Understanding and Analyzing the Statistics of Your Podcast

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Understanding and Analyzing the Statistics of Your Podcast

Understanding and analyzing the statistics of your podcast can be a game-changer for boosting the growth of your podcast!

April 19, 2022 • About 7 min. read

I know, I know… when you create a podcast, the data is not really what we look at first. However, understanding and analyzing the statistics of your podcast allows you to measure the success of your podcast… and well, stay motivated!

If the numbers, the curves, and the pie charts frighten you a bit, don’t panic! Together, we will review the principles that all good podcasters need to follow. 📈

Because, of course it is good to look at your figures regularly! But looking at good figures, is much better… 😉

Difference between listening and downloading

Before jumping straight into it, it seems important to properly understand the subtleties of the concepts that we are going to bring up in this post. 🤓 

  • One listen is counted differently depending on the platforms on which it is posted. To be able to tell the podcasters a precise and realistic number of listens, there are certified organizations like the IAB who are very strict in their methods for calculating listens. 

For the IAB, for example, they consider one listen to count from the first minute of listening to the podcast. But, if the same person listens to the same episode in a window of 24 hours, only one single listen is counted. 

  • If you do research on this subject, you can also come across the idea of downloading episodes. In the world of podcasts, you should know that streaming doesn’t really exist. As soon as you start playing an episode, it is actually downloaded from its host. This action is imperceptible, but if you want to listen to an episode immediately or save it for later, you must go through a download either way.  

Certain listeners subscribe to some podcasts, so that when a new episode is published it is automatically downloaded to their device. But that does not necessarily mean that they will listen to that episode. 

From a podcaster’s point of view, you cannot know exactly if it’s an automatic download or a listener-initiated download: it’s just a download. And that’s all. 🤔

Now that that’s been cleared up, let’s look a bit more at the different statistics to follow to evaluate the success of your podcast. 🤓

Let’s start with the most obvious: the number of downloads

Well of course, all podcasters keep track of their number of downloads, whether closely or more from afar. But for the big majority, it’s a bit like their North Star, or a key part of their playbook. This data gives you the first look at the success of your podcast. 

Except that when we start, it’s not always evident to know if the number of followers that we have is a good level or not. The truth, and I am sorry to burst your bubble 💭 , is that at the moment there is no way for you to compare your average number of downloads to other podcasts. 😔

Nombre d'écoute et statistiques de podcast

And even if you could, it wouldn’t really do you any good to have an average number. There are different types of podcasts, show subjects, formats, and hosts… in short, so many possibilities that it would not be able to represent them all. 

But the good news is that THAT is not what interests us. It is much more productive to compare your own downloads scores and to measure your own evolution. 💪

Comparing episodes: the key to tracking your progress

For this, you can look at your monthly statistics and compare it to your average number of downloads over the past 3 or 4 months. You cannot just compare your data from one month with the data of the previous month because it could change drastically in that time. 🌊

For example, during one month in particular, you may have done a large-scale communications operation that caused a spike in your number of downloads. Or on the other hand, you may have had a break from broadcasting your episodes which could lead to a dip in the number of downloads. 

To be able to learn from your data, it is best if you compare it over a longer and more gradual period of time. 

To measure the success of your podcast and to keep an eye on your evolution, you can also compare multiple episodes with each other and analyze the data from when you first kicked things off with each particular episode.

Very often, 50 to 60% of downloads from the month are recorded in the first 2 days following the publication of the episode. 

So, if you want to know if your new episode will work, you have to look at your listening statistics from the first 2 days and then compare that data to your previous episodes over the same period. 

With these first-look statistics, you can gain an overall idea of the evolution of your podcast. But now, we’ll turn our attention more specifically to your audience. 🤝

Completion rate: an important measure of your success

One piece of data to check in on is the completion rate. 🤩 It gives you an average listening time for each of your episodes. Basically, with a quick glance you will know if the majority of your listeners listen to your episode until the end or if they stop it along the way… their loss. 🚗 

Thanks to its partnership with Deezer, Ausha allows you to obtain this data for all of your downloads that come from this French streaming platform. The other solution, a bit more tedious, is to fill in your RSS feed yourself on each of the analysis platforms from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Deezer. 🤯

Learn more about your audience with demographic data

The objective, while analyzing your statistics, is to better understand your audience so you can adapt to them and offer them more content that would correspond to them. To learn more about your listeners, check out their demographics like genre, age, geographic location, and their listening habits. 

When you create a very realistic portrait of your typical listener, you can manage to retain them as your audience… which is really what you want! 🥰

Collecting qualitative data can also help you to construct this persona. We’re talking about mentions on social media, interactions with your listeners, and their suggestions, opinions, and comments on the listening platforms. 

Note: if you want to know more about how to use Social media to market your podcast I invite you to read: Podcasts and social media: communicating and marketing effectively

This qualitative data is more difficult to analyze because it doesn’t automatically go up in your host management table. For the most part, you must go and find the data yourself, and it’s up to you to see your desired results, so make it happen! 😈

For this, you should use a “Call to Action”. At the beginning, at the end, or in the middle of your podcast, encourage your audience to leave their thoughts on Apple Podcasts and on your social media. Encourage them to share your latest episode and to give feedback on the topics covered in your podcast. 

Now you see how understanding and analyzing the statistics of your podcast can be so important for your shows’ growth!

And there you have it! We have concluded the journey through the most important statistics to keep an eye on when monitoring your podcast. There are of course plenty of others that can bring you additional information about your audience, like the number of listeners per platform to know if your audience listens to you on Apple Podcasts or Spotify for example. 🤔

With data from Ausha, you can also know which type of device or which web browser your listeners are in the habit of using. And again, you can gather information about your audience, and adapt your content to them which can lead to raised interest… who doesn’t want that! 😁

by Emma
April 19, 2022

In life, to be able to buy pasta and other useful stuff, I'm Brand Content Manager at Ausha. 💜 I create a lot of content to help (future) podcasters to boost their listening. Other than that, what I love in life besides podcasts and pasta 🥰 : writing stories, reading self-help books, singing Beyonce in the shower, Science Fiction and Harry Potter.

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