How to track podcast listenership and my metrics

What’s up podcasters! In this post, I’m going to go over the method that I’m using to track the metrics for my show and why I think that this way is better than some of the other techniques out there.

First, before I get into it, I want to give due credit to Daniel J. Lewis, for his awesome article on tracking podcast downloads. It helped me out a lot in the early stages, so go check it out!

That being said, since I’ve been growing as a podcaster and I’m beginning to make money, I wanted to set a specific metric that I could focus on increasing each month.

I didn’t want to track my podcast by:

  • Overall monthly downloads – These can fluctuate for a variety of reasons and advertisers don’t care about them.
  • Six weeks of downloads for an episode – Although this is the advertising standard according to John Lee Dumas and others, I’d have to go back and track the six week mark for every episode, and it would just frankly be too much work for my small show.

I wanted to simply get a quick overview of how my show is doing in the long run. It’s pretty clear that downloads for new episodes is the only thing that matters when it comes to plotting actual growth.

Therefore, I’m going to start tracking the number of downloads in the first 10 days for every tenth episode (Libsyn makes this easy). As you might have seen before, almost every podcast I’ve put out has a spike in downloads in the first week and then kind of tapers off.

Granted the subject, title, and day of the week for every tenth episode will factor into their downloads, but it gives me a rough estimate of whether or not I’m growing my podcast. I’ll include a chart of my progress below.

podcast growth

Episode #20 was March, 24, 2015 and Episode #80 was March 23, 2016.

Therefore, my 10 day downloads grew by 217% from 2015 to 2016.

As you can see, the majority of the increase in my 10 day downloads came from EP #70 and up. Episode #70 came out on Dec 23, 2015. At the time of writing at this post, I’ve come out with 16 episodes in the new year, or about one per week.

I think that the increase comes down to improving my titling and marketing. I’m mentioning my podcast episodes more in the emails I sent out to my readers.

My goal is to get my 10 day download number to be 1,000. I’m not sure if I’m going to achieve that or how long it will take, but I’m more and more optimistic with all of the new things I’m learning!

Next, I’m going to be tracking the conversion rates of my podcast more closely. Stay tuned!