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A Brand’s Complete Guide to Podcast Analytics

Last updated on

December 20, 2023

A Brand’s Complete Guide to Podcast Analytics

Tracking your podcast’s analytics can help you uncover valuable insights about your show’s performance. Learn how to measure, analyze, and leverage data effectively to boost your podcast's success and audience engagement.

Mackenzie Patterson


 min read


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 be challenging to decipher which metrics are most important to keep tabs on. 

In this guide, we show you how to translate your podcast analytics into action items. We’ll be outlining some of the most important podcast metrics to track as a brand, network, and podcaster. 

What are podcast analytics?

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 time, and much more.

The importance of tracking podcast analytics

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. 

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.

Here are some primary reasons we encourage all brands in audio to track their podcast analytics: 

  • Audience insights: Analytics provide crucial data on listener demographics, behaviors, and preferences, helping brands understand their audience better. This insight aids in tailoring content to meet audience expectations effectively. 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.
  • Content performance: Tracking analytics reveals which episodes or segments resonate with audiences. Brands can replicate successful content strategies and refine areas that need improvement, ensuring consistent quality. For example, if you know your drop-off rate increases dramatically every time you move into a certain segment during each episode, you can use this information to either remove the segment or experiment with a new idea.
  • ROI measurement: Understanding listener behavior and engagement metrics helps gauge the podcast’s effectiveness in achieving brand goals. It enables brands to assess the return on investment (ROI) and refine strategies for better outcomes.
  • Monetization opportunities: Detailed analytics assist in attracting advertisers or sponsors by showcasing a podcast’s reach, engagement rates, and audience demographics, thereby unlocking monetization potential.
  • Benchmarking and comparison: Tracking analytics enables benchmarking against industry standards and competitor analysis, providing a comparative view to assess performance and identify areas for improvement.

Ultimately, 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.

Key metrics podcasters should track

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:

1. Unique listeners and downloads 

Unique listeners measure the distinct individuals tuning into episodes, providing an accurate count of your audience, while downloads encompass all listens an episode accumulates, regardless of repetition by the same listener.

For instance, if a person listens to your podcast five times, it registers as five downloads but only one unique listen.

Understanding the number of unique listeners is crucial for accurate reporting. It offers insights into the actual listener base and facilitates tracking dedicated followers over time, as unique listeners provide a much better picture of how many people are actually engaging with your show. 

2. Podcast consumption rates 

The consumption rate is one of the most telling indicators when it comes to audience engagement.

Average consumption rate refers to the amount of time that listeners actively engage with and listen to an episode, represented by a percentage. 

Instead of solely relying on metrics like downloads or unique listeners, which only indicate whether someone has listened to the episode, this metric provides a percentage of the actual duration audiences spend listening to your podcast.

Because of this, your show’s consumption rate can show you which parts of your episodes are resonating with listeners (and which segments aren’t). In general, a consumption rate of 75-80% is a solid place to start, but we suggest aiming for anything above 80%.

CoHost Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about what causes listener churn and how to increase your show’s consumption rate, check out our 5-step guide to reduce listener drop-off rates.

3. Ratings & reviews 

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to tracking overall sentiment toward 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 brand, it’s one thing to promote your podcast and tell potential listeners that you have awesome content but to have real listeners leaving positive reviews and ratings on your show speaks volumes. 

Even if not all reviews are positive, go through them to analyze whether there are areas in which you could improve your podcast. Maybe there was a content focus that listeners loved and you should create more episodes around. Or maybe there was a new format you tested that didn’t receive positive feedback, which is an insight that could indicate it’s time to go back to your original format or test an alternative. 

​​While asking for user feedback may seem obvious, the vast majority of podcasts have no ratings or reviews. Of the 1.3 million podcasts Pacific Content analyzed, about 850,000 of them had no ratings.

With this information, they were able to extract some useful benchmarks:

  • 4 or more star ratings, you have more ratings than 50% of all shows
  • 11 or more star ratings, you have more ratings than 75% of all shows
  • 34 or more star ratings, you have more ratings than 90% of all shows
  • 81 or more star ratings, you have more ratings than 95% of all shows
  • 595 or more star ratings, you have more ratings than 99% of all shows

If you’re looking to incentivize listeners to review your show, here are some effective ways we suggest:

  • Add in a CTA at the end of each episode that tells listeners where they can review your show (typically this will be directly in the listening app).
  • Add a place to review your show on your podcast’s landing page or newsletter 
  • Hold a contest where listeners can win merch, exclusive content, or other prizes for writing a review 

4. Audience demographics

Demographic data allows podcasters to discover valuable, critical insights about their listeners, including their age, gender, household income, social media consumption/habits, interests, family members, and more. 

Advanced Audience Demographics makes understanding your audience’s age, gender, location, interests, social media interests, and more. This cutting-edge feature provides invaluable insights into who is engaging with your podcast, so agencies and brands alike can tailor their episodes to align with the preferences and needs of their target demographic. 

Maybe you have a specific audience segment that you’re looking to target like a certain country, region, or city, or maybe there’s a specific age or sex that you’re focusing on. Whatever it may be, you can analyze if your podcast is resonating with this audience and the content is relevant to them. 

Additionally, demographic insights aid in refining marketing and advertising efforts, allowing brands in audio to target specific groups more effectively and allocate resources efficiently. 

For example, say you want to advertise your podcast to an audience segment that would be most interested in your show. You look at your current data and see that the majority of your podcast listeners are between the ages of 25 and 34, are female, and are located in the U.S. You can take these insights and apply them to your ads to ensure you’re targeting this audience. 

In an era where personalized content is paramount, tracking audience demographic data stands as a foundational practice for podcast success, enhancing content quality, audience engagement, and overall podcast growth.

5. Chart rankings 

Podcast rankings refer to charts or lists that showcase the popularity and performance of podcasts within a specific time and category. These rankings are determined based on various metrics and factors, including downloads, ratings, subscriptions, and plays. 

For podcasters, high rankings in these charts are a sign of popularity and success, which can attract more listeners, advertisers, and opportunities for collaboration. For listeners, these rankings serve as a valuable tool for discovering popular and trending podcasts in various genres, making it easier to find new and interesting content to enjoy.

In a nutshell, these charts offer a dynamic view of the podcasting ecosystem, showcasing what's hot, what's new, and what's capturing the hearts and ears of audiences worldwide.

‍Chartable is a great source for observing all podcast charts and receiving notifications when you’re ranking in one. 

CoHost Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about podcast listening app algorithms and how you and your team can increase your chances of ranking in the top charts, check out our complete guide. 

6. Social media metrics

Social media provides 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.

It’s important to consistently promote content on social media and engage with your audience if you plan on tracking these metrics to inform your show’s performance. When done well, social media metrics can give you insights into the demographics of your loyal listeners, audience behavior on social media, and what content they value the most.

When posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, X, and Instagram, take a look at some of these common metrics:

  • Engagements
  • Engagement rate
  • Followers
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Click-Through Rate

CoHost Tip: Looking to level up your podcast social media strategy? Download our free social media planner for the tools you need to plan content while providing recommendations for the type of content you should be sharing across your channels.

7. B2B Analytics 

With B2B Analytics brands and agencies can receive learning audience insights including: 

  • Breakdown of Companies Listening: Get a detailed look at the companies who are tuning into your podcast, including their industries, average company size, and average revenue breakdown.
  • Episode Summary Page: Compare the top companies, industries, and company locations of each episode's unique audience.
  • Individual Episode Breakdown: Get a detailed look at which companies and industries are listening to each episode, including company size, revenue, and location.
  • Lead Generation: Export the list of companies who are tuning into your podcast to identify valuable prospects and boost lead generation efforts.

One way to use B2B Analytics is for data segmentation. By segmenting the list of companies listening to your podcast based on relevant criteria, you can prioritize and target leads more effectively.

On top of that, by knowing which companies are listening, you can target potential sponsors more effectively, helping you to establish profitable partnerships and strengthen connections with audiences.

Where to find podcast analytics

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.

Here are some common places to access podcast metrics:

Listening apps

A podcast listening app is a tool used for listening to podcasts. For example, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. 

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 listening apps you might want to use to uncover podcast analytics:

  • Spotify for Podcasters: Spotify for Podcasters enables podcasters to track key metrics like unique listeners, followers, starts and streams, average listens, and audience stats, which are all important when it comes to analyzing your content’s performance.
  • Apple Podcasts: Apple Podcasts also provides creators with a robust set of back-end analytics like average listener count, top episode, and more.

CoHost Tip: Looking to make sure your show is on all listening apps? Check out our complete guide to ensure your show reaches its full potential.

Podcast hosting sites

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. 

Here are a few podcast hosting sites we suggest:

  • CoHost: CoHost is a hosting site that provides brands and agencies with accurate, valuable, and in-depth insights into their audience, performance, and marketing campaigns. Features include Advanced Audience Demographics, B2B Analytics, Tracking Links, Automatic Transcription, and Audio Insertion.  
  • Simplecast: A great option for more experienced podcasters, Simplecast is on the higher end in terms of price point, but it offers impressive tools and features to match.
  • Podbean: Offering both free and paid plans starting at just $9 a month, Podbean is another reputable option for podcast hosting within the audio content landscape.
  • Buzzsprout: Buzzsprout is another great option for podcast hosting, offering several easy-to-use tools, free learning materials, and stellar customer support.

CoHost Tip: To learn more about podcast hosting, the options available on the market, and how to leverage podcast hosting platforms to their fullest extent, check out our complete podcast hosting playbook.  

Third-party podcast analytics platforms

While these platforms offer hosting capabilities, their primary focus is on podcast analytics and audience insights. These platforms help brands in audio dive deep into the performance of their show and promotional efforts.

Here are a few podcast analytics tools we suggest:

  • CoHost: CoHost is an audience insights and podcast analytics platform. CoHost’s prefix provides brands, agencies, and networks with advanced data including Advanced Audience Demographics and B2B Analytics – regardless of their current hosting setup. 
  • Podder: Podder has advanced demographics features and uses AI to analyze listeners’ personalities on "Big 5" personality traits. The prefix caters to newbies, pro-podcasters, advertisers, and agencies. 
  • Blubrry: Blubrry offers advanced features for podcast analytics for data-driven performance, certified by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). They offer podcast analytics and monetization management for individual podcasters and professional businesses and networks alike.

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.

CoHost Tip: 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.

How are you leveraging your podcast analytics?

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. 

To learn more about podcast analytics and find a solution that works for your brand, reach out to the CoHost team