How to Measure a Podcast Audience

how to measure podcast audience - Podbean

If you’ve considered advertising on a podcast, you may be wondering how to choose the right one. 

With so many podcasts to choose from, and different metrics, it can be difficult to find a show with the right size audience for your brand. When researching which podcast to use, you will likely need to do some digging to find out if paying for an ad slot is really worth it. 

Want to advertise on a podcast but don’t know how to decide? Here’s a simple guide on how to measure podcast audience to maximize your podcast advertising efforts. 

Why is measuring podcast success important? 

Before we can look at how to measure podcast audiences and read data, let’s first look at why it’s a good thing to do in the first place. 

Podcasts are powerful tools that can be used to extend other content channels, spread brand awareness, and strengthen an existing audience. The concept of “podcast success” can mean various things depending on the podcaster.

However, podcast success typically means a consistent and growing listener base, often shown in listens, downloads and interactions. 

Importance for podcasters 

Measuring podcast success will help you determine if you are on track with your goals. While success for podcasters is not always about getting the most impressions, there is definitely something rewarding about seeing the audience numbers grow over time.  

If you see a consistent increase, it’s probably an indication you’re doing something right. 

Importance for sponsors 

For those interested in advertising on a podcast, there are several reasons why you should know how successful a podcast is. After all, how else will you make money on your podcast if it’s not generating a regular audience and a consistent number of listeners per episode? 

Measuring the success of a podcast will allow you to determine whether or not you choose to work with them. If a podcast suits your niche but is not as popular or successful as you would like, you probably won’t get a high ROI (return on investment) when you buy ad slots. 

How to measure podcast audience

Now that we’ve covered why it’s good to track podcast success and data, this next section will look at ways to measure a podcast’s audience. 

It’s important to note that only the podcaster has access to detailed data analytics, so these methods are only ways to estimate the popularity of a podcast. 

Look at the numbers

Want to know how to measure a podcast audience? Look at the data – numbers don’t lie. 

The most direct way to measure a podcast’s audience is to look at the number of listens or downloads per episode a podcast has. The Podbean platform shows the number of podcast downloads so viewers can easily calculate how much they would pay to advertise on each episode. 

Some podcasting platforms don’t have download and listener metrics available to the public, so checking the subscriber number could be of similar benefit.

While this is the most direct way, it’s still not 100% foolproof. Numbers can be skewed at times since audience members may listen on multiple devices or play the episode more than once. Also, if a podcast is on multiple platforms, it can be difficult to determine how big its audience really is

If you notice certain episodes have an abnormally high or low number, count it as an outlier and look for a consistent range. 

Check the date on the podcasts. Is the podcaster actively posting new episodes, or are these metrics old? If a podcast has been around for a while, it’s worth it to investigate the growth and compare the current number of subscribers and listeners. 

Ask the podcaster directly 

Another direct way to measure a podcast audience is to ask the podcast host directly. Sometimes a podcaster may not know their exact audience numbers if they have an audience across multiple network platforms. If you ask a podcaster, ask specific questions to get the answers you want. 

The obvious drawback is that because podcasting is extremely competitive, some podcasters will lie about their numbers. So while this is a direct method, it may not be the most effective. 

How many sponsors are bidding for slots? 

If you are part of a podcasting network or ads marketplace as a sponsor, you may be able to measure a podcast audience by the number of other sponsors bidding for ad slots. 

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Often, when multiple sponsors are fighting for slots on a particular podcast show, there’s often a good reason for it. 

If a show doesn’t have that many sponsors or requests, don’t count it out. You never know; you may be the first one to strike gold! 

Ratings and reviews 

Wondering how to measure podcast audience? Read some reviews online. Most people look at reviews of restaurants or hotels before making reservations, so why not take advantage of someone else’s first-hand experience? This could include other sponsors or even audience members. 

Reviews allow you to measure audience satisfaction with the host or the show overall. This way, you can avoid podcasters who are difficult to work with, even if they have a high listener count. 

Social media or web presence 

A great way to find out how a podcaster interacts with their audience is by checking out their social media or web presence. While it may not be an exact indicator of the number of listeners, often many people who follow a podcaster on social media also listen to their podcast and vice versa. 

Look for recent posts and activity to see if they have an active account. Also, check how much interaction they get from their following and how much they interact with their followers and audience members. 

This could indicate a fairly tight-knit community – great potential for an influencer marketing campaign

Recycled material on other platforms

If you can’t find a podcaster’s exact metrics anywhere, if a podcaster has recycled material on social media or YouTube, look at the number of views and subscribers. 

While this won’t be a very accurate measurement since it’s on an entirely different medium, it may give you an understanding of the podcaster’s following and reach across a variety of platforms. 

Let Podbean match you with the perfect podcast 

At Podbean, we understand how difficult it can be trying to find the right podcast to sponsor. That’s why we’ve created Ads Marketplace, a platform where podcasters and sponsors can connect easily. Post your marketing plan, and you will be matched with podcasts in your niche and price range. 

With Podbean, you don’t have to scramble to find the best podcast to advertise your business. Let us connect you with the top shows today and start turning ads into profit. 

Sign up and start your podcast ad campaign today. 

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