Beyond Downloads – Success Metrics For Indie Podcasters

Apr 10th

When it comes to podcasting KPIs, downloads are often a go-to metric. However, there are plenty more success metrics that are worth looking at. This article looks at five success metrics you should consider using to benchmark your performance and set future goals. 

While we don’t recommend becoming obsessive over numbers, it is important to check metrics regularly. This way, you can determine what is and isn’t working for your audience and lean into it. 

Let’s get into it!

Podcasting KPIs


Subscribers can be one of the most valuable indicators of your podcast’s success. From looking at subscribers for each episode, you can determine which prompted listeners to take action. Getting new subscribers not only means more people will be notified when you drop a new episode, but these listeners also become more likely to take another action, such as leaving you a review or sharing your podcast with a friend. 

Completion rate & listen time

When looking at download figures, you can’t tell if listeners dropped off during an episode. So, this is why delving deeper into listening times is important. By looking at the listening time, you’ll get a good overview of whether people are listening to the entire show or just some of it. 

As a result, you can highlight unpopular segments and topics. Furthermore, you can use the stats to determine the optimal episode length for your audience. 

Audience demographics

While demographics on podcasting platforms are somewhat limited, they’re still an important metric. For example, taking the time to understand which countries your listeners are from will allow you to engage with your audience and identify new opportunities to tap into your market. 

If you want to learn more about your audience, consider using social media or an online tool to create a short survey. And if you have an email list you can send it to, even better! Not only does this give you valuable insights to help you better cater to your listeners, but engaging with them this way makes them feel included and valued. 

Marketing effectiveness 

If you’re working hard to push your podcast on several channels or using various tactics, it’s essential to measure what’s working. Once you do, you can double down on that and continue to grow. 

For example, if you’re sharing snippets of your podcast on TikTok and they’re performing well on the app, are they driving listeners to your show or helping to build an engaged community? Rather than getting caught up on vanity metrics, you need to understand what is driving action. 

While tracking can be tricky to set up, we highly recommend using marketing attribution tools to determine where your marketing efforts are paying off. 

Audience feedback 

Although it can be daunting, researching what people are saying about your show is also important. From reviews and ratings to social sharing, gathering and searching for feedback from listeners will help you find out what is and isn’t working. Even negative feedback can be seen as positive, as knowing where to improve your show is always helpful.  

By doing so, you’ll also get the opportunity to engage in conversations with listeners and better understand your audience. 

If you’re not already setting aside time to review your podcast metrics, you really should do. Creating and marketing a podcast is time-consuming, so it’s essential to assess KPIs to ensure you’re prioritising the right things continuously. Remember, adapt where you can double down on what’s working and don’t be afraid to try new things. 

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