Understanding Podcast Analytics & Data That Drive Success

Oct 4, 2023

Podcast Analytics

Data and podcast analytics can be super confusing. You know you need it, but you aren’t sure what data to get (besides downloads) and what to do with it to help grow your show. I interview Podder Co-Founder Christian Sorensen to share what insights drive success, how to understand your audience better, what trends to track, reviews and rankings. Let’s demystify podcast analytics and start listening…

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Key Moments: 

The limitations of relying solely on download numbers [00:01:12] Discussion on the lack of information available about podcast data and the confusion surrounding download numbers.

The importance of consumption rate and episode performance [00:03:36] Explanation of how consumption rate and listen through rate can provide valuable insights into audience engagement and content quality.

The concept of evergreen episodes and making content sustainable [00:06:16] Exploration of the idea of evergreen episodes that continue to attract listeners over time, and strategies for creating sustainable and engaging content.

Understanding the Your Podcast Audience [00:10:33] This topic discusses the challenges of collecting and analyzing audience data while complying with privacy regulations, and how Porter uses probabilistic methods to determine audience demographics and personality traits.

Benefits of Audience Data for Advertising and Content Creation [00:12:01] This topic explores how podcasters can leverage audience data, such as income level, savings, and interests, to attract advertisers and create more tailored content that resonates with their listeners.

Rankings and their Impact on Discoverability [00:19:11] This topic delves into the significance of podcast rankings on platforms like Spotify and Apple, how they influence discoverability, and the ambiguity surrounding how rankings are calculated.

The limitations of relying solely on download numbers [00:20:58] Discussion about the challenges of interpreting podcast analytics and download numbers and the need for alternative metrics to measure podcast performance.

The fluctuating nature of podcast rankings [00:22:04] Exploration of the factors that influence podcast rankings, including the frequency of updates by platforms like Apple and the impact of different collection times by various services.

The impact of reviews on podcast rankings [00:23:52] Insights into the potential influence of reviews on podcast rankings and the psychological effect of higher review numbers on attracting new listeners.

The importance of collecting data from the beginning [00:32:10] Christian explains that the more data podcasters have, including downloads, reviews, and rankings, the more sophisticated analysis can be done. He recommends starting to collect data from the beginning.

The limitations of consumption data and download thresholds [00:34:17] Christian discusses how platforms like Spotify and Apple have thresholds for showing consumption data, but he doesn’t remember the exact number. He also mentions that for demographics data, about 500 hits (or 2500 downloads) are needed for statistical accuracy.

Using data to predict audience preferences and content creation [00:36:45] Christian talks about how analyzing podcast analytics can help predict what kind of content certain demographics would likely want to listen to. This reverse engineering approach can help podcasters tailor their content to specific audiences and create more engaging episodes.

The Challenge of Understanding Podcast Data

Christian and I began our conversation by discussing the challenges podcasters face in understanding and accessing data about their shows. When Christian and his co-founders entered the podcasting space, they were surprised by the lack of available information and the difficulty in obtaining it. Different streaming services and hosting providers hold varying amounts of data on listeners and performance, making it challenging to get a comprehensive view.

Christian emphasized the importance of looking beyond download numbers and focusing on consumption rates and episode performance. He suggested logging into platforms like Spotify and Apple to access more detailed information, but noted that even then, the metrics may differ between platforms.

The Power of Evergreen Episodes

One of the most intriguing concepts we discussed was that of evergreen episodes. These are episodes that continue to attract listeners over time, making them a valuable asset for any podcaster. Christian suggested ways to identify and leverage these episodes, and I found myself excited by the potential of creating related content to capitalize on their success.

However, Christian also acknowledged that while data can provide insights into episode performance, it cannot determine the exact reasons behind peaks and drops. He advised podcasters to consider the nature of their show and the potential for evergreen content when analyzing their data.

Understanding Your Audience with the Persona Card

Our conversation then shifted to the persona card feature offered by Porter. Christian explained that the persona card provides data points to understand the audience’s personality. This data is collected through anonymized processes and is GDPR compliant. It uses signals and signs to determine the most likely demographics of the audience.

This information is incredibly useful for podcasters who sell ads on their show, as it provides valuable insights for advertisers. Additionally, understanding the audience better can help with content creation. The persona card is created by analyzing publicly written reviews and using a machine learning algorithm trained on personality types. It provides a visual representation of the typical listener based on the collected data.

Simplifying Data for Podcasters

Christian and his team at Porter are constantly looking for ways to simplify the data for podcasters. Instead of focusing on constant fluctuations in rankings, they are considering showing the average ranking over the last 30 days as one number. They believe that looking at rankings at a specific point in time can be misleading due to the daily fluctuations and the difficulty in understanding why they occur.

The Impact of Reviews on Rankings

When asked about the impact of reviews on rankings, Christian explained that while they encourage podcasters to ask for more reviews, it is unclear whether reviews directly impact rankings. However, having more reviews can psychologically attract curious listeners and potentially lead to more new listeners.

The Importance of Collecting Data from Day One

Finally, Christian emphasized the importance of collecting data from the beginning of a podcast. The more episodes, downloads, reviews, and rankings a podcaster has, the more data Porter can analyze and provide insights on. He recommended that podcasters sign up with Porter from day one to gather as much data as possible for future analysis and improvement.

In conclusion, my conversation with Christian Sorensen was a deep dive into the world of podcast analytics and data. It highlighted the importance of understanding your audience, leveraging evergreen content, and making data-driven decisions to optimize your podcast. As a podcaster, I found these insights invaluable and I hope you do too.

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About Christian

As the Co-Founder and CEO of Podder, Christian is on a mission to build the Google Analytics for podcasts, a platform that helps podcasters spot growth opportunities, better serve listeners, and grow ad revenue. With over 11 years of experience in marketing, online marketing, and new business development, he has a passion for creating meaningful collaborations between brands and audiences through audio.

 

Resources & Links:

Become an Elite Podcaster with an Engaged Audience of 10,000+

Christian is offering a Podcast Growth Academy so you can use your Data and sky rocket your results. The next co-hort starts October 16th so join now and use Voucher LYNDSAY25 For $150 off

CHECK IT OUT!

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