How many subscribers does my podcast have?
Just this morning, I've had three people email me this question this morning (and I heard it on my last coaching call).
The answer is: you can't.
There's no actual way to get that number.
YouTube Vs Podcasting
Everybody bring up subscriber counts because of YouTube. Realize YouTube is centralized. If you're watching YouTube, you're watching it on YouTube.
Podcasting is different, you have an RSS feed (see the mechanics of podcasting). You can listen to the exact same content on Apple on Google on overcast on Amazon, etc. It is decentralized.
Consequently, you can't really tell how many people are subscribed to your show.
Strategies for Determining “Subscribers”
Now there are a couple strategies you can use to kind of figure out an idea of how many subscribers you have.
The Seven Day Method
If you go into an episode in whatever your media host is, I recommend Libsyn.com (use the coupon code sopfree to get a free month) and you can go into an episode filter the stats to only show the first week. So as I record this, it's November 1, I can say show me November 1 through November 8, assuming that the episode was released on November 1. A week's worth of data would give you an idea of what some people feel, are your subscribers because, in reality, your subscribers are your superfans. They are more than likely going to consume the content, the minute it's available. That's one way if you're looking for subscribers.
The Podcasts Connect Method
The other way is if you go into http://podcastsconnect.apple.com. They have stats there where you can see what percentage of your listeners (ON APPLE) are subscribed. It's not your entire audience. What I've seen some people do is they will take that percentage and apply it to their total number of downloads.
Click Here to see a tutorial on statistics in Apple's Podcasts Connect
Let's say it's 70%. You get 300 downloads per episode. If you take 70% of 300. That is 210 subscribers. So that's another way of getting an idea of how many subscribers you have.
There are More Ways to Measure Success
There are more ways to measure success than downloads. You can measure reviews, that's kind of a way of measuring engagement. Did anybody email you about the episode? If you're selling products, did sales go up? How about retweets? There are all sorts of ways such as comments on a blog. There are so many ways to measure podcast success.
Why Are Your Podcasting?
I was on a call this morning with a client. I asked him, “Why are you doing your podcast?” He said, Oh, well, I want to talk to these companies that are basically funding small businesses. I asked, Are you doing that? He said, “Yeah, they come on as guests.” Then I pointed out that your podcast is successful (you are talking to the people you wanted to talk to).
That's really why you always have to know your why.
But the bottom line is you can't see how many subscribers you have. The key is knowing who your audience is, know what they want, and give it to them and then have a clear call to action as to what you want them to do at the end of your episode. What do I want you to do? I want you to schedule a time where we can sit down and do some one on one consulting and get you going in the right direction.