About podcast analytics and why we shouldn’t be surprised by the results

About podcast analytics and why we shouldn’t be surprised by the results

By Miranda Katz in Wired, a good summary of the great results podcasters have seen now that Apple is sharing podcast analytics data:

Podcast Listeners Really Are The Holy Grail Advertisers Hoped They’d Be

It’s absolutely crazy that the biggest platform for podcasting has, until now, not provided any real data to creators. Instead, we have had to cobble together third party trackers and rely on data from smaller platforms to get any insight at all into the audience. Now that Apple’s Podcast Analytics has launched in beta, what are the results? For the most part, podcasters are seeing that their audience is sticking around for 80-90 per cent of episodes regardless of length. Three thoughts about this…

The results are not surprising

For anyone who knows how to build a media brand, there is nothing new to see here. The most successful media properties are the result of personalities who create something genuine and authentic, with a unique voice. That product connects with audiences because everyone recognizes quality. The playbook has been the same forever. From newspaper columnists to radio personalities to evening TV news anchors to YouTube stars. Podcasting has so far been a labour of love. It shows in the quality and proven by the engagement numbers.

Build and attract = monetize

The successful order is a) create the thing b) attract a following and c) monetize but all too often when considering to start a new media project, producers start in the reverse order (“what will make us money?”). And this is why they struggle against the current and fail. I have felt the daily pressure to produce the next big hit, but the lesson over and over is that it can’t be rushed. I’m not saying you can’t start with the question of what topics will attract a mass audience. But the product itself needs to be approached by someone who knows their stuff and has a unique perspective. Otherwise the audience will call B.S. every time and you’ll be back at the drawing board.

The system can’t be gamed

No way to artificially inflate pageviews or video views. The podcast audience needs to work a bit more — than say a web browsing audience — to get their reward and because of that, they won’t put up with an inferior product for very long. But that’s good for everyone in the value chain from listeners to sponsors.