Everyone is a stats junkie, I don’t care who you are.
You can lie to yourself, you can try to lie to me, but at the end of the day, each and every one of us are sitting there clicking on something, waiting to watch the wheel or the number counter or the little colored graphs jump up by some measure of success.
Podcast stats are the hardest to measure overall.
I was having a nice little jaunt around the innerwebs the other day, something I almost never do (yes, I’m one of those freaks that was a late adopter for nearly everything BUT the internet; it’s a source of revenue and information, and the rest is all lies and tall tales and hidden timewaster sucks), but I figured why not… and I found an article that’s a bit old but worth the reading –
Why are subscribers irrelevant for podcasts?
The number of podcast episode plays resulting from direct RSS links is diminishing steadily. The rise of the social web is allowing podcast episodes to be discovered and consumed in a variety of ways. Facebook, Twitter, website embedding, mobile, and direct linking to podcast websites are helping podcasts spread further then ever. None of these outlets utilize RSS and trying to measure reach based on feed requests results in a partial picture at best. More realistically what you’ll see is a terribly inaccurate and depressingly low subscriber number leading you to question your true calling as an Internet Podcast Celebrity.
We’ve been working on a major push with our MobileWalletMarketer.com platform to add podcast hosts to our client roster. We KNEW, months ago, that this was a great match up. Then the NY Times decided they liked the idea as well, and started pushing the Modern Love podcast updates via mobile wallet passes.
And we’re seeing a big uptick in listeners to our own podcast – Mobile Wallet Marketing Made Easy – after we started producing episodes on a regular basis again.
[Tweet “How do you measure your podcast stats?”]
We have a stats program that attempts to measure our podcast distribution and we’re pretty much set on the number of listens as the measurable result. And we can correlate the days when we promote a certain episode with the days that the listens are high, relative to days when there’s no promotion and no new episode being released.
The article I linked above is actually super good reading – I’m not going to steal all the guys thunder, since I really do think he deserves the credit for good writing and he is very good at explaining how podcasts are pulled into other content, and this little tidbit should definitely make you want to check him out.
What stats should podcasters be tracking?
Track the stats that will help you produce a better show. Here are some questions all podcasters should be asking and a good stats package should be answering.
Now I just wish someone would explain to FB that Instant Articles could (and should) pull the audio from a podcast into the format without making people jump through hoops; this is not rocket science and I finally pulled all our podcast episodes out of the feed we are sending for approval. I’m also a bit confused because Apple News pushed the audio content the first time we sent a podcast into their feed, but then the audio disappeared and now it doesn’t work properly either.
Oh yeah, this is the part where I toss in the obligatory marketing pitch – if you’re not already using mobile wallet passes to remind your subscribers to listen to the episodes as they are released, then you’re just causing that little wheel to turn a lot more slowly for you.