Tracking your podcast’s analytics can help you uncover valuable insights about your content’s performance and how it’s landing with your audience. By analyzing key metrics like consumption rate, unique listeners and reviews, you’ll be better equipped to create valuable content for your audience and continue growing your community over time.
With so much data at our fingertips today, it can often seem like a challenge to decipher which metrics are most important to keep tabs on. In this guide to translating your podcast analytics into action items, we’ll be outlining some of the most important metrics to track as a podcaster.
First things first, what are podcast analytics? Podcast analytics is a term that refers to any back-end data you can find, track and analyze to better understand your podcast’s performance.
A wide variety of metrics may be defined as podcast analytics, including consumption rate, downloads, unique listeners and several others.
Podcasters use analytics to gain new insights into their audience demographics, how listeners are responding to individual episodes, the growth of their show over a period of time and much more.
Tracking podcast analytics is essential for any brand or podcaster hoping to improve their show’s performance, grow their audience and raise the profile of their show in the podcasting world. Depending on the specific metric you’re tracking, analyzing your podcast analytics can help you make data-driven decisions about episode content, episode length, advertisers and more.
For example, if you know your listeners are largely within the 25-34 demographic, you’ll be better equipped to write scripts that resonate with this age group and the specific challenges, goals and life stages they’re grappling with. Or, if you know your drop-off rate increases dramatically every time you move into a certain segment during each episode, then you can use this information to either remove the segment or experiment with a new idea.
Arming yourself with as much knowledge of your audience and their listening behaviors is essential, and tracking your podcast analytics is an important component of this.
There are several metrics you can track to gain valuable insights into your podcast’s performance and information about your audience. Depending on your podcast goals, you’ll want to land on a handful of metrics that are particularly helpful for you.
That said, there are a few key podcast metrics all podcasters should be tracking if they hope to boost their show’s performance and develop a stronger listener base:
The consumption rate is one of the most telling indicators when it comes to audience engagement. By providing you with a percentage rate that reveals the actual length of time the average listener is tuning into your show before dropping off, the consumption rate can show you which parts of your episodes are really resonating with listeners. In general, a consumption rate of 75-80% is a solid place to start, but anything above 80% is of course even better.
The unique listeners metric will show you the number of listeners who are tuning into your show, while downloads tells you the number of listens on each episode. We recommend prioritizing unique listeners over podcast episode/downloads when it comes to podcast analytics because it provides a much more accurate picture of how many listeners are actually connecting with your show’s content.
Ratings and reviews can be extremely helpful when it comes to tracking overall sentiment towards your show. By keeping an eye on listener ratings and reviews, you can form an accurate picture of how your content is landing with your audience, and where you may need to incorporate their feedback for future episodes.
As a podcaster, you can also track back-end data related to your audience’s geographic location, age, gender and even their preferences. While this may seem slightly creepy at first glance, it’s important to track this kind of data because it will help you build future content that aligns with their interests.
Podcast charts on platforms like Apple Podcasts are crucial for discoverability and helping new listeners connect with your show. It’s important to track your podcast’s chart rankings, and which charts it’s ranking on to begin with, so you can gain new insights into the geographic locations where your show is gaining popularity and the categories it’s most commonly aligned with.
Last but not least, social media can also provide valuable indicators when it comes to content consumption and engagement. Keep an eye on common social media metrics when sharing new episodes so you can gain a clearer picture of what’s landing with your audience versus what’s not.
When posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, take a look at some of these common metrics:
Until recently, finding podcast analytics to help you understand your show’s performance was much more challenging. Thankfully, podcasting platforms and hosting sites have made it easier than ever for podcasters to find, track and analyze salient podcast data so they can optimize their content.
Different platforms will offer different analytics breakdowns, so it’s up to you to determine which service provides you with the fullest picture of the data you’re interested in tracking. However, here are some examples of key platforms and tools you might use to uncover podcast analytics:
These are just a few of the key channels you might use to uncover new insights about your podcast analytics, but there are many more out there on the market. Experiment with different platforms, tools and services to find what works best for you.
With so many key metrics at our fingertips today, it’s important to find a method for gathering, tracking and analyzing them in a way that makes sense for you and your podcast goals. Your podcast hosting site will likely create an analytics dashboard for you that makes it easy to break down all your stats in a highly visual way.
However, if you’re used to tracking your performance metrics using another app or program like Excel or presenting in Google Slides, you can of course continue using these services to make sense of your data.
Here at CoHost, we’ve created an analytics template to help you make the most of your podcast data and gain a handle on key stats. The most important thing is to track your data in a way that makes sense to you and helps you uncover insights that will support you in reaching your goals.
In conclusion, tracking your podcast data is essential if you hope to optimize your performance, grow your audience and succeed as a podcaster. At the end of the day, if you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t on your podcast journey, you’ll never have the knowledge you need to make changes and improve along the way.
Arming yourself with as much knowledge about your content and your audience as possible will ultimately help you make the most of your podcast and connect with new listeners. For more advice and resources, visit the CoHost blog and resources center so you can design a winning podcast strategy.
Mackenzie Patterson is the Digital Content Strategist at Quill Inc, and a Toronto-based writer, and journalist. She's always exploring the latest movies, TV shows and wellness trends.