What bits of your podcast are your audience skipping?

This info is way more valuable to you than how many downloads you have.

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Happy Friday yet again. If you have a podcast, today’s little walkthrough could be quite revealing.

The problem with podcast stats is they don’t give us the whole picture. We can know if someone downloaded an episode, roughly where in the world they might be, and on what sort of device, but in terms of universal data, that’s it. Everything else is either a guess, or the data’s proprietary.

Downloads aren’t a measure of a show’s quality – as I attested to when I setup the 90-Day No-Stats Challenge – because it can’t tell us what people did once the episode hit their phones.

But Apple and Spotify do give us some rather useful information about how long people listen, where they skip, and where they drop off.

This info is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if you have calls-to-action in your podcast, you want to make sure the majority of people are hearing them. If you have a canned outro, chances are your listeners are skipping it because they’ve already heard it before.

Secondly – and perhaps more importantly – it’ll tell you if you have a leaky bucket. For example, you might be pouring time, effort, and money into marketing your episodes. But if those new listeners you’re working so hard to acquire hit your audio and immediately bounce off – because there’s a pre-roll ad or the intro is too long or it just doesn’t sound good – you’re throwing good money after bad. So this will show you straight away whether people are bouncing, and whether you need to up your quality.

If you don’t like the look of your numbers, it’s an opportunity to make some improvements to your show.

  • If you see a long slope, that’s usually an indicator that your episodes are too long and people are getting bored.
  • If you see a big drop-off at the beginning, either the metadata doesn’t match your content, or there’s something in the presentation that could be improved.
  • And if you’re seeing a cliff edge at the end, that means people aren’t sticking around for your call-to-action, so think about how you can switch things up.

As always, I’m here if you want help making sense of any of these numbers. As things stand, from next week I’ll be starting my own 90-Day No-Stats Challenge, so I won’t be looking at these – or hopefully any – numbers relating to my podcast! You can join in too, if you like.

Have a great weekend!

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