10 Podcast Metrics to Measure Your Success


10 Podcast Metrics to Measure Your Success

March 23, 2023 โ€ข About 8 min. read


Podcast metrics help you track your show’s performance. Some pieces of data are more helpful than others. Here are the best ten metrics to measure your success. ๐Ÿคฉ

Top Ten Podcast Metrics

  1. Subscribers
  2. Total Downloads
  3. Downloads Per Episode
  4. Downloads Over Time
  5. Completion Rate
  6. Audience by Listening Platform
  7. Reviews, Ratings, Rankings
  8. Peak Times
  9. Website Visits
  10. Social Media Followers

To help you understand each one, we are going to dive into each analytic category and explain what the number means in terms of content, performance, and marketing strategy (for even more success!). ๐Ÿ˜

1. Subscribers

Subscribers, also know as followers, are one of the best indicators of your podcast’s success. In this context, subscribers means people who have subscribed on a listening platform (Apple, Spotify, etc.). โ˜‘๏ธ

It does not refer to email subscribers… but those are great too!

Your number of subscribers shows how many people love your podcast so much that they want to be alerted when a new episode comes out. It also shows how many downloads you can reliably project for future episodes. ๐Ÿ”ฎ

On top of all that, it shows how many people took action when it comes to your podcast. Getting people to take action is a big deal in podcast marketing, or any digital marketing. Since they have taken the action to subscribe to your show, they are more likely to take other actions like giving your podcast a great review or sharing it with a friend.

For ad buyers, it means that this many people are more likely to take action when it comes to the ads they hear during the show… so not only is this a metric a measure of success, but it can help you lock in really good ad deals! ๐Ÿค‘

2. Total Downloads

‘Total downloads’ refers to how many times your episodes have been downloaded.

Per the IAB Tech Lab Podcast Measurement 2.1 Guidelines, a download only counts if it is from a unique listener (based on IP address and user agents filter). If the listener re-listens to within a twenty-four hour time frame, it still only counts as one download. The good news is that the download only needs to be enough data so that the person could listen to one minute of audio. So no need to worry about storage limits on the users’ end! ๐Ÿ˜…

It is very important that your hosting platform is IAB certified so that you know the statistics it is providing you, like total downloads, meet the industry standard. Here at Ausha we are fully IAB certified. ๐Ÿš€

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3. Downloads Per Episode

Total downloads is a great metric, but it is limited. For example, let’s say you have created 100 episodes and you can see that you have 100,000 total downloads. You may be tempted to think that that means you have 100 downloads per episode. But that is not necessarily true. One episode might have all 100,000 downloads and the rest have had none! ๐Ÿคท

‘Downloads per episode’ is a key metric in planning your future content. Look at which episodes were downloaded the most and then look at their content and marketing strategy.

Is there certain content that seems to draw in more listeners? For example, are your interview episodes more or less popular than your panel discussion episodes? ๐Ÿค”

Does certain kinds of marketing seem to work better than others? For example, maybe you used a certain image on your social media post about an episode that really drew in an audience.

‘Downloads per episode’ is one of the best podcast metrics to measure your success, and it helps you plan for more success. ๐Ÿค“

4. Downloads Over Time

Similar to ‘downloads per episode,’ this metric helps you dive deeper into your downloads number. ๐Ÿ 

Remember, podcast episodes have a very long shelf life.

For example, a person who just discovered your podcast today might be listening to an episode you released two years ago. So if you only look at the ‘download per episode,’ you might assume that this person was listening to that episode two years ago, but they were actually listening to it today! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

This level of detail is critical to understanding the trajectory of your podcast.

Here at Ausha we put all these download detail metrics in one easy-to-understand chart for you to make sense of. On the Downloads Overview chart, you can see total downloads broken down over the past day, week, and month, while each episode has a line on the chart to show how the downloads break down in terms of episodes. ๐Ÿ“Š

Read our blog post all about podcast downloads to learn more about what is considered a success, how to analyze your data, etc.

5. Average Listening Time

As we explained earlier in the ‘total downloads’ section, a download is only one minute of audio. So, again, it is important to dig deeper to figure out if folks are actually playing all of your show or just some of it. โฑ๏ธ

That is where ‘average listening time’ comes in. This metric shows if people are turning off your show at a certain point. Maybe you have a unpopular segment that you should get rid of. Maybe your show is just too long. These are things you can figure out with this metric.

There is a very similar statistic you should be aware of: Completion rate. The completion rate shows you what percentage of your listeners listened to the episode all the way through. ๐Ÿ‘‚

6. Audience By Listening Platform

This metric shows where your podcast is most successful: Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, etc. ๐Ÿ“ˆ

If one platform is doing significantly worse than the others, you may want to check that listening platform and see if there are any tweaks you need to make.

You also may want to check how you are publishing the link to the show in your social media posts, etc. With Ausha Smartlink, a person can easily select the platform they prefer, rather than you only giving them one choice. ๐Ÿ˜

7. Reviews, Ratings, Rankings

This podcast metric would be higher on the list if not for one tiny issue with it: Apple Podcasts is basically the only listening platform that provides this level of information. But Apple is a very popular platform so it is still a good podcast metric.

With Ausha, you get notified every time someone leaves a new review on Apple, plus you can average ranking in addition to your current ranking. ๐Ÿ†

8. Peak Times

The next item on our best podcast metrics list is ‘peak times.’ With this data you can see what hour during the day listeners are downloading your podcast. โ˜€๏ธ

Importantly, you can see if listeners are downloading an episode as soon as it drops. You also see if people tend to listen to it on their way to work in the mornings or in the evening as they cook dinner.

When you use this metric with the others, you can get a detailed picture of where your podcast success is coming from. ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ

9. Website Visits

Podcasts should not be limited to their audio content. There is a whole internet out there! That is why ‘website visits’ is on our top ten podcast metrics list. ๐Ÿ’ป

Website visits’ indicate that your podcast’s search engine optimization is strong, and that when people are searching for your podcast’s topic, they are successfully finding your podcast.

Plus, you can show this number to your ad buyers and see if they will place a visual ad on your website to accompanying their ad on your podcast! ๐Ÿ’ฐ

10. Social Media Followers

To round out our best podcast metrics list, let’s take a look at the ‘social media followers’ metric. Like the first metric on this list, ‘subscribers,’ this is a metric of success because it shows people have taken action in regards to your show. It shows that they are interested in staying up to date with your content.

Plus, podcasting is all about building community, and social media is one major way to do this. High marks in this metric show that you have a healthy brand and network. ๐Ÿ’ช

Final Word on Podcast Metrics

Podcast metrics are only as helpful as they are usable. ๐Ÿ‘ˆ

Here at Ausha, we know you do not have unlimited time. You need tools and features to gather your listening platforms’ analytics into one spot and make sense of them. That is why we have focused on making each analytical tool on Ausha as powerful and detailed as possible, while keep the cost down… and of course providing a free trial!

If you ever have any questions about these metrics or what you should expect from your hosting platform in terms of analytics, reach out to us at [email protected]. ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ’œ

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March 23, 2023

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