How to build a profitable podcast.
The primary goal for starting a podcast is to get people listening.
Therefore, every move you make should focus on creating content that adds value to your listener, and every decision you make must be with them in mind.
Podcast analytics ultimately help you serve your listener better, as they give you an insight that leaves you better equipped to provide your listeners with what they want.
In many cases, podcasters find it challenging to use podcast analytics to their advantage. This often happens because they do not know how to access these analytics or interpret them to take full advantage.
If a podcaster spends energy and time learning the data and metrics around podcasting, it will be well worth it in the end as you will be able to give your listeners what they need and increase your impact.
Before proceeding, let's have a clear view of what podcast analytics is.
Podcast analytics is the data set showing how well your podcasting has performed or is performing; this includes the number of listeners, the number of times they have listened to your podcast, your best-performing episodes, the location of your listeners, and several other pieces of information.
The data sets you can access through your podcast platform help you:
Your analytics give you a better insight into how your audience is structured. Podcast analytics will help you see who is/has been listening to your podcast and the various platforms they use to access it. The ultimate goal of podcast analytics is to help you get better equipped to develop content that is better suited to these listeners' tastes and needs.
Your data set will include:
This data set helps you to measure how your content resonates with your listeners. This insight can help you look into possible changes you can make to encourage your audience to listen more often and for longer periods of time. You must keep up-to-date with these analytics as they change daily, and these shifts can have a huge influence on what content you produce and how you produce it.
When you track your podcast's performance, you will quickly learn how to measure your growth to improve your effectiveness. There are many ways to improve your podcast, and keeping tabs on your growth is an easy way to reach your goal. If you are continuously aware of your podcast's development (whether positive or negative) there is more of a chance you will make money from it.
One of the best uses of your analytics is to help you gauge your podcast's earning potential. You can always include ads on your podcasts by getting sponsors to buy ad spaces based on your listener retention or overall number of listens/downloads. This is called the CPM (cost per mile/thousand) system.
When you keep tabs on the number of downloads you receive through podcast analytics, you can create a strategy for producing ad spaces on your podcast to earn money.
Since podcast analytics has come into existence, podcasters have complained about its complexity and the stress involved in interpreting the data. The process seems simple: check the hosting platform for your podcast and download the stats, but it is not always that simple.
Every podcast comes with a unique RSS-feed that the podcaster must submit to the main podcast directories. Many of these directories have to download the episode from your main hosting platform whenever a listener downloads the episode.
Some platforms that the "walled garden" use to download the podcast episode through the RSS feed into their servers at once and make it available for your listeners. Spotify is one such platform, which is why several hosting platforms do not include Spotify data in their analytics for your podcast.
Because there is little correlation between the analytics provided by Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other directories, the data provided for your show can be inaccurate and misleading.
The technologies used for podcast analytics are improving as fresh innovations come into the industry. However, it is paramount that you are aware of these imperfections, and don't allow the somewhat incomplete nature of the analytics to dissuade you from continuing with your podcasting career.
A crucial data in podcasting has always been downloads numbers. However, some podcast directories, such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts, have their unique counting downloads.
After a device has completed the download of an episode into its local storage, the system records a download. However, in some cases, a user can download an episode without ever listening to it. Therefore, there are other metrics that you need to pay attention to, aside from download numbers.
The directories also record streams, which is what happens when a user listens to a podcast episode directly without downloading it to their device. Paying attention to your streaming numbers is almost as important as keeping track of your download figures. Most hosting platforms do not use Spotify analytics as their wall might give inaccurate data.
This is the number of times that a user pressed the play button on the podcast directory, either by streaming or downloading the episode; this is an essential metric in understanding the extent to which your audience engages your content. However, not all hosting platforms can differentiate between actual listens and download numbers.
There are many ways and platforms through which a user can subscribe to a podcast. As a result of the user's ability to subscribe to a podcast via several platforms, it is difficult to get an accurate number of subscribers. Because podcast directories do not share a central database, you can only calculate per-directory instead of viewing the full picture.
It is nice to know how many subscribers your podcast has, but it is not an essential metric. It is better to focus on how often your audience engages with your episodes and how long they listen for.
The amount of times a user listens to an episode is far more critical than any metric, downloads inclusive.
Keeping track of the episodes that have the most listens can help you shape your future content. You can use the data to determine what type of content appeals to your audience. You can also build up a detailed understanding of other factors using the data, such as successful episode titles, popular topics, preferred episode length, and many more. When you compare the best-performing episodes to the worst-performing ones, you will slowly become a better content producer.
This data will show you the length of time your listeners stay engaged with your content and where they drop off. When you establish the point at which your listeners tune out or even skip an episode, you can learn more about their behaviour and tastes. This will help you determine if you need to shorten/lengthen your episodes or break them into different parts.
It is essential to know who listens to your show and where they are. This data will help you know if your target audience is listening to your show. If a different demographic is listening to your show more than you anticipated, you can tailor your content to accommodate them better, and make your show more appealing to advertisers that want to engage with that specific audience.
When you know where to find podcast analytics, the job of tuning your podcast becomes much easier. It might be a complicated process for you at the start, but you will get the hang of it in time.
Here are some primary sources to get podcast analytics
After submitting your podcast RSS feed to Apple Podcast, you can access the platform's analytics tool. The Apple platform will show you:
Apple is a massive platform for podcasts, and it presents a decent picture of how well your podcast is performing despite the presence of other platforms.
To get on Apple Podcast, you have to submit your podcast RSS feed to the platform. Check how to do that here.
Google Podcasts analytics will show you:
Google offers some of the best analytic tools for a podcast. The search analytics will also show you:
Learn how to get your podcast on Google Podcast here
Spotify is a podcast directory and streaming service that collects a significant amount of data. You can access your dashboard on Spotify to see the analytics for your podcast. Spotify is known for giving podcasters a deep insight into audience engagement.
Spotify also shows podcasters the type of music and musical artists their audience have been listening to.
Spotify shows you:
Learn how to get your podcast on Spotify here
Every podcast hosting platform has analytical capabilities. Hosting platforms collect data across the major podcast directories and other small directories where possible. There are many different hosting platforms, and here at bCast we pride ourselves on being reliable.
On bCast, you get:
To get on bCast and see what the platform offers, click here