Understanding how to track your podcast’s performance can be challenging. However, if your company has recently launched a branded podcast, you’ll want to gain a firm grasp on your show’s key metrics so you can continue to improve going forward.
While it hasn’t always been easy to understand podcast metrics, the tools we use to measure performance are improving every day. Now, it’s becoming easier than ever to track the metrics that matter most to you and your business and stay on track with your podcast goals.
If you’re hoping to grow your audience, increase ratings and reviews, and improve engagement with your podcast this year, there are a few different metrics you’ll want to check in on so you can understand your starting point. Knowledge is power, and once you have a hold on which metrics matter most for your podcast, you’ll be better equipped to move forward and reach podcast success.
Here are some (but definitely not all!) of the metrics to track when measuring your podcast’s performance:
What are Your Key Podcast Metrics?
1. Consumption rate
Your consumption rate is one of the most important indicators of success in the podcast world. Essentially, the consumption rate tells you how much of a podcast episode listeners are actually listening to before dropping off.
This number is calculated on a percentage basis, so the closer you can get to 100%, the better. While some dropoff is normal, you want to ensure your content is engaging enough to retain listeners and keep them wanting more.
A good goal to set is to try to maintain an average consumption rate of 70%. This means that listeners are tuning in for a little less than three-quarters of your episode, which for the average length of a podcast, blows any other mediums like video or blogging out of the water.
Pay close attention to your consumption rate for each episode because it can provide you with valuable intel on your podcast. If you see that listeners keep dropping around the 50% mark, test out adding a transition halfway through your episode to re-engage them. Or maybe you want to test out making your episodes shorter and see how that performs on engagement.
On the flip side, maybe you tested out a new episode format and received a 90% consumption rate whereas your typical episode average is 60%. This could inform you that the new format you’re trying out is preferred by listeners.
Observe this metric for every single episode and your podcast as a whole to truly unlock its power.
2. Unique listeners
The number of unique listeners listening to your podcast refers to the number of individual devices (iPhone, computer, etc.) that have streamed or downloaded your show. This is different from a download which measures every stream or download you’ve received on your podcast even if it’s from the same device.
For example, if I streamed a podcast episode four times, it would be counted as four downloads but only one unique listener/download.
And as a result, this is the metric that’s most important to advertisers who are considering advertising on your show since it displays the true number of listeners that your podcast has (sadly, it’s very likely that your unique listener metric will always be smaller than your download metric).
For context on download success, according to Podcast.co:
- If your episodes get more than 124 downloads in 30 days, you’re in the top 50% of podcasts.
- If your episodes get more than 1,000 downloads, you’re in the top 20%.
- If your episodes get more than 2,900 downloads, you’re in the top 10%.
- If your episodes get more than 6,700 downloads you’re in the top 3%.
But with that being said, achieving these numbers within a month can be challenging. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to build momentum with your show. If, on the other hand, you have achieved these numbers, then congratulations are in order!
3. Podcast ROI
ROI, meaning return on investment, is a great indicator of how much bang for your buck you’re getting with your podcast. This will ultimately help you secure more budget for your podcast if you’re reporting to shareholders or leadership teams, and it will give you a clear picture of exactly how your podcast is leading back to your business outcomes.
Your podcast ROI is calculated into a percentage number based on a variety of factors like the amount of money you’ve invested into your podcast, the number of listeners you have for each episode, or your consumption rate. Typically, podcast ROI falls into the categories of sales, awareness, advertising, or engagement.
To calculate podcast ROI, you would take whichever metric you want to find your return on investment with and divide it by the amount you’ve spent on the podcast. This will give you the overall ROI for your entire show.
For example, if you’re trying to find your ROI for sales you’ve made from the podcast, the equation would look like this:
(total dollar amount of sales from the podcast / total cost of podcast) x 100 = ROI for sales
Remember that podcasts are a long-term strategy and you likely won’t see immediate results within the first few weeks or even the first few months after launching. Ensure that you’re setting realistic expectations when it comes to your podcast ROI within any of the avenues we mentioned above.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth breakdown, here’s a helpful article on how to calculate your podcast’s ROI.
As a marketing tool, your podcast can increase the number of qualified leads. Depending on your business, how you define a lead can vary, but some examples include newsletter subscribers, form submissions, whitepaper downloads, webinar signups, etc.
How to track leads on your podcast:
- UTM links. Using UTM links in areas like your show notes or any other promotional materials such as social media or email newsletters, you can track the number of people who clicked through to the podcast and track these stats in Google Analytics to draw out insights.
- Unique landing pages. Directing podcast listeners to unique landing pages online will also help you understand how many of your audience members are clicking through to learn more about your brand or take advantage of unique offers.
- Unique promo codes. By offering podcast listeners unique promo codes that they can use to download free content or purchase your products and services, you can track these numbers as leads and see what’s resonating with your audience.
- Book exploratory calls with leads and ask them how they discovered you. When in doubt, ask! By speaking directly with audience members, you can hear feedback about your visibility, podcast content, and more, straight from the horse’s mouth.
Effectively tracking leads that come in through your podcast can be a challenge, but at the core of it, you want to find ways to provide listeners with unique pages, links, or promo codes. As you get leads from these unique channels, you’ll know that they came from your podcast since only listeners have access to them.
If the overarching goal of your podcast is to drive sales, then of course, this is a metric you’ll want to watch closely as you release each new episode.
5. Ratings and reviews
Ratings and reviews are important podcast data to track when gauging the overall audience response to the content you’re putting out. Keep an eye out for ratings and reviews your podcast receives so you can play up your strengths and improve on weaknesses to ultimately grow your audience base.
First-hand feedback from listeners is a powerful tool for success that many podcasters overlook. Take time to analyze especially your reviews to pick out any nuggets of wisdom that you can implement into your podcast. Maybe it’s a certain type of guest, style of format, discussion points, and so on. Let your listeners assist in guiding the direction of the show.
As for ratings, these are key to looking at the greater picture of your podcast success. Month over month or episode over episode, observe your ratings to see whether they spike or drop for specific episodes or guests.
As a bonus, more ratings and reviews can also help to land you a spot on Apple’s podcast charts, which will increase your exposure significantly. Ratings and reviews aren’t everything so don’t assume that with stellar reviews will come an immediate ranking on Apple’s charts. But they definitely help, and we’ve seen this countless times with our own clients.
To optimize this, try including a CTA at the end of each episode prompting your listeners to rate and review the show or leave you some sort of feedback. Tell your listeners that if they want to support you and the show, then that’s an easy channel for them to do this, similar to how we often hear YouTubers encouraging viewers to like and subscribe to their video/channel.
6. B2B Analytics
B2B Analytics, found on CoHost, play a crucial role in measuring the success of your podcast and understanding its impact on companies and industries. With B2B Analytics, you gain valuable insights into your podcast's performance and can attribute marketing leads while justifying the return on investment (ROI).
B2B Analytics provides a detailed breakdown of the companies engaging with your content including company size, industry, and revenue, so you can tailor your podcast's messaging and target specific audiences.
B2B Analytics also helps you identify engagement touchpoints throughout the customer journey, leveraging your podcast as an additional channel to connect with your audience. By reporting on episode performance, including company details such as size, industry, revenue, and location, you gain a deeper understanding of which episodes resonate most with your target companies. This knowledge empowers you to optimize your content strategy and enhance listener engagement.
Finally, B2B Analytics allows you to export a list of companies tuning into your podcast, providing a valuable resource for identifying qualified leads and boosting your lead generation efforts.
Overall, we suggest all corporate podcasters keep track of their show’s B2B Analytics as they provide actionable insights to optimize your content, generate leads, and drive business growth.
7. Audience profile metrics
In order to grow your audience, you need to know who’s listening. Companies need to have a detailed understanding of exactly who is listening to their podcast at an individual level as well as at a company level.
Using tools like CoHost’s Audience Profile, you can discover who’s listening to your podcast, where they’re located, and their listening behaviors. With this understanding, companies gain a deep understanding of their target demographic, allowing them to tailor content and marketing strategies accordingly.
The listening app breakdown chart allows companies to measure the effectiveness of their paid and organic podcast campaigns by tracking the channels that drive downloads. Armed with this knowledge, companies can optimize their marketing efforts, ensuring maximum reach and impact.
Furthermore, the downloads by time of day chart empower companies to strategically plan their podcast releases. By identifying the day and time when their audience is most likely to listen, companies can ensure their content reaches the intended listenership precisely when it has the greatest influence.
Similarly, the downloads by location chart enable companies to measure engagement by filtering the audience's location down to the city level. This granular data allows for highly targeted campaigns, ensuring that resources are allocated effectively and generating maximum engagement.
Are you ready to start monitoring your podcast metrics?
Understanding and analyzing key podcast metrics is essential for podcasters who want to grow their audience, measure their success, and make informed decisions to improve their podcasting efforts. By monitoring metrics such as downloads, subscribers, listener engagement, and listener demographics, podcasters can gain valuable insights into their audience's preferences and behaviors.
If you’re interested in learning more about podcast metrics, reach out to our team and we can hop on a call!