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The Podcast Stat Most Critical to New Podcaster Success

The Podcast Stat That Determines success for new podcasters

The podcast stat you need to focus on as a new podcaster might surprise you.

Spoiler Alert: It’s not downloads

The Average Consumption Rate is the number where you need to focus your podcasting attention. This is even more important for new podcasters because they don’t often see big download numbers when their show first launches.


Your download numbers don’t mean jack if the average consumption rate for your episodes is in the toilet. 

Average consumption is the measurement of “How Much” of an episode your audience listens to or consumes. This is where you need to focus your attention because of its insight into your podcast and your audience.

Podcasting is a long game. Chances are good that you won’t see big download numbers right off the bat. If your average consumption rate sucks, you will NEVER see big download numbers because people won’t return to your show if you’re not keeping them interested and entertained.

And if they aren’t coming back, you know they aren’t telling their friends about it, unless it was just a horrible experience.

Think about your own podcast listening behavior. Do you usually listen to all or most of the episodes or your favorite podcasts?

What happens when you listen to a show for the first time and aren’t hooked right off the bat? How long do you stick around? Do you try another episode?

Where to Look for Average Consumption Rates for Your Podcast

Here are four places you can look to find your average listener consumption rate for each episode of your show. Keep in mind that each one of these is providing info only for that specific platform.

Apple Podcasts

Remember where you submitted your podcast to Apple Podcasts? Log back in to see your podcasts analytics. Look at your Average Consumption Percentage.

Spotify Dashboard

Spotify calls it Retention. When you log in to your dashboard, click on “Catalog” at the top of the page. Then click an individual episode, and you can look at the retention rate for your episode.

Google Podcasts Manager

Google Podcasts calls it “Average Played.” When you log into your account, you will see the listing of your episodes along with some stats. Look at the Average Played percentage. You can drill down into each episode for more detail.


Stitcher calls this “Average Completion Rate.”  You can see the overall average for your podcast in the Show Stats view. Go into the episode view to view the percentage for individual episodes.

What You Will Learn From Average Podcast Consumption Analytics

The goal is to have your listener stick around through all of your episodes. Knowing this number is particularly important if you ever want to pitch your show to potential sponsors.

If you notice a significant dropoff at a single point in your episode, go back and listen to what happened there. Did you say something that could have offended listeners? Was the audio quality terrible?

Look at which topics and guests are getting the highest percentages.

What is the average length of time that your listeners are tuning in? Maybe they are telling you how much time they can actually commit to listening to your show.

Your job is to create a podcast so good that your audience wants to listen all the way through.

Resources to Help You Learn How to Increase Your Average Consumption Rates

Here are a couple of podcasting resources that I have found incredibly helpful as I’m working to increase my own podcasts’ retention rates.

Marketing Show Runners Blog

Podcasting, Seriously

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