Podcast analytics: You can’t live with it. You can’t have a successful podcast without it.
If you’re just starting out with podcast analytics — or even if you’ve been in the space for a while — know that it takes some finessing. You’ve got to track the metrics that matter to your podcast and your business.
Otherwise, it’s pretty difficult to know where you stand with your audience.
Today, we’re answering the following questions:
Keep reading for eight key podcast metrics you should be tracking. 👇
What is Podcast Analytics?
Podcast analytics is the collection and study of data related to your podcast’s success. It’s also the process of making decisions based on meaningful patterns of data.
We arrive at the data by keeping track of certain podcast metrics, like the number of downloads or the play-through rate.
Over time, the data points reveal trends within your metrics: Downloads are trending down or the play-through rate is trending up. By analyzing those trends, you can make sound decisions on what to change or what to keep the same.
The thing about podcasts is there’s no one spot that collects all of the data needed to make those decisions. Apple tracks some metrics, Spotify tracks some other metrics. Your hosting site tracks other stuff.
It poses a unique challenge to people who just wanted to start a talk show about cats. 🐱
How Do You Measure the Success of a Podcast?
To measure the success of your podcast, you first need to decide which metrics matter to you. In the B2B podcasting space, there are eight metrics you should keep an eye on.
8 B2B Podcast Metrics You Should Care About:
- Number of Downloads
- Amount of Website Traffic
- Play Through Rates
- Other Podcasts’ Benchmarks
- Number of Relationships
- Micro Content Reach
- Number of Emails Captured
Of course, these metrics aren’t trackable in one spot (why would they make it so easy?). So, under each metric, you’ll see where to track the metrics and how to make sense of them.
And, although not all of these metrics are directly related to your podcast, they still offer valuable insight into your show’s success.
Kind of like how the number of Better Call Saul episodes I watch in one night isn’t directly related to how lazy of a human being I am… but in a way it is.
Enough about me. Let’s talk numbers.
1. Number of Downloads
We’ll start with the no-brainer: How many downloads do your episodes receive?
The number of downloads is comparable to the number of pageviews a website gets. It doesn’t really tell you anything other than how big your audience is.
But sometimes you wanna know, right? It’s completely understandable.
Where to Find Number of Podcast Downloads
Pretty much any podcast hosting site will aggregate the number of downloads your show receives. Since you probably syndicate across several podcast directories, your host gathers up all of the downloads from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.
[READ: WTF is podcast syndication? Here’s the simple definition.]
If you haven’t decided on a podcast hosting platform, we suggest Sounder.fm. It’s really easy to use and there’s a free version.
Downloads Per Episode
There are two download metrics you should glean from your hosting platform: the number of downloads per episode and the number of downloads per month.
When looking at downloads per episode, it’s best to track the average over time. Doing this will show you if your audience has grown or if it’s stagnated.
Keep in mind that it takes time for a podcast audience to grow. And real growth doesn’t happen until year one or two of your show. Patience!
Downloads Per Month
Once your show is more established (you’ve been podcasting for a year or so), start tracking downloads per month. The number of downloads per month begins to matter because you have a back catalog. Instead of only downloading new episodes, people are looking back into your catalog of episodes and downloading ones that cover topics relevant to them.
You can then compare downloads per month and downloads per episode.
For example, B2B Growth gets 160,000 downloads per month. We come out with new episodes every day and they receive about 2,000 downloads each. If you multiply 2,000 by 30, it obviously doesn’t come out to 160,000.
However, people are finding episodes in our back catalog and downloading the ones they care about.
All of this is to say that being in podcasting for the long game is essential for success. Your downloads start to compound and your audience will continue to grow.
2. Amount of Website Traffic
Website traffic is the second podcast metric that’s not really a podcast metric (but it’s still important).
First of all, you should have a dedicated web page or website for your show. This is your podcast’s home base and where you send new listeners. There are three purposes your show’s page or website fulfills:
- Enhanced UX — Users can decide which podcast directory (player) they want to listen through. Not everybody wants to be sent to your podcast’s Apple page or Spotify page. They want to be able to choose.
- Track traffic — You can gain insights from tracking user behavior on your podcast page.
- Email capture — You can include a form for users to fill out to receive email updates or other content offers.
Keeping an eye on website traffic tells you how effective your promotional tactics are. You can use this metric to test out new techniques and improve UX.
Lastly, if you use Sounder’s embeddable podcast player, you can track the search terms users are typing into it.
That way, you have a look into the keywords your listeners care about. This insight can drive future episodes and/or blog posts.
3. Play Through Rates
The podcast play-through rate shows creators how much of an episode people listened to. Currently, the play-though rate can only be found in Apple Podcasts.
It’s similar to YouTube’s watch time metric in which you can see where viewers dropped off of your video.
[READ: Wanna start a podcast on YouTube? Do it in 10 steps.]
Although it’s relatively incomplete data (only available on Apple), the play-through rate still offers valuable insights into how users interact with your content.
Average play-through rates tell you how long listeners are engaged. They also show you at what point in your episodes you might try to be more engaging.
You can find your podcast’s play-through rates by going to your Apple Podcasts Connect account.
4. Other Podcasts’ Benchmarks
Comparing your metrics to those of other podcasts isn’t the most helpful way to measure your show’s unique success. Yet, looking at the benchmarks of other podcasts similar to yours can give you an idea of how your show stacks up.
We recommend using Chartable. Here, you can compare shows within the same category. You can also see if your podcast cracks the top 100 in its particular category.
Another way to use Chartable is to look for cross-promotion opportunities. Find a podcast with a similar audience to yours. Contact the host to see if they’d like to swap guest spots or ad spaces with you.
5. Number of Relationships
In our opinion, the number of relationships you create through your show is the most critical podcast metric… ever.
When you start a B2B podcast, your priority is to land more customers for your business. So, shouldn’t that be your #1 podcast metric?
It’s super simple to track this metric. All you need to do is figure out how many guests have become customers.
Then, to track ROI, subtract your podcast costs from the revenue you’ve generated from guests turned customers.
Your podcast is the perfect platform for meeting ideal customers and making valuable content with them. Start tracking how many of your guests become customers and see the real impact of your show.
Podcast ratings in Apple are important for the reach of your show.
Having a large number of four and five-star ratings boosts your podcast’s credibility and influence on Apple Podcasts. Getting enough good ratings can push Apple to feature your show on one of its Top Charts.
Since Apple Podcasts is still the #1 podcast directory, it makes sense to encourage ratings on the platform. Ask your friends, family, and coworkers to leave a star rating of your show.
7. Micro Content Reach
If you’re not repurposing your interviews into micro content, you’re missing out on a lot of potential listeners.
Micro content is pretty much everything that your podcast episodes can be turned into for promotion. Things like…
- Blog posts
- Video clips
- LinkedIn posts
- LinkedIn carousels (Documents)
- Instagram posts
- Quote graphics
When you create micro content from your podcast, it’s a good idea to track its reach. It’s analytics that helps you tune into a much vaster audience.
If you’re into using LinkedIn to distribute your micro content like we are, we recommend checking out ShieldApp.ai. It offers analytics for your LinkedIn content so you can see what resonates and what needs adjusting.
Hey, we even have a promo could for ya. Use code B2BGROWTH when you sign up for Shield. Our treat. 🍦
8. Number of Emails Captured
We touched on this in #2 but it’s worth repeating. Email is one of the best ways to personalize someone’s experience with your show and, therefore, your brand.
The more emails you capture, the further your content reaches. The further your content (including your podcast) reaches, the more relationship opportunities you have.
Unfortunately, you can’t collect listener emails from podcast directories or your host. So, what you should do is offer valuable micro content in return for email addresses.
Examples of micro content that can capture emails:
- Weekly roundup that highlights all of the best insights from your podcast.
- Guide featuring advice from guests.
- Guide featuring data that you collect from guests in the pre-interview.
- Video highlights reel from interviews.
- Exclusive episodes with industry leaders.
In order to capture more emails, you need to understand your ideal customer and the kind of content they value. People don’t just give out their email addresses for nothing.
You Don’t Need to Be a Data Scientist…
… to leverage podcast analytics.
And it’s not just about proving to your CEO that the podcast is working. A lot of it’s about continuing to find what’s resonating with your audience — looking for opportunities.
Remember: The #1 podcast metric you should give a 💩 about is the number of relationships you gain from it. If you can have a small audience but still build relationships with your guests, you’re succeeding.