Podcast Engagement Metrics

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Podcast Analytics - Acast

Some eight podcast analytics available on Acast are referrers, top players, top devices, download data, time of day distribution, top platforms, top episodes, and locations. These findings are also available on the attached spreadsheet.

Download Data

  • It provides the user with download stats, which include "plays or streams from every podcast app." 'Downloads,' as a metric, provides clarity on a podcast's popularity.
  • This analytics also includes data of episodes inserted and activated on a website and affords podcasters a better understanding of what their audience listens to.

Referrers

  • Referrers are specific to industries, meaning referrals that emanate from another person in such an industry. In the podcast industry, this analytics will probably give podcasters a better understanding of podcasts their audience refers to one another.

Top Episodes

  • This analytics likely measures top episodes by what listeners consider as their favorites.
  • On the Acast dashboard, there is a three-dot menu where listeners can find the option of listening to an episode later, and such action makes the episode a favorite automatically. It is safe to say that this analytics will give podcasters a better understanding of their audience's preferences.

Top Devices

  • This analytics likely provides the top devices listeners use to engage podcasts, and such will afford podcasters a better understanding of the choices of their audience. For instance, Acast provides multifunction use for Android and IOS devices, but such is not available for Sonos speaker system at the moment.

Time of Day Distribution

  • This analytics likely measures the periods in the day when podcasts enjoy peak patronage. Acast boasts of its proficiency in helping podcasters distribute their content with expertise. But tracking the time of day distribution will give podcasters a better understanding of when their audience listens to podcasts.

Top Players

  • This analytics likely provides the top players in every category or segment. Since 'downloads' provide clarity on a podcast's popularity, this analytics will probably give podcasters a better understanding of what their audience listens to.

Top Platforms

  • This analytics shows the top platforms listeners frequent to listen to podcasts. The choice of top platforms will give podcasters a better understanding of how to engage the audience.

Locations

  • This analytics likely provides the demographic locations of listeners. Such analytics will give podcasters a better understanding of how to engage the audience.

Research Strategy

We identified all available analytics on the podcast distribution platform Acast by combing through its website. Through the FAQ section, we identified and listed all available analytics the platform uses. However, we couldn't find sources that describe sufficiently these analytics on the platform's website, the platform's blogs, and third-party platforms like Triton, Tyson Franklin, Marketing Charts, and CodeinWP.

The purpose of the analytics is to give podcasters a better understanding of how to engage the audience. Therefore, we used this sole purpose to provide logical descriptions of each analytics based on their nomenclature. We also provided two to three sentences for those analytics we considered as providing information about user engagement.
Part
02
of six
Part
02

Podcast Analytics - Simplecast

Simplecast offers users a variety of different analytics that can be viewed regarding a podcast episode as a whole or broken down in more detail to provide statistics per episode. A list of all the podcast analytics has been provided in the attached spreadsheet.  

Unique Listeners

  • The unique listeners metric on the Simplecast dashboard shows the number of individual listener devices that downloaded or streamed the show.
  • Simplecast has created a unique analytic they refer to as a “fingerprint” that anonymously identifies unique listener devices - through machine learning, they're able to know if those devices have listened to a specific podcast and episode before, hence establishing the unique listeners metric.

Downloads

Interactive Map and Listener Location

  • Simplecast developed a fully interactive, zoom-able, scroll-able map.
  • This interactive map enables one to see where their listeners are located, from region to country and city-level.
  • Listener location is another useful tool that provides podcast listeners’ geographic location. 
  • Apart from providing data on where the podcast's listeners are from, it also provides the downloads of the podcast that come from a particular country/region.

Web players (Retention and Play-through Analytics)

Additional Information on Plays

  • Popular time of the day metric shows at what time of the day an episode is listened to at a high rate or is more popular.
  • Listening methods and platforms encompass the devices and players that the podcast is being played on or downloaded from the insights: may include if the episodes are streamed largely on iPhone, iPad, Samsung or Motorolla devices. This metric furthermore breaks down to the specific methods such as applications (iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, CastBox or Stagefright) operating system (iOS, Windows, Android, Linux or Ubuntu) and the specific browser too (Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge).

Research Strategy

  • We used the Simplecast website to research analytic tools offered by Simplecast to its users. There was limited information on the main website through the plans and features pages so the majority of our key findings were available via the Simplecast help section of the website.
Part
03
of six
Part
03

Podcast Analytics - Blubrry

Research was conducted to identify all the available analytics provided by the podcast distribution platform Blubrry. The list of Burbrry's analytics was identified and listed on the enclosed spreadsheet. Each identified analytic is briefly described including a basic definition as well as some benefits of the analytic in some cases in which that information was available.

KEY FINDINGS

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Much of the basic information on the analytics offered from Burbrry was obtained from its website. Other websites were cited which provided supporting descriptive information on the specific analytic and/or provided some additional information regarding the statistic.
Part
04
of six
Part
04

Podcast Analytics - Libsyn

Libsyn offers users a variety of different analytics which can be viewed in regard to a podcast show as a whole or broken down in more detail to provide statistics per episode.

Show Statistics

The following widgets can be used to view data related to an entire show including all episodes and media files.
  • The Episode Totals Breakdown shows all episodes that have received downloads and how many downloads each episode received in each month, with the option to view data over the last two months and all time.

Social Statistics

  • Users can link Twitter and Facebook accounts with their Libsyn account. The Social Media Stats' widget shows how many people have either followed the user on Twitter or liked their Facebook page.
  • If the user has more than one Twitter handle or Facebook page linked to their Libsyn account, each handle or page will be displayed with separate statistics on the Libsyn social media widget.
  • There is no correlation between social media interaction and the download data shown in the Libsyn analytics widget. This is because interactions on social media are counted as separate interactions from those services rather than traditional downloads from podcasting outlets which are displayed in the download data.

Calendar

The calendar can be used to view statistics from within a date range selected. It can be used for the widgets detailed below.
  • Unique Downloads in a selected date displays the number of unique downloads within that set date range.
  • The Downloads Per Day chart shows all unique downloads that have happened on any given day based on the time frame set in the calendar. Users can view data in weekly and monthly format as well as being able to click on each individual day and view a list of all episodes downloaded that day.
  • The Downloads Per Day chart can also be viewed using the IAB metric which allows users to view a Distinct Listeners trend line detailing the number of episodes downloaded by each unique listener.
  • The Downloads Per Episode table shows the number of downloads each episode has received with the episodes ordered by the date the media was first available.
  • The Downloads Per Destination widget shows how many downloads a show has received per destination within the date range set. There are options to view this as a trend line or monthly breakdown. A destination is anywhere a user sends an episode such as a user's podcast page, RSS feed or media player. Users can also view downloads per destination broken down by number of downloads per user agent, for example iTunes, Stitcher or Chrome.
  • The Georgraphic Statistics widget allows users to view a global map displaying how many downloads any given show has received per country in the date range set. The darker the country on the map the more downloads it has received. By clicking on each country a user can view more detailed data, for example clicking on the United States then provides a breakdown of downloads per state.
  • The User Agents table shows the user how many downloads a show has received in the date range set. Data is broken down per user agent such as iTunes or Chrome.

Episodes Statistics

The following widgets provide data per episode.
  • Total downloads, Legacy downloads and Unique downloads give a breakdown of the number of each type of download per episode.
  • The Media File Totals Breakdown shows the total number of downloads for any media files associated with that episode over the past two months.

Social Media

Statistics shown in the social media widgets are only for posts generated by Libsyn using the Twitter or Facebook destination, any posts the user creates themselves including those with links to their Libsyn content will not be shown in the statistics.
  • The Twitter widget will display how many likes and retweets a post has received.
  • The Facebook widget will display how many views, comments, shares and reactions a post has received. When clicking on reactions, the number of each reaction will be shown.

Calendar

The calendar can also be used to view episode data in the same way as when viewing show data. The following widgets allow the user to view data within a set date range using the calendar.
  • Unique downloads in a selected date range, downloads per day, downloads per media file, downloads per destination and user agents all provide data based on the date range set using the calendar.
  • Geographic statistics showing a global and country breakdown are also available within a set date range set by the calendar.
  • User Agents

Research Strategy

We used the Libsyn website to research analytic tools offered by Libsyn to its users. There was limited information on the main website through the plans and features pages so the majority of our key findings were available via the Libsyn support section of the website.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

Podcast Analytics - Anchor

Total plays and estimated audience size are among the current available podcast analytics that Anchor has. A list of all the podcast analytics has been provided in the attached spreadsheet.

Podcast Analytics

Total Plays
  • Data on total plays shows the total number the podcast has been played and is only available once the show has more than five plays.
  • Total plays includes plays across all the external platforms the podcast has been distributed to, and accounts for plays of all distributed episodes for your show.
Estimated Audience Size
  • Estimated audience size is based on the average number of plays each of your episodes get in the first 30 days after publishing.
  • Anchor come up with this metric due to the difficulty experienced in calculating audience size because platforms do not offer subscriber counts.
  • This analytical tool provides a better way to notice listening changes for the podcast over time.
Plays per Episode
  • Plays per episode provides the user with the ability to view their podcast plays at a Daily, Weekly, or Monthly level.
  • It will also show the top 3 played episodes within a particular time frame and the total number of plays across all of their other episodes.
  • Additionally, a purple dot on the charts will indicate whether you published new episodes on the selected date.
Top 10 Episodes
Listener Location
  • Listener location is another useful tool that provides podcast listeners’ geographic location.
  • Apart from providing data on where the podcasts listeners are from, it also provides the percentage of listeners that come from a particular region.
Listening Platforms
  • Apps’ another Anchor analytics, allows the user can see a breakdown of their listener base on all the external platforms that the podcast is distributed to through Anchor. External platforms include Spotify, Sticher, Overcast Apple podcasts among others.
  • Devices’ another analytics allows the user to see as a ratio, the devices that their podcasts are played. Examples of devices include Android, Apple, Web among others.

Additional Information on Plays

  • For a play to be counted, it must have been heard partially or fully by a unique listener.
  • If a user’s podcast is downloaded, then the download qualifies as a play.
  • If a listener streams a user’s podcast for a minute or more, then the stream also qualifies as a play.
  • Additionally, ad impressions must either be downloaded or streamed to be counted.

Part
06
of six
Part
06

Podcast Analytics - Lybsin Pro

LibsynPro's offers all the podcast analytics options offered by the company's advanced pricing options. In addition, it also offers the ability to track network-level statistics like GB per day and GB per show. All the information has been entered in the spreadsheet.

Advanced Statistics

  • LibsynPro offers the same social media statistics and episode statistics as their advanced pricing options.
  • These available LibsynPro podcast statistics categories include total downloads, Legacy downloads, unique downloads, downloads per episode, downloads per destination, downloads per day, and total media files downloaded.
  • Total downloads, Legacy downloads, and unique downloads offer a breakdown of the number of each type of download per episode.
  • LibsynPro podcast statistic categories also include user agents, which breaks down downloads per user agent, such as iTunes or Chrome, and geographical statistics, which allows users to view global or country-wide data.
  • LibsynPro even offers social statistics for Twitter and Facebook and Calendar statistics that provide data based on a specified date range set.
  •  The Twitter statistics display how many likes and retweets a post has received. The Facebook statistics show how many views, comments, shares and reactions a post has received.

Network Statistics

  • In addition, LibsynPro uniquely offers users the ability to view network level stats, like network traffic and bandwidth level data.
  • Bandwidth stats allow a user to be able to see how much data was downloaded across their complete network and how much data was downloaded per show.
  • The GB per Day chart shows users how many gigabytes of data gets transferred on their network.
  • The GB per Show statistic gives data on how many gigabytes are transferred for each show on the network.

Research Strategy

This research was produced by first investigating the LibsynPro section of the Libsyn website to better understand their available podcast analytics. Further research led to the company's support page which included a breakdown of the various types of statistics that are available for users, including download statistics, social statistics, and network statistics.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "We process a lot of data from each download request, allowing us to break down your podcast statistics in a number of ways for both individual episodes or overall, and by month or all-time."
Quotes
  • "An application running in a user's machine (PC, Mac, workstation)"
Quotes
  • " The three main traffic sources are direct, referral, and search, although your website may also have traffic from campaigns such as banner ads or paid search. I"
Quotes
  • "While statistics features vary from hosting service to hosting service and even plan to plan, some that you could expect to see are geographic location of your listeners and listening preferences, including devices, platforms, and browsers."
Quotes
  • "If the system you use to track your podcast’s performance cannot measure partial downloads, then the IAB guidelines require that the file is downloaded in full to actually count as a unique download."
Quotes
  • "If your new episode gets, within 30 days of its release: more than 136 downloads, you're in the top 50% of podcasts. more than 1100 downloads, you're in the top 20% of podcasts. more than 3200 downloads, you're in the top 10% of podcasts. more than 7,700 downloads, you're in the top 5% of podcasts. more than 20,000 downloads, you're in the top 2% of podcasts. more than 36,000 downloads, you're in the top 1% of podcast"
From Part 05
Quotes
  • "You can find analytics for your podcast under Your Podcast Performance, right on your web dashboard. As your podcast continues to grow, you'll be able to see that in the following charts in Anchor:"
Quotes
  • "A play indicates that your episode, or some part of it, was heard by a unique listener. At a high level, industry standards define plays as either downloads or streams."