How to Measure Podcast Growth via Downloads

As a support person for a podcasting company ( I have people contact me who are looking at their daily, weekly, and monthly stats and in some cases they panic.

If the numbers go up, they don't believe they are real listeners

If the numbers go down, then there must be something wrong.

I host a show that I've done since 2005 called The School of Podcasting and it has over 600 episodes.

When I look at the stats for a current month, 60% of them are from shows NOT released that month.

For example, let's say I get 20,000 downloads in the month of June. The episode released in June might get 2000 downloads an episode. That means four episodes would be 8000 downloads.

Then where did the other 12,000 downloads come during June? Your back episodes.

When someone finds your show and they like it they will download more episodes.

Some apps make I super easy to download ALL of your episodes. In my case that is over 600 downloads in one day.

With this in mind your daily, weekly, and monthly stats are not a consistent way to tell if your show is growing.

How To Tell If Your Podcast Is Growing

What you want to measure is the number of downloads per episode. Some people recommend the total number of downloads for the episode after it has been published for 30 days. They use this stat as that is often the time frame sponsors use.

I like to check the total number of downloads after seven days. Why? Because it shows me my (in my opinion) subscribers and “super fans.”

As os the case always with stats you can pivot and do creative math to see what you want to see. Just keep it consistent. If you want to compare one episode after 30 days to another one after it has been available for 30 days, you can do that. Just make sure they are both showing stats for the same period of time. A show that has been published longer will naturally have more downloads.

Daily Stats Break Out

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About the Author
Dave Jackson has been podcasting since 2005. In 2018 he was inducted into the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame. He has over 2 Million Downloads. Has helped thousands of podcasters plan, launch and grow their audience. He is part of the Tech Support Team. He is a Featured and Keynote speaker at events. He is the author of the Book More Podcast Money

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