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Tracking Podcast Metrics: Charts, Data and Analytics to Monitor

Introduction

While podcasting is driven first and foremost by passion, having visibility into performance metrics helps guide growth. By monitoring downloads, subscribers, reviews, social engagement, geographies and other indicators over time you gain insights to optimize both your content and promotional efforts. This guide explores essential podcast charts and analytics to track regularly.

Apple Podcasts Charts

The premier worldwide rankings of popular shows:

All Categories

  • Top overall podcasts globally and by country.
  • Based on recent subscriptions/downloads.
  • Updated daily.

Category Specific

  • Top shows per genre like Business, Sports, Health etc.
  • Opportunity to reach new listeners browsing relevant categories.
  • Featured selections are manually curated by Apple.

Charting provides credibility and surfaces your show to Apple’s vast subscriber base.

Spotify Top Podcast Charts

Widely followed rankings especially among younger audiences:

  • Global Top Podcasts
  • Local charts per country
  • Frequent chart additions promoted across Spotify
  • Can drive listens long after initial release
  • Impacts recommendations on Spotify and other platforms

Placements amplify reach exponentially thanks to Spotify’s scale.

First Party Analytics

Data provided within podcast hosting platforms:

Libsyn

  • Downloads over time
  • Geographic listening stats
  • Traffic sources
  • Podcast reviews

Buzzsprout

  • Listens by date and episode
  • Follower growth
  • Streaming vs download metrics
  • Listener locations
  • Playing device breakdowns

Anchor

  • Plays, subscribers, reviews
  • Audience demographic data
  • Listening locations
  • Follower bell notifications

Self-hosted WordPress statistics plugins also available.

Surface-level charts useful for gauging overall traction.

Third Party Analytics Services

Robust data from dedicated analytics platforms:

Chartable

  • Cross-platform performance
  • Demographics and interests
  • Engagement metrics
  • Listener churn
  • Traffic sources

Podtrac

  • Certified download numbers
  • Geographic heatmaps
  • Episode-level metrics
  • Demographic insights
  • Market share rankings

Podcorn

  • Episode performance
  • Audience makeup
  • Engagement and retention
  • Ad performance
  • Brand studies

Critical for deeper understanding of audience composition and behaviors.

Podcast Industry Rankings

Benchmark against wider market:

Triton Digital Reports

  • Top podcasts monthly by downloads
  • Global and country-specific rankings

Podcast Analytics Rankings

  • Top shows by followers and social traction
  • Niche rankings by category

Feedspot Lists

  • Top podcasts by iTunes reviews
  • Rankings based on industry blogs and news

Context helps evaluate relative traction and standing competitively.

Key Podcast Metrics to Monitor

Vital indicators worth tracking:

Downloads

  • Total per episode
  • Rate of growth
  • Streaming vs downloading
  • Variation by episode performance

Subscriptions

  • New followers per month
  • Churn rate
  • Supported platforms and apps

Reviews

  • Overall rating
  • Number of reviews
  • Sentiment breakdown

Social Metrics

  • Shares and embeds
  • Mentions and tags
  • Audience interactions

Continuously monitor metrics most aligned to audience growth goals.

Podcast Demographic Information

Data revealing audience makeup:

  • Age Range Youth, Millennial or Gen X skewed.
  • Gender
    Majority male or female.
  • Income
    Understand buying power.
  • Location Concentrated or diverse regions.
  • Interests Niche communities and affiliated topics.
  • Professions Industries and roles engaged.

Quantifying listener attributes helps attract sponsors and tailor content.

Podcast Visitor Traffic Sources

Understand discovery channels:

  • Direct
    Visitors entering URL directly.
  • Referrals Links from other sites.
  • Social
    Arriving from social posts.
  • Organic Search
    Keyword search engines.
  • Paid Advertising Paid promotions converting.
  • Email Traffic from newsletters and mailing lists.

Analytics clarify highest ROI promotional outlets to double down on.

Podcast Hosting Platform Statistics

Data from hosting providers on streaming delivery:

  • Individual Episode Stats Plays, finishes, length of listen, partial downloads.
  • Listener Location Countries and regions reached.
  • Playing Device Types iOS, Android, web breakdown.
  • Bandwidth Usage Total data transferred to listeners.
  • Concurrent Streams
    Number of simultaneous listeners.
  • Peak Streaming Times When most listen each day, week and month.

Assess opportunities like minimized streaming costs.

Apple Podcasts Advanced Analytics

Apple’s official analytics provide:

  • Downloads Per Episode Charts downloads across episodes.
  • Subscriptions New followers and cumulative total.
  • Top Content Sources Which Apple content surfaces your show.
  • Listener Demographics Age, gender, income.
  • Engagement Metrics Churn, average time per listener.
  • Playback Methods Downloads vs streaming.

Critical insights but limited to Apple Podcasts data only.

Podcast Data Calculations

Useful metrics derived from base data:

  • Share of Ear
    Your podcast listens divided by total podcast listens.
  • Listen Through Rate Percentage of episode completed on average.
  • Conversion Rate
    Episode downloads divided by subscribers.
  • Engagement Ratio
    Likes, comments and clicks versus reach.
  • Average Listen Duration Total time listened divided by downloads.
  • Churn Rate Percentage of listeners lost month-over-month.

Advanced indicators convey growth opportunities beyond surface stats.

Podcast Reporting Tools

Software automating data analysis:

  • Chartable Charts, ranks and compares podcasts.
  • Podtrac Certified podcast download metrics.
  • Nielsen Podcast Analytics Audience insights platform.
  • Podsights Clips dynamic inserts and analyzes performance.
  • Podcorn Ad sales optimization and analytics.
  • Feedpress Real-time download stats analyzer.
  • Podchaser Pro Audience demographics and reviews.

Tools rescale as needs evolve beyond basic platform statistics.

Using Data to Improve Strategy

Apply insights to grow smarter:

  • Correlate downloads with marketing efforts
  • Identify and double down on well performing content areas
  • Benchmark against competitors
  • Personalize ads and offers based on audience attributes
  • Gauge engagement levels by podcast directory
  • Curate future guests and topics informed by listener interests
  • Guide pricing and ad sales based on impressions
  • Optimize promotion channels and platforms

Ongoing analysis should directly inform actions.

Pitfalls of Data Over-Reliance

Avoid missteps obsessing over metrics:

  • Chasing topical trends excessively Stay authentic to you.
  • Overcorrecting format frequently
    Consistent identity builds loyal community.
  • Obsessing over chart rankings Be more concerned with engagement than sheer numbers.
  • Sacrificing production polish to increase output Quality over quantity.
  • Twisting content simply to spike stats Stay true to your creative purpose.
  • Rushing or forcing content on a calendar
    Some great shows take time to gestate.

Let data guide, not dictate, decisions.

Conclusion

While podcasting starts from a place of passion, analytics help inform strategies for finding your right audience. Consistently monitoring performance metrics beyond just show downloads reveals key opportunities for improving marketing, content, guest booking and community engagement. Avoid getting distracted by vanity metrics that don’t actually help decision-making. Focus on insights that can tangibly refine your podcast craft and connection.

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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