Just like for websites, podcast analytics and stats are an important part of measuring your success and planning future episodes. With podcasting, metrics are a little different and the many different distribution channels can make it difficult to compile data into a comprehensive whole.
By understanding how to use different podcast analytics tools, you can recognize patterns across multiple platforms and gain valuable insight into your performance. Using this podcast data will help you see where your primary focus should lie so you can optimize your efforts for better success.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at podcast analytics and why they’re a valuable tool to have. Then, we’ll look at some of the best analytics tools for podcasters (and show you how to use them). Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Podcast Analytics (And Why They’re Valuable)
The technology behind the podcasting industry is always evolving. While generic tools like Google Analytics can give you some insight, they lack the focus of dedicated podcast analytics.
Many of the big podcast distribution platforms enable you to track data about your episodes. This includes important metrics like total downloads and listens.
These metrics can help you identify your most successful episodes and popular topics, so you can strategize for the future. They can also provide useful information about your audience, including their geographic location and preferred listening methods.
If your podcast is distributed on several platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts etc., you’ll realize that your analytics data is often not fully represented in one place. For example, Spotify and YouTube forces podcasters to lock themselves into their platform and they won’t accept external “open” RSS feeds – so the analytics you see on Spotify is always just for the on-platform data. (this may also mean that the stats coming from your podcast hosting provider are not inclusive of the Spotify/YouTube data)
Podcast Analytics Services (And How to Use Them)
Some of the best podcast analytics tools are provided by established platforms. Let’s look at five popular options, and how you can use them to grow your podcast.
1. Your Podcast Website
Podcastpage.io enables you to create a full website for your podcast. A website can give you great insights about your show, and you’ll be able to see which are the most popular episodes, how people find your show on search engines, etc.
Podcastpage also integrates with a number of analytics tools, including Google Analytics or Plausible Analytics so you can use your preferred tool for that. Podcast SEO is a key part of the success of your show and analytics can help you constantly improve your SEO game.
By combining this data with the data you get from your podcast hosting provider or from Spotify / YouTube / Apple Podcasts analytics – you’ll be able to understand your audience even better. You can then use this information to attract more listeners and improve your show
2. Your podcast hosting provider
Most podcast hosting companies offer built-in analytics. The important part here is that you have analytics based on your RSS feed. If you distribute your podcast via the RSS feed (as you should), any listen, download or click via a podcatcher app (like Stitcher, Podcast Addict, Castbox etc.) would count against your stats. This should give you a pretty comprehensive picture of how your podcast is performing. You’ll be able to find the source from which people listen to your podcast (including your podcast website), get insights on how many subscribers you have, and more.
Some providers even share data about the time your listeners have spent on each of your episodes.
3. Podtrac / Chartable / Podsights
Podtrac, Podsights and Chartable (now owned by Spotify) are tools that offer dedicated analytics services built specifically for podcasting. Many hosts integrate with those services and automatically redirect your episode URLs to pass through the analytic tools.
You’ll be able to gain valuable insights about your podcast and episode performance by using any of these tools.
4. YouTube / Spotify
These two platforms are among the most popular ones in the world. You’ll also realize that these platforms are not typically basing their podcasting features on RSS feeds so any data you’ll get from these platforms is limited to traffic in each app separately.
Spotify is the top podcasting platform nowadays, and they have their own analytics service. If you want your podcast to be distributed on Spotify, you’ll have to set up a “Spotify for Podcasters” account and submit your feed there. Once your podcast is available on Spotify, you’ll be able to get data about your podcast’s performance on the platform.
Many podcasters use YouTube as another avenue for extending their reach. Common practice is to record video along with your audio, though this isn’t strictly necessary. We see a lot of podcasters that choose to also import a YouTube channel to their websites.
YouTube has its own set of analytics, which you can access by signing in to YouTube Studio and selecting the Analytics tab from the left-hand menu:
In addition to audience data, you can also track your revenue if you have monetization enabled. While YouTube works differently from podcast platforms, it offers similar analytics data to these apps.
For instance, views are essentially the same as listens. If you’re wondering how to see how many listeners your podcast has on YouTube, you can look at the number of subscribers on your channel.
Now that you know how to use the different free podcast analytics tools, you can start tracking your performance. Understanding what makes your best episodes popular can help you develop your strengths and grow your audience.