Podcast Analytics

How to use Apple Podcasts Connect analytics

Podcast analytics play a vital role in empowering creators and media groups to gain insights into their audience’s preferences, enhance content strategies, and enrich the podcasting experience for their listeners.

As part of its “Apple Podcasts Connect” service, the Cupertino giant offers a robust analytics dashboard that smart podcasters would be wise to check regularly.

The first question you might have is: why? Well, there is a world of data beyond the basic dashboards usually included in podcast hosting plans. Apple has access to a wealth of granular user behavior data. As such, Apple Podcasts Connect (APC) should be an integral part of your podcast analytics stack. Reading this article will help you understand when to use APC analytics and which statistics you should pay attention to (or disregard). Spoiler alert: it can’t be used as your main source of truth. Read on to find out what tools you should use instead.

This guide is intended for those who:

  • Are new to Apple Podcasts Connect analytics and want to go beyond the basic analytics dashboard of their hosting provider.
  • Have used the tool before but want expert advice on how to leverage it best.

Table of contents

How to submit your podcast to Apple and access your data

1. Go to your podcast hosting provider and look at your metadata to ensure it is complete. Shows missing a category or a covert art will not be listed by Apple. Finally, it is essential to note that Apple will only accept your podcast if you have published at least one episode. If you have yet to release one, save this guide and come back later.

Podcast Metadata Review

2. Head over to Apple Podcasts Connect

3. Log in with your Apple ID or create a new one by clicking on ‘Create yours now’. Even if you already have an Apple ID, the second option is probably best if you intend to monetize your podcast. Keeping things separate will help when the tax season comes. To create your Apple ID, you will have to provide a valid phone number to verify your account. Finally, you will have to link a valid credit card. Don’t worry, though, APC is free. Our guess is it helps combat identity theft and also makes revenue payments seamless should you decide to turn subscriptions on.

create your apple ID

4. Log in and click on the purple 𛲜 symbol next to “Podcasts” in the top left corner to add a show.

Add a podcast Apple Podcasts Connect

5. A pop-up will appear, asking you to choose if you want to add a show with, or without RSS feed. Choose the former. Adding a podcast without an RSS feed is only relevant if you want to create a private podcast that will only be available to your paid subscribers. Also, note that to have a private podcast on APC, you’ll have to join the Apple Podcasters Program and pay a registration fee of $19.99.

5. The next step is to paste the RSS address of your podcast feed. You can find it in the admin console of your podcast hosting provider. In our case, we go to the settings page and click on ‘Export RSS’.

Export RSS feed Ausha

6. Fill out the show information

  • Content rights
  • Publication pace
  • Show contact (for people worried about spam: don’t use a throwaway address here; this is the address Apple will use in case you need to trouble shoot issues with their customer support)
Complete Podcast Information Apple Connect

7. Click on the ‘publish’ button in the top right corner to finalize the process and get your podcast listed on Apple Podcasts. Once Apple has processed your submission, you will receive a confirmation email from Apple.

Confirmation email Apple Podcast Connect

Unique Insights only Apple Podcasts Connect can provide

Apple Podcasts Connect offers podcasters a range of proprietary metrics that provide valuable insights into listener engagement and behavior. These metrics offer podcasters a deeper understanding of their audience and their podcast’s performance, aiding in content refinement and strategy development.

Listeners and Engaged Listeners

  • Listeners: This metric quantifies the number of unique devices that have been used to play an episode. It offers a measure of the podcast’s reach and potential audience size. Just be aware that it is not perfect. By focusing on devices rather than people, Apple muddies the waters. A single listener of your show who plays an episode on their iPhone and computer will be counted as 2 listeners.
  • Engaged Listeners: Engaged listeners are defined by the number of unique devices that have been used to play at least 20 minutes or 40% of an episode. This metric goes beyond mere starts and indicates a higher level of engagement. It helps podcasters identify episodes that resonate deeply with their audience and provides insights into content that maintains sustained interest.


You can find your number of followers in the top left corner of the ‘Overview’ tab. You can use your follower count for two purposes:

  • Measuring the size of your dedicated fan base. Listeners have to actively opt-in to become a follower. They signal a desire to receive updates about future episodes. it demonstrates sustained interest over time and a higher level of loyalty on their part.
  • By comparing your followers and engaged listeners, you can tell how good a job you’re doing at turning these engaged listeners into followers. If your conversion rate is below market benchmarks, consider encouraging your listeners to follow your show more often in the content of your episodes. Why is this important? By default, Apple will automatically download new episodes on your followers’ devices. This should have a positive impact on monetization.

Average Consumption

This metric showcases the average length of each episode consumed by your audience. It is measured in percentage and is available in 2 places in the interface.

  • At the bottom of the overview tab
  • In the ‘episodes’ tab

Your average consumption provides a general overview of engagement, but take it with a grain of salt. Given the nature of podcast consumption, looking at the average can be misleading. Some people will drop off after 10 seconds, while others are hooked and will listen to full episodes. Providing the media value to compare would have been very helpful. Hopefully, Apple will let podcasters see this metric in the future.

Average Consumption Drop-off Visualization

Episode consumption drop-off visualization

This graph illustrates the percentage of the audience that remains engaged in increments of 30 seconds. It assists podcasters in pinpointing where listeners tend to lose interest, aiding in content improvement. However, it’s essential to consider that non-linear consumption behavior, such as fast-forwarding, might affect the accuracy of this graph.

Plays (unique but far from essential)

We’re putting plays at the bottom of this section because they’re a vanity metric. According to Apple’s definition, ‘plays’ represent the number of times unique devices played an episode for more than 0 seconds. In practice, given the discrepancies usually shown between plays and listeners, it is likely that ‘plays’ literally represent the amount of time the “play” button was pressed, including resuming after a pause.

Why APC is not the primary option in your analytics toolbox

While Apple Podcasts Connect analytics offers unique insights, it’s not a one-stop shop that magically lets you to drop all other podcast analytics tools. Critical data points are unavailable within the platform. We’re going to see a list Consider Apple Podcasts Connect analytics as a secondary tool, complementary to a comprehensive analytics approach.

Data from Other Listening Platforms

Notably, Apple Podcasts Connect analytics can only track data in the Apple ecosystem, consequently excluding data from other podcast platforms like Spotify, Google Podcasts, and analogous counterparts.

Age and Gender Distribution

Unlike its big rival Spotify, Apple doesn’t report on the age and gender distribution of your listeners. This could be on purpose, given their strong stance on user privacy. Or it might be that they simply don’t have this data (Spotify leverages Facebook Connect for this). In any case, you have to consult Spotify analytics if you want to access that type of data.

Inability to Compare Time Periods

While Spotify’s podcast analytics provide insights over time, the platform lacks the feature to compare metrics between different periods directly. This could limit your ability to spot trends, changes, or growth patterns over specific intervals.

Inability to Switch Between Time Scales

Like Spotify, Apple Podcasts Connect does not offer the functionality to alternate between varied time scales (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)—savvy podcasters needing a podcast analytics tool with comprehensive trend analysis capabilities will turn to Voxalyze.

No Actual Download Data

By design, APC doesn’t provide download data. It sticks to the proprietary metrics mentioned in the section above. While we understand the inherent issues of downloads as a metric, it remains the gold standard in the industry, in particular for advertisers.

Limited Geographic Granularity

While APC does provide a list of the top 5 cities where your listeners are located, there’s no comprehensive list, or interactive map that lets you easily zoom in and zoom out. While Apple does slightly better than Spotify on that front, it is not precise enough to sell inventory to local businesses.

In conclusion,

  • APC is an excellent supplementary tool to enrich your podcast analytics stack and refine your content strategy.
  • You should use APC but you can’t use it on its own.
  • To gain a comprehensive overview of your audience, your primary data source should be designed with podcast analytics as a core feature, not an add-on. One that unites cross-platform consumption data, search data, and marketing campaign data. This is why we built Voxalyze.