How to Measure the ROI of Your Podcast: 7 Metrics Indicate Successby@theodorastanciu
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How to Measure the ROI of Your Podcast: 7 Metrics Indicate Success

by Theodora StanciuFebruary 23rd, 2022
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There are many ways to determine if your podcast is worth producing and even more methods to track its performance. This article provides a list of seven strategies to consider when analyzing your podcast's success. When starting to measure how your podcast performs, you should keep in mind that the ROI is dependent on your business goals. The number of listeners and downloads per episode are key metrics to consider, but they don't guarantee a positive podcast ROI.

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Like audiobooks, podcasts are episodic audio series that can be streamed, downloaded, and replayed. Even though everyone can start a podcast nowadays, creating an effective one requires time and effort. While businesses integrate podcasts into their overall social strategy for different reasons, they all want the same thing - to have success (aka generate great ROI).

By measuring your podcast performance, you’ll learn, iterate, and improve from season to season and why not, even episode to episode.

So, how do you measure podcast ROI?

Well, this depends on your end goals, which can be to increase brand awareness, boost engagement, or generate leads for your business.

This article provides a list of seven methods to consider when analyzing your podcast’s success.

1. Number of listeners

This is probably one of the podcast metrics that first comes to mind when measuring podcast ROI.

If your marketing goal is to increase brand awareness, then your number of listeners is a key metric to consider.

It’s not only easy to access and track, but it’s also pretty intuitive to note insights: usually, a significant number of listeners means you’re on the good path, and you managed to gather a consistent audience that wants to regularly listen to your podcast episodes.

Your number of listeners can also influence the revenue that your podcast receives from a streaming platform or any ads placed in the episodes.

However, the number of listeners doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. If you have a niche podcast, you’ll inevitably have a smaller audience.

Keep in mind that while overall numbers are important, they mean nothing if they’re not placed in the proper context.

2. Number of downloads per episode

While pretty similar to the number of listeners, the number of downloads per episode is a metric that most closely resembles your actual audience size.

Downloads help you measure how many people you’ve reached, including people who want to listen to your episode later or multiple times.

Because both the number of listeners and number of downloads per episode are vanity metrics, marketers usually hang up on those.

But it’s important not to obsess over them, especially if you just started your podcast journey.

While it’s crucial to know how many ears you’ve reached, these numbers represent only one piece of the puzzle, and they depend on your business goals.

3. Website traffic

Increased brand awareness is usually directly related to increased site traffic and conversions.

After getting an overview of how many listeners you’ve reached, you should ask yourself how your site analytics is doing concerning your podcast?

One of the ways you can learn more about how your audience size has changed over time is by measuring your website traffic from the start of your podcast to the most recent episode.

Additionally, you can perform the same analysis on your social media channels and see if your following number has changed in any way.

There are a variety of metrics to consider when analyzing how your podcast is influencing website traffic, so here’s a list to begin with:

  • Traffic to your podcast website
  • Website traffic before launching the podcast vs. after launching
  • Engagement on social media channels
  • Followers’ growth on social media channels

4. Engagement

There are several ways to promote your podcast, but the most common ones are through social media or email campaigns. But just promoting your podcast isn’t enough, and like every other marketing plan, you should have specific goals in mind and track your results over time.

Are you getting more likes, comments, and followers as you release more episodes?

What are the open rates and click-throughs on the newsletters that promote your new podcast episodes?

These are the kind of questions you should keep thinking of when promoting your podcast, as it will help you plan other promotional content that best fits your audience.

Another thing that you should do that can increase your engagement rates is to take the time to respond to comments on your posts.

You should also pay attention to what people are talking about on social media because these conversations can give valuable insights into what people want to see.

5. Podcast reviews

Podcast reviews are potent forms of social proof that contribute to building the authority and trustworthiness of your business.

It’s essential to look at what people say publicly about your podcast because they can provide helpful suggestions on where to improve your podcast or confirm your strongest suits.

The overall public opinion of your podcast can influence what you determine to be podcast ROI - the more positive comments, the bigger the success.

Additionally, you can use your positive reviews for marketing your podcast and attracting new listeners or even potential customers when making decisions in the business space.

This is one podcast metric that you can correlate with one of the overview metrics mentioned earlier to determine the success of your podcast.

For example, you may not have many downloads or listeners, but you have excellent reviews, which means that your niche audience enjoys what you do.

And this is also a form of success, right?

6. Repurposing content

Regularly posting podcast episodes is the perfect pathway to repurposing content. And believe me, there are many ways to recycle your podcast content.

You can transform your podcast episodes into videos, tweets, other social media posts, blog articles, and more.

For example, the team at Socialinsider has a weekly podcast called Insider Insights, where they talk to social media managers from different well-known brands. They use the social media managers’ insights and turn them into brand analyses, looking at their overall social media strategy, campaigns, and content strategy.

This series helps them not run out of content ideas and assures them continuity. It also helps with promotion, as they can mention the social media managers or the brands to gain people’s attention.

7. Sponsors and advertisers

Probably one of the most straightforward ways to measure your podcast ROI is through sponsorships and ad revenues.

This traditional ROI works by subtracting the money you spent on producing your podcast series from the amount you receive from ad revenue.

If the number you get at the end is positive, then you’ll know you made a great ROI.

The formula to work out ROI if you want to include this in your podcast strategy will look like this:

Ad Revenue – Expenses = ROI

However, while advertising and sponsorships are great for gauging ROI, it also comes with a cost you should consider: most people don’t like to be bombarded with ads in the middle of their listening.


There are many ways to determine if your podcast is worth producing and even more methods of tracking its success.

In a nutshell, measuring your podcast ROI is dependent on your end goals. If you want to generate revenue, you should focus on sponsorships and advertising, but if your business goal is to increase brand awareness, you should take a more holistic approach.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a starting point if you’re planning to start to determine your podcast ROI.