease. Given this, you want to ensure that your show is adding enough value and produced at the highest level to keep people coming back. 

3. Growing Followers  

This past Spring, Apple introduced a new feature around tracking follower numbers. This feature is great for knowing how big your community is. These are people who love your podcast and are loyal fans. 

You can track “New Followers” over a week, month, 60 days, and on an ongoing basis. Via graphs and charts, you can work out what particular episodes or events may have triggered a spike in followers. You’re also able to compare the engagement levels and time listened by followers versus non-followers. 

4. Gathering More Data & Analytics 

Beyond the three metrics outlined above, there are other features you can check out and measure while in Apple Podcasts Connect. 

These include:

  • Listeners: This metric is the number of people who have played more than a few seconds of your podcast. However, note that these are not unique listeners. 
  • Plays: This data is the number of times someone plays an episode on Apple Podcasts. This is entirely different from Listeners. This number may be higher as people might be choosing to preview your podcast to determine if they want to listen to the entire show. Because podcast listeners are always experimenting and dipping in and out (and have so many show options to choose from!), it’s key that the quality of your show and audio are on-point, so it isn’t a factor that is turning people off. 
  • Demographics: Apple is now providing more detailed data about where people are listening. This is helpful information when it comes to determining where your fans are based, if you want to roll out content that is more relevant to a certain demographic, want to increase listeners, or are planning a meet-up or live event on the ground. 
  • Performance: There is an Apple visualization tool that can help you understand how episodes are performing relative to one another. You can compare up to five episodes as well as compare your episodes to your show’s median listenership, average listenership, and top episode performance. Note: you can use the Performance tab to compare episode performance up to 60 days after being released on Apple Podcasts.

And there you have it – the best ways to track your metrics. However, even though we know this blog post was dedicated to Apple Podcast Analytics, it’s important to remember to not rely on Apple’s data to see the bigger picture. 

Make sure you’re monitoring all the data that’s available to you in your hosting platform. You could also use a third-party platform to aggregate all data and help spot trends. 

CoHost Marketing Team
Podcast growth experts

A team of driven podcast experts, the CoHost marketing teams goal is to provide content to help brands boost podcast growth, understand their data, and equip themselves with the resources necessary to scale.

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