Podcast Analytics: How To Make Your Podcast A Success

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Podcast Analytics – How To Make Your Podcast A Success

Niall Mackay: [00:00:00] so today we're gonna get into podcast analytics. So what are they and how can they make your podcast a success?

as a podcaster, it's important to understand these metrics and how they can help measure the success of your show. So from the number of downloads in plays to listener, retention and engagement, so many different metrics that can provide valuable insights into your podcast listeners and also help grow your.

But with so many different metrics available, it can be so overwhelming to know which ones to focus on, how to interpret them, and how to use them to make your podcast a success. So today I'll be exploring the different types of podcast metrics, how to track them, and what they can tell you about your listeners.

I'll also be discussing some of the common misconceptions around podcast metrics and how to avoid falling into these. So whether you're a new podcaster [00:01:00] or you're a seasoned pro looking to take your show to that next level, hopefully this will be for you.


Niall Mackay: So before we get started, I want to talk about downloads versus listens, cuz there's often some confusion with the terms.

These can actually be used interchangeably. So the phrase downloads goes all the way back to the early days of podcasting before streaming was prevalent. To listen to a podcast, you would have to download it onto your iPod. Now, if you're asking what is an iPod, then I feel very, very old. When I started listening to podcast, there was no Spotify, no Apple Podcast, no streaming, and this is where the name podcast comes from, from combining iPod and broadcast.

So now whether someone downloads your podcast, puts it on an iPod, maybe, or they listen to it on a streaming platform, it's counted as the same thing by your podcast [00:02:00] host. So that's where you'll maybe hear someone talk about downloads or the amount of listens. These are the same things today, I'll mostly probably use the term download, but just so you know, if you hear me say download, it's just the same thing as a listen or even as a.


Niall Mackay: I'd love to hear from people. Let me know where you are on your podcast journey. Have you started a podcast yet? What's it called? Um, or are you thinking of starting one soon? So let's talk about why is the podcast data so important?

I know talking about numbers and data can be boring, so trust me, when it comes to podcasting, these numbers are your best friend. First of all, podcast analytics can help you understand your audience better. So by looking at the data, like the number of listeners, listener, retention, and location, you can figure out who's listening to your podcast and where from this information can help you tailor your content to better meet [00:03:00] the needs and interests of your listeners are how to market your show.

The data will also show you the different devices that people are using to listen. So if most people are using an Apple Mobile device to listen to the Apple podcast apps, then I would share the Apple Podcast link, or make sure that the Apple Podcast link is the number one link on your social media posts and all embedded players on your website.

If you do Facebook advertising, you can even run an ad that only targets users of iPhones for ultra targeted advertis. Secondly, podcast analytics can help you measure podcast success. It's important to know how your podcast is performing, what's working and what's not. So by tracking data like listens and engagement, you can figure out which episodes are resonating with your listeners and what you can do to improve future episodes.

And finally, podcast analytics [00:04:00] can also help you attract relevant sponsors and advertisers. sponsors wanna see that you have an engaged and growing audience. And analytics can provide you with the data to prove that The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to pitch your audience to the relevant sponsors.

Podcast analytics are essential if you want to grow your show and make it successful. So remember, don't be afraid of the numbers. Embrace them. So we'll talk about now the types of podcast analytics. First up, we have the basic analytics.

So this includes things like how many podcast listeners you have, um, how many downloads per episode. And it's a great way to get a general idea of your podcast performance for each podcast episode. and and just overall as well, the biggest metric to check on a new episode is how many downloads over the first seven.

This is essential to measure your listener growth [00:05:00] and your podcast performance for your first episode. Though don't put too much weight on these numbers. Most podcasters will see the show grow over time, so if you post consistently new episodes and downloads over seven days, we'll see an increase in audience members.

Next we have the engagement metrics. So this includes things like average listening time, completion rate, and user retention. These metrics can help you understand if your audience is engaging with your podcast content and how much of an episode they listen to. Then third, we have the demographic metrics.

This type of analytics can give you insight into who is listening to your podcast. This includes things like age, gender, location, and even other podcasts that they're interested in. Understanding your podcast demographics can help you create more targeted and effective podcast content. Finally, we [00:06:00] have conversion metrics.

This type of analytic tracks how many listeners are taking action based on your podcast. So this can include things like website visits, purchases, and email signups. And this can really help you understand how your podcast is impacting your overall business goals. So how do you track your podcast analytics?

Tracking your podcast analytics is an essential part of understanding your audience and measuring your podcast success. So the first thing is, first, make sure you read your analytics. All the podcast hosting platforms despite, um, whether you use Buzz Sprout or Podbean or Libsin, they'll all show you a similar but slightly different way to measure podcast performance.

There are also options out there that you can pay for, like Pod, track or Chartable. These tools will give you valuable insights into your audience, demographics, listening habits, and. Then pay [00:07:00] attention to your download numbers. This is the most basic and the important metric to track as it tells you how many people are listening to your show.

But don't stop there. Your download numbers don't mean much if the retention for your episodes is not so good. Retention is the measurement of how much of an episode your audience listens to or consumes. And this is where you need to focus your attention because of its insight into your podcast and your audience.

And it's one of the metrics that Apple looks at when ranking your podcasts in the charts. This is the one metric that differs wildly from. So, whereas podcasts tend to have much, much lower download numbers than YouTube videos, they can have an average consumption rate of around about 80%. YouTube at uh, at the best is probably gonna be around 50 to 60%.

So make sure you track your [00:08:00] listener retention rate, which tells you how many people are sticking around to listen to the whole episode. While your host platform can't tell you this data, you have to find it from each individual platform. That means you have to go to your Spotify or your Apple Podcast Analytics.

So log into each of these accounts and you can find these metrics. Spotify for podcasters, as it's now called. This will tell you, are you ready all time, please. The average please, per episode. The audience size, which is how many people have played an episode in the last week? And the amount of people that follow you on Spotify.

And if you delve a little bit deeper, you can also find the median playtime, which is the point in the episode where 50% of the people who started were still streaming now Apple Podcasts That will tell you your followers on the platform listeners, which is how many [00:09:00] people have played an episode in the last week?

Engaged listeners, so that's the number of unique devices that have played at least 20 minutes or faulty percent of an episode within a single session. And they also note that pausing or stopping an episode does not count as starting a new session. They'll also tell you the plays, which is the number of plays on unique devices, where the play duration is greater than, are you ready?

Zero seconds. So as soon as someone hits play on that and gets past one second, it counts as a play. And they'll also tell you the average consumption, which is how much of an episode is consumed by listeners on average. Whew. So you can see how exhausting it can be to analyze your metrics cuz no platform gives you the same metrics.

So focus on the downloads and the consumption of each episode before your brain just explodes from overanalyzing it. Another important metric to [00:10:00] track is your overall audience engagement off of your podcast, and that can't be shared by your platform. So this can include things like social media, shares, comments, and ratings, and reviews.

The more engaged your audience is, the more likely they are to become loyal fans and spread the world about your show. And finally, don't forget to experiment and try new things. Use your analytics to see what's working and what's not, and then adjust your strategy accordingly. The more you learn about your audience, the better you'll be able to serve them with high quality content that they'll love.

And remember, it's not just about the numbers. It's about understanding your audience and creating a better show for them. Whew. So you've got all these numbers and graphs staring back at you, all these different platforms o open all these different podcast analytic dashboards. But what does it all mean?

Don't worry. It's not [00:11:00] as daunting as it all looks. So first, let's. About your audience. Look at your listener demographics. What age are they? Gender, location, what devices are they using? This will give you a better idea of who your listeners are and what they're interested in. If you haven't already, you could even use this to make a listener persona.

This will help you create your content. Next, take a look at your episode, perform. Which episodes are getting the most lessons? Are there any patterns? Are solo episodes doing better than interview episodes? Are there certain, are there certain topics that seem to resonate more with your audience? Do they want to know more about how to, or do they want to know more about stories?

Use this information to gauge your content strategy moving forward. And of course, Another important metric is engagement. So look at the things like the average listen duration, and the percentage of listeners who are listening through [00:12:00] your episodes. It'll give you a really good idea of how engaged your audience is and whether they're really connecting with your content.

And finally, don't forget to track your growth over time. Are you gaining more listeners with each episode? Is your audience? Is your audience growing in certain locations or on certain platforms? Use this information to make informed decisions about how to promote and market your podcast. Remember, interpreting podcast analytics is all about using the data to gauge your decision making and content.

Don't get caught up in the numbers too much. At the end of the day, it's all about just creating great content, great content that resonates with your audience. So now that you know how to track and interpret podcast analytics, it's time to focus on the metrics that truly matter for measuring success. So first up, we [00:13:00] have the number of downloads, which is a great indicator of your show's overall popularity.

Next we have the number of unique listeners, which helps you understand how many people are tuning into your show regularly. So this is different from downloads because it could be someone coming once with your unique listeners. It's people that are coming back for your. Then obviously as I mentioned, we have the average listening time, which shows you how engaged your listeners are.

So if people are listening to your episodes all the way through, you can definitely see that you're on the right track. And another important metric is subscriber growth. So this indicates how quickly your audience is growing over time, and if you post consistently, you should be able to see this track up.

So keep an eye on these metrics and you'll be well on your way to measuring success in the world of podcasting. So I'm gonna share with you now some best practices to help you get [00:14:00] started. And if you already have a podcast, you'll have heard this over and over again. Consistency is key. Release your episodes on a regular schedule to keep your audience.

Make sure you're promoting your podcast on social media and other platforms to reach a wider audience and in your podcast, encourage listeners to leave reviews and ratings on the platforms like Apple Podcast and Spotify. This will definitely help boost your visibility and help you be featured more in the charts.

And also make sure you ask for and pay attention to listener feedback. You can do this really well now on Spotify where you can put pose, uh, with your, uh, with your podcast episode, and then you can adjust your content accordingly and make sure you use the episode titles and descriptions to accurately reflect the content so that potential listeners can find you more.

Remember, it's important to continually monitor [00:15:00] your analytics, to track your progress and make informed decisions about how to improve. And so with some hard work and dedication, you can definitely grow your audience and create a successful podcast. Some other things to make sure you do to help keep people listening to your podcast for longer is make sure you hook your listeners early.

Start your episode with a compelling introduction that captures your listeners attention and entices them to keep listening. Then throughout your podcast, make sure you keep your content engaging. Keep it interesting throughout the whole episode so you can use storytelling, humor, and other techniques to keep your listeners invested in what you have to say.

Another good strategy is to use segments or breaks so you can break up your episode into smaller chunks to give your listeners a chance to catch the breath and process the information, and then obviously you can. Add in between those breaks and really promote [00:16:00] listener engagement. Make them a part of your podcast.

So encourage your listeners to participate by asking questions. Ask them to share their thoughts and opinions or even inviting them on to be guests on your show. And make sure every episode ends with a strong call to action that encourages your listeners to subscribe, leave a review, or share the podcast with.

Remember though the key to keeping people listening to your podcast for longer is to provide value, entertainment and a reason for them to keep coming back. There's plenty of examples out there of other podcasts that have used analytics to help boost the show. Uh, you've probably all held of the podcast serial by now.

The one that really, uh, kickstarted the podcasting revolution. This was downloaded over 175 million times, and by using analytics to measure their success, the creators were able to see what parts of the show were resonating [00:17:00] with listeners and adjust their futures episodes according. Another great example is the podcast, how I Built This, which interview, six, uh, successful entrepreneurs, entrepreneur, I can't even say that word, entrepreneurs, about the journey in building the businesses.

You've probably heard of the Horse Guy Raz. He uses analytics to measure which episodes are the most popular, and then uses that interview, uh, uses that information to guide future interviews. But it's not just big podcasts that use analytics to measure success. Even small independent podcasts can benefit from tracking their med, their, their metrics.

So, for example, one podcaster used analytics to see that the listenership was primarily coming from a specific region. So they started tailoring the content to that audience and saw a significant increase in engagement. For me, I can see that about 40% of my listeners use Apple Podcasts. That's the most popular, uh, app from [00:18:00] my show.

So when I first set up my website, I just automatically embedded the Spotify player on every page. But when I realized that Apple was the most popular app, I changed them all to Apple podcasts. So that's, cuz that's what my listeners were using. So if you go on my. You'll see the Apple app, which as soon as you click on that, it's gonna open the br uh, the podcast app.

And since I did that, my numbers have just kept going up and up and up. One of the things I see really often, even with my own clients before I start working with them is that they use the m embed from their host like Buzz Spro or Podbean. Now, not only does listens from browsers make up about 5% of listeners, you can only listen to this in a browser.

Now, you probably know as a podcast listener, few people listen to podcasts on a browser. There's no way for them to follow your show with this, and there's no way to get updates on future episodes if you embed an app like Spotify or [00:19:00] Apple in the browser. It means, like I said, when someone clicks. It will automatically open up the app of the listening on mobile and what's the button at the top of the app?

Follow. So that's what we want people to do. So this is just a small example how of how an easy change can help make, uh, it can help increase your listeners. So to finish off, there are so many different types of metrics that you can track, so such as demographics, listens, and engagement rates. It's really important to understand what each of these metrics means and how to interpret it to make informed decisions about your podcast.

But, and this is a big but wild podcast, wild podcast metrics are important to track and interpret to all in order to measure the success of your podcast. Not the Bo and Endo. Concentrate on making content that you love, that you are passionate about, [00:20:00] and that will shine through to improve your podcast analytics.

Follow the tips I've shared with you here, and you can also learn from the examples of successful podcasts to see how they've leveraged their metrics to grow their audience and improve their content. But just remember podcast metrics. They're just one piece of the puzzle. When it comes to creating a successful podcast, it's important to prioritize creating quality content that resonates with your audience and to continuously experiment and to adapt, to find out what works best for your podcast.

The biggest mistake that you can make is spending hours and hours analyzing the data, making spreadsheets, making charts taken away from your time that you can be using to make great content. So there you have it. Whether you're a big name podcast or you're, or far along your journey or you're just starting out, tracking your analytics can help you understand your audience and improve your content.

Now, if you are just starting out and you're ready to [00:21:00] start sharing your story and launch your own podcast, Don't let fear, lack of knowledge, or any of these technical barriers hold you back. I started a comprehensive course called How to Start a Podcast. Get your voice out and share your story that will help you take the first steps towards creating a successful podcast that reaches and resonates with your audience.

You'll also gain exclusive tips, tricks, and a whole host of things, including things like a guest prep form, an intro template show notes template and, and way, way more that will help you stand out from the crowd and grow your. You can get all of this today. It's only $297 and you can start your podcast now . The link is in the description for this episode.

So thank you very much for joining me today.

 Make sure you follow Smarter Podcasting wherever you get podcasts, obviously Spotify, apple Podcasts, all of that stuff.

You can check out my website, Seven Million Bikes dot com. Uh, the blog on there. We're [00:22:00] updating that every week with more and more information, so that will hopefully, uh, be able to help you out on your podcasting journey. So thanks very much and uh, I'll see you soon. Cheers.


Key Times To Listen To

00:02:45 Benefits of AI in podcasting

00:07:30 Descript Studio editing tool

00:18:02 Chat GPT content idea generation

00:23:50 Podcast Marketing AI for show notes, descriptions, and social media posts

00:29:35 Sourcing guests, finding topics, and creating episode outlines through AI

00:34:18 Advancements in AI, such as voice assistants

00:39:22 Balancing AI with personal touch and authenticity

Episode Overview

Are you interested in starting your own podcast or looking to grow your existing show? If so, you’re in luck. Our latest episode is all about podcast analytics and how they can help you measure the success of your podcast.

We cover different metrics such as number of downloads, listener retention, engagement, demographics, and conversion, which can all provide valuable insights into podcast listeners and help grow your show.

By analyzing your metrics, you can learn about your audience and create high-quality content that they’ll love. We also discuss the importance of focusing on retention, as this is one of the metrics that Apple looks at when ranking podcasts in the charts.

But, tracking analytics is important, but it should not take away from creating compelling content. So, we also give some tips on how to hook your listeners early, keep your content engaging, and end each episode with a strong call to action.

Examples of podcasts like Serial and How I Built This have used analytics to boost their show. Even small independent podcasts can benefit from tracking metrics.

So are you ready to take the first steps towards creating compelling content that resonates with your audience? Listen to our latest episode now, follow Smarter Podcasting on your preferred platform, and check out the 7 million bikes website for more information. See you on the airwaves!



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From planning your content to monetizing your podcast, Niall covers everything you need to know to create and grow your own successful podcast. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the technical side of things, don’t worry – Niall’s got you covered with his comprehensive course, Get Your Voice Out and Share Your Story.

But it’s not just about creating a podcast for Niall – it’s about making a difference. He’s helped businesses like Delta MV reach high-value customers and individuals like Dee share important stories through their own successful podcasts.

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In the words of Niall Mackay himself, “My mission is to help you on your podcasting journey, whether you’re at the beginning, the middle, or the end. So I hope these episodes can provide lots of interesting information for you.”

Thanks for listening to this brand new show, Smarter Podcasting. I’m Niall Mackay, the podcast guy and founder of Seven Million Bikes Podcasts. 

I’m a podcast fanatic, stand-up comedian, and teacher. My mission is to help you on this podcast journey with me!

Don’t let fear, lack of knowledge, or technical barriers hold you back any longer. Take the first step towards creating a successful podcast that reaches and resonates with your audience.

With my comprehensive course, you’ll learn everything you need to know about starting, recording, editing, and publishing your podcast. Plus, you’ll gain access to exclusive tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you stand out from the crowd and grow your audience.

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