Podcast Metrics: Subscriptions and Downloads Deep Dive

Q'd Up News

Podcast Metrics: Subscriptions and Downloads Deep Dive

Let’s take a deeper look at two key podcast metrics: subscriptions and downloads. Remember, subscriptions are the listeners who subscribe to your feed and get updates every time you release new content. Downloads are every time someone listens to one of your episodes. Our Understanding Podcast Metrics blog gives an overview of subscriptions, downloads and other important metrics. We encourage you to read that blog first if you are new to understanding podcast metrics.

By knowing who subscribes to and downloads your podcast, you gain insight to your current audience and reach your target market more effectively. Understanding your audience through subscriptions and downloads is key if you want to have a successful podcast.


Your subscribers are the people who find your content so valuable that they want to know every time you release new episodes. Here’s what you can learn from your subscribers:

  1. Demographics: You might already have an idea of what demographics you want to target, but you should check in on the audience you are actually reaching. Specific demographics like sex, age and income can tell you who your audience is and what market you should target. Demographics can also give insight on what your subscribers are interested in and what kind of content you should produce.
  2. Location: Subscriber data can also tell you where your subscribers are located geographically and where they are located when they listen.
    • Geographic location gives insight on how far your podcast is reaching. You can also discover what topics subscribers could be interested in based on where they live.
    • In 2019, most podcast listeners were at home or in a vehicle when they listened to a podcast. You will have more opportunities to engage with your audience and tailor your content when you know how your audience listens in.
  3. Content to produce: The fact that people subscribe to your podcast shows that they are interested in your show. If you notice a drop in subscribers or want your subscriber base to grow, check out our tips on how to increase your podcast subscribers.


Downloads can be tricky to track depending on the hosting service you use. Most services have a dashboard to relay your podcast’s download analytics. Downloads can be recognized as listens, streams, plays or just downloads depending on the hosting service. Here are key insights to take note of when monitoring your downloads:

  1. Peak listening day/time: Knowing when people listen to your episodes is key. This can give you great insight on what time and days are best to publish your content. Publishing on peak listening days and times will help your episodes be more successful and reach more people. We encourage you to test different days and times to figure out when is best to publish your episodes.
  2. Listening trends: It’s difficult to know what happens once your episode is downloaded, but there are many hosting services and tools available that track listening trends. In 2019, 80% of podcast listeners in the U.S. listened to all or most of each podcast episode. Listening trends for your podcast episodes can help you decide:
    • What topics your audience likes (listen to most of the episode) or dislikes (drop off early in the episode). This is incredibly helpful because you will be able to create content that is targeting your market and leading to more subscribers.
    • How long your episodes should generally be. If you find most of your listeners drop off early in a longer episode, maybe try shortening the episode next time. Or, try creating content similar to episodes that had listeners stick around for the entire episode.
  3. Listening device: Do you know how your audience listens to your podcast? In 2019, 69% of podcast listening was done on a mobile device. With this statistic in mind, you should make sure your podcast is formatted correctly and easily accessible for your listeners.

We encourage you to take a closer look at your podcast’s subscriber and download analytics. Use our tips along the way as you decide how to reach your target market more effectively and grow your podcast!

Need help?

Q’d Up can help you create high-quality podcasts to reach your customers without breaking the bank. We’ve been creating full-length podcasts since 2006. At our sound studio in Hershey, PA, we create engaging digital audio content for those looking for a creative way to stand out from the competition and better connect with their target audience. We also work with a number of remote clients to edit and support them throughout the post-production process.

Contact us today to learn how we can support your business’s sound needs.