Use Podcast Analytics to Grow and Monetize Your Show

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Tracking your podcast’s analytics is critical to the growth and monetization of your show, and in this post we’ll explore how you can use our Podcast Analytics to see how your show is progressing. But first, let’s get into what information you can glean from RSS.com Podcasting’s Analytics.

Podcast Analytics: What We Measure

When you sign up for an RSS.com Podcasting hosting account, you get instant access to our customer-facing analytics dashboard.

What this means is, once you have started uploading podcast episodes to your account, you’ll be able to see the following metrics:

  • Total number of subscribers for the month
  • Number of all-time downloads (including how many downloads there were today, yesterday, this month and the previous month)
  • Your top five episodes
  • Where people are listening from geographically
  • The type of device used to download your show
  • The app used to listen
  • And more!

To access your Podcast Analytics, simply log in to your RSS.com hosting account, and select “Analytics” from the toolbar on your podcast home page.

To learn more about the specific features of our podcast analytics, including how downloads and subscribers are calculated, click here.

podcast analytics RSS.com

Why Podcast Analytics Matter

What gets measured, gets improved.

- Peter Drucker, who BusinessWeek calls “the man who invented management”

Simply put, the above quote is the reason we must pay attention to our podcast analytics. They tell us critical information that we can use to determine how our show is performing. As we measure our performance, we can make improvements to our podcasts for maximum growth.

For example, suppose you start uploading episodes with a new theme or layout, and want to track whether or not the changes are resonating with your audience. You could send an email asking your audience how they feel about your new content direction, but they might not want to tell you their actual thoughts. Numbers on the other hand don’t lie.

If the number of downloads decrease compared with previous episodes you’ve loaded, it’s a clear indicator that your audience isn’t as excited about the new content direction. However, if you start seeing a massive uptick in downloads, it’s a pretty good bet that your listeners are enjoying the change and you should keep going on your current path.

Podcast analytics also helps you understand whether or not your marketing is working.

podcast analytics RSS.com

Assume for a moment that you’re heavily promoting your show on social media one month. If your subscriber numbers and downloads go up, it’s highly probable that your marketing efforts are doing what you want them to. 

On the flip-side, if you’re not seeing any changes in the number of subscribers and/or downloads, perhaps social media is not the right place to be promoting your show. Then again, it could mean you need a different strategy if you want to continue using social media for your promotions. At this point, you could attempt paid advertising on social media and see if that moves the needle. The more information you can gather, the better.

Perhaps next month, your focus could be on securing better podcast guests. Or you could try getting booked on other podcasters’ shows in an effort to promote your own show. Every change you make should be examined through the lens of your podcast analytics so that you know what is working and what isn’t.

Note: Podcast analytics may not explain outlier events such as an episode suddenly going viral. The good news is, that while it’s true your show could randomly take off without a clear indication of what caused it to surge in popularity, your analytics can give you a lot of information under normal circumstances. In other words, if you start examining your analytics as you are working on your promotion efforts, you should be able to clearly see what worked and what didn’t.

Numbers going up means your efforts are working, while numbers staying stagnant or going down means your efforts have room for improvement.

Pro Tip
Only make one change at a time as you are monitoring your analytics so that you know which change caused the movement in your numbers.
If you start making a bunch of changes to your podcast all at once, it will be much harder to tell which ones impacted your analytics. You can analyze click throughs from social media of course, but if you stick to making one significant change per month, it’s easier to determine what is most likely moving the needle for your show.

Podcast Analytics: Sponsors Want to See Them!

One final thing you should know about your podcast analytics is that they can be your ticket to sponsorships. Because your analytics tell potential sponsors how popular your show is, that is what they use to determine if they want to invest with you. As your numbers increase, it’s a good idea to include your downloads per month in your media kit and/or advertising page on your podcast’s website. To paint an even better picture of your audience, you can also look at the analytics on Spotify, iTunes, and Google Podcasts.

These platforms can give you information about the demographics of your listeners such as the countries/regions they live in, the age ranges, and their gender. This information can help you hone in on specific sponsors you would like to pitch for your show.

Help Your Podcast Grow with Stats

Are you a visual learner? If so, check out the short video below for a full walk-through of our new analytics!

How to Interpret Podcast Analytics from Different Platforms

Many podcasters will notice differences between the numbers we provide in our analytics vs the numbers being reported by Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

This inconsistency is due to two main reasons:

1. Terminology – These apps and platforms use similar labels that often represent different calculations. For instance, we estimate “Followers” by calculating the average of the first 24 hours unique downloads for your last 3 episodes, whereas Spotify “Followers” indicate the number of people who click the “Follow” button on a podcast in the Spotify app.

2. Caching – Some podcast apps may cache i.e. store your episode in their servers or locally. Platforms that cache your content typically don’t disclose how and when they do so. Spotify, for instance, is well known for caching your episodes, and in some cases, this may result in discrepancies in the number of downloads and followers being reported in RSS.com’s Analytics and Spotify’s Insights. 

For example, if one of your episodes is downloaded once via Spotify and it gets cached, it’s possible that multiple listeners streaming it in Spotify will result in only 1 download displayed in our Analytics. This is a common problem for all podcast hosting services that requires more collaboration across the industry.

Metrics That Are Specific to Apple, Spotify, and Google

There some very useful metrics that are specific to Apple, Spotify, Google  and other platforms that only they can offer.

For example, the reason why Spotify and Apple can provide metrics such as listeners’ demographics and we can’t, is that these users have been authenticated (logged in) and they have access to demographic insights on who is listening to your podcast.

This is useful, but still not comprehensive as Spotify can provide insights such as demographics, streams and starts for the people who listen to your show via Spotify but not for listeners that use Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.

Similarly, Apple Podcasts can provide you with the percentage of Engaged Listeners and Average Consumption only for users that listened to your podcast via Apple Podcasts and not via Spotify or Google Podcasts.

For this reason, podcasters will typically merge data from their hosting service with the platform-specific data offered by companies like Spotify, Google and Apple.

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