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A Deep Dive by on Measuring Podcast Success

A Deep Dive by on Measuring Podcast Success

December 5, 2023
7 min
Allan Martyr
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Allan Martyr
5 min read
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In the world of podcasting, download numbers often take the spotlight, acting as the barometer for success. However, beyond the apparent allure of these figures, lies a more nuanced understanding of what defines a successful podcast. Let's delve deeper into this realm and uncover the intricate layers of measuring podcast success.

Measuring Podcast Success: Quantitative KPIs

Here's a breakdown of the essential podcast metrics across different stages of maturity, helping you gauge and enhance your show's success:

Audience building metrics 

1. Number of subscribers: Indicates initial audience interest and retention.

2. Number of listens/downloads: Measures podcast reach and traction.

3. Social media mentions and engagement: Reflects audience interaction and interest in sharing content.

4. Verbal mentions to Sales and Customer Success: Indicates audience impact outside digital platforms.

5. Podcast merchandise purchases: A significant podcast milestone that indicates fan engagement and brand loyalty.

Audience growth metrics

6. Percentage change in subscribers/listeners: Measures growth trajectory.

7. Visits to podcast pages: Reflects audience curiosity and engagement with your show.

Audience engagement metrics 

8. Percentage average completion Time: Reflects audience interest and engagement duration.

9. Podcast ratings and reviews: Indicate audience satisfaction and feedback.

10. Responses to questions, quizzes, contests: Demonstrates active participation and involvement.

11. Sponsor ad clicks, promo codes used: Measures audience response to promotional content.

12. Surveys taken: Captures audience insights and feedback.

13. Sharing metrics: Number of shares for episodes, content, and related materials amplifies podcast reach and engagement.

Pipeline and conversion metrics

14. Leads through podcast-driven content: Measures audience interest translated into business leads.

15. Form/chat/demo conversions on podcast pages: Indicates audience intent to engage further.

16. Pipeline influenced by podcasts: Tracks podcast impact on the sales pipeline.

17. Conversion of listeners to meetings/prospects: Reflects the podcast's influence during the buying cycle.

Measuring Podcast Success: Qualitative KPIs

There are numerous qualitative avenues that surpass the podcast metrics outlined above. Here are a couple of them:

Episode metrics

18. Retention analysis: Understand listener behavior regarding drop-offs and skips, identifying content resonance.

19. Quality assessment: Review topics, interviews, delivery, and engagement, aiming for continual improvement based on audience feedback.

Creator growth metrics

20. Podcasting skills: Evaluate improvement in planning, recording, interviewing, editing, and podcast marketing.

21. Quality of guests: The caliber and diversity of guests can be a qualitative measure of success. Having influential or niche experts on your podcast could indicate its credibility and relevance.

22. Brand partnerships: Securing partnerships or collaborations with reputable brands or individuals within your niche signifies industry recognition and trust in your podcast's content.

23. Self-confidence: Monitor your comfort level and self-esteem growth since starting the podcast.

24. Time and productivity: Gauge efficiency by reducing task completion time without compromising quality standards.

25. Niche expertise: Strive for deeper knowledge in your specific niche or broader understanding of your audience's interests.

Top 4 Podcast Analytics Platforms

While the primary analytics stem from media hosts, several analytics tools augment the understanding of podcast performance: 

1. Simplecast: Power and simplicity

Source: G2

Simplecast’s user-friendly features simplify the process of uploading episodes while providing insightful data, making it a go-to platform for podcasters.

2. Megaphone: Precision and customization

Source: Medium

Megaphone stands out for its precision in dynamic ad placements. This feature allows podcasters to target specific demographics and update ads seamlessly. Additionally, it allows collaboration within larger teams.

3. Chartable: Reviews and rankings

Source: The Verge

Chartable aggregates podcast reviews from various countries and charts rankings on Apple Podcasts, providing a comprehensive view of audience feedback.

4. Podtrac: A glimpse into audience behavior

Source: Podtrac Analytics

Podtrac offers another layer of audience insights, aiding in understanding listener behavior and preferences.

Additional Tools for Podcast Analytics

Beyond podcast-specific tools, various general analytics tools contribute significantly to understanding audience behavior and optimizing podcast strategies: 

1. Website analytics

Tools like Google Analytics and Podcasts Manager offer insights into website visitors' behaviors, complementing podcast analytics.

2. Email service provider

ConvertKit, OptinMonster, and similar services enable podcasters to engage with their audience beyond episodes, offering an additional perspective on audience interaction.

3. Search engine optimization 

Tools like Semrush, Answer the Public and Google Trends assist in refining content strategies, leading to more engaging podcast topics and episodes.

4. Web monitoring 

AI-driven tools like Brand24 help in tracking brand mentions across the web, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the podcast's online presence.


Measuring podcast success extends beyond numerical statistics. It entails building a community, fostering engagement, and resonating with them. With, you can grow your online audience by repurposing video content on social media using a suite of powerful features:

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4. Video clipping: Effortlessly segment your videos, allowing for more focused and targeted content delivery.
5. Auto video chapters: Simplify navigation and enhance user experience by automatically creating video chapters.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I expand my podcast reach globally?

Understanding listener demographics and preferences across various platforms helps in tailoring content that appeals to a diverse, global audience.

2. How many listeners should a podcast have?

Podcasters with higher income tend to be 8.1 times more inclined to exceed 1,000 listeners per episode. However, even smaller shows with fewer than 1,000 listeners have the potential to generate a substantial income. 

3. Can my hosting provider get me more downloads?

Hosting platforms facilitate podcast distribution but don't directly influence download numbers. Growing an audience is primarily on the content creator.

4. What is the difference between podcast downloads vs listens?

A download refers solely to downloading an episode, regardless of whether it's been listened to. Conversely, a listen, or a play, occurs when a person actively presses the play button, indicating human engagement.

5. What are good podcast metrics?

The examples of good podcast metrics are:

  • Metrics for audience building encompass subscriber count, listens/downloads, social media engagement, verbal mentions, and merchandise sales. 
  • Audience growth metrics involve percentage changes in subscribers/listeners and visits to podcast pages. 
  • Audience engagement is gauged through completion time, ratings/reviews, interactive responses, sponsor ad clicks, surveys, and shares.

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