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The 6 Key Podcast Metrics for Pro Podcasters

Last updated on

May 1, 2024

The 6 Key Podcast Metrics for Pro Podcasters

Discover how to measure and analyze crucial performance indicators, such as downloads, subscribers, engagement, and more. Gain valuable insights and actionable strategies to maximize your podcast's reach, grow your audience, and make informed content decisions.

CoHost Marketing Team


 min read


Whether you’re deciding which metrics to track or which podcast analytics platform to use, telling the story behind your podcast analytics can be challenging.

However, if you’re a pro podcaster looking to take your show to new heights, you’ll want to gain a firm grasp on your show’s key metrics.

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 and reach 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 the key podcast metrics for pro podcasters?

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. 

Here are two types of consumption you’ll want to keep track of:

Show consumption

Show consumption measures how much of your show listeners consume before dropping off, expressed as a percentage. This is taken as an aggregate of your show’s episode consumption rates on Apple Podcasts. This metric looks at your overall show performance rather than an individual episode performance. 

Episode consumption rate:

Episode Consumption measures how much of a podcast episode listeners are listening to before dropping off. The consumption rate is calculated on a percentage basis, so the closer you are to 100%, the better. On CoHost, this metric consists of consolidated data from both Spotify and Apple Podcasts. 

Episode consumption is particularly important because it shows you if segments are falling flat. For instance, If you see that listeners keep dropping around the halfway mark, test out adding a transition midway through your episode to re-engage them. Or maybe you want to test out making your episodes shorter and see how that performs.

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. 

Consumption rate 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 75%. This means that listeners are tuning in for three-quarters of your episode. With most podcasts sitting between 30 minutes to an hour, this is still a lot of time your listeners are willing to spend with you.

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. 

As a result, this is the metric that’s most important to advertisers who are considering advertising on your show, as it shows the real reach of your podcast.

While tracking unique listeners is a far more accurate representation of your podcast’s true audience, download numbers are more convenient for podcasters and agencies alike

For context on download success, according to

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! 

CoHost Tip: Conflating downloads and unique listeners is a very common mistake that can affect the accuracy of your tracking. To learn about other popular podcast tracking mistakes and how to correct them, check out our article.

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. 

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 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. 

Let’s dive into a quick example. If you’re looking to measure the ROI of your paid podcast advertising campaign, you can use whichever metrics you set as your KPIs to showcase the success of your campaign. This can be impressions, clicks, subscribers, etc. 

For example, let’s say you wanted to analyze the ROI of your paid podcast advertising for subscribers. The equation would look like this: 

# of subscribers from paid campaign/cost of production = ROI of your paid advertising 

As a pro podcaster, you’re likely aware 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.

CoHost Tip: For a quick way to gauge the ROI of your podcast, check out CoHost’s Podcast ROI Calculator.

4. 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 grow your audience and build your podcast’s brand.

First-hand feedback from listeners is a powerful tool for success that many podcasters overlook. Take time to analyze 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, format, topic, and so on. 

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 podcast charts, which will significantly increase your exposure. Ratings and reviews aren’t everything so don’t assume that with stellar reviews will come an immediate ranking on the top charts. But they definitely help – and we’ve seen this countless times with our own users. 

If you’re having a hard time gathering ratings and reviews, try including a CTA at the end of each episode prompting your listeners to rate and review the show. Make sure to direct them to a specific platform (if you have a preference) and make it as easy as possible for them to leave you feedback. You’d be surprised how helpful it is to just ask for what you want!

5. B2B Analytics 

CoHost’s B2B Analytics 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 return on investment (ROI). 

B2B Analytics provides a detailed breakdown of the companies engaging with your content at both a show and episode level. Insights include company size, industry, and revenue, so you can tailor your podcast's messaging and target specific audiences. 

By reporting on episode-specific performance, 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. 

6. Audience Advanced Demographics

In order to grow your listenership, you need to adopt an audience-first approach to podcasting

And that starts with understanding who your audience is, their consumption patterns, and their preferences. 

Using tools like CoHost’s Advanced Audience Demographics, you can discover key audience insights including age, location, income, pets, social media consumption habits, and more. With this understanding, companies gain a deep understanding of their target demographic, allowing them to tailor content and marketing strategies accordingly. 

There are a variety of ways you can leverage Advanced Audience Demographics for your podcast. A few use cases include: 

1. Produce content tailored to your audience's preferences

By knowing who your audience is and what interests/hobbies they have, you can tailor your content to match their needs. 

2. Enhance sponsorship sales with comprehensive listener profiles

Before a sponsor decides to advertise on your podcast, they need to know that it will get them in front of their target audience. By having deeper insights into your audience's demographics, you’ll be able to provide sponsors with comprehensive listener profiles. 

3. Boost the ROI of your show by ensuring you're reaching the right audience

Ensure you’re reaching your target audience by aligning your buyer personas with your listener personas. 

4. Integrate your listener insights with other crucial podcast metrics within CoHost for effective performance reporting

Demographics are valuable on their own, but they become even more powerful when paired with additional data to tell the story of your podcast performance. Merge demographic data with unique listener data or tracking link analytics to gain even more insight into your audience. 

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 like unique listeners, subscribers, consumption rate, and listener demographics, you can gain valuable audience insights that are essential to propel your show to new heights.

If you’re interested in learning more about podcast metrics, reach out to our team and we can hop on a call!

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