Podcast Analytics

How to use Spotify podcast analytics

Podcast analytics provide creators and media groups with insights to help them understand their audience better, refine their content strategy, and enhance the podcasting experience for their listeners.

As part of its free “Spotify for Podcasters” offer, the Swedish streaming service provides a free podcast analytics platform.

Now you might be wondering: should I use it at all? After all, your hosting provider also has a built-in analytics dashboard. This article will cover this question (and many more) to help you understand when it makes sense to use Spotify vs. other podcast analytics tools

This article is for you if you:

  • have not yet used Spotify’s analytics and need guidance setting it up.
  • are familiar with the tool but want to deepen your understanding of the data provided and make the best out of it.

Table of contents

How to submit your podcast to Spotify and access your data

1. Head over to Spotify for Podcasters

2. Click “Sign up” and select “I have a podcast” on the next screen.

Spotify podcast analytics step 1

3. On the next screen, choose the most fitting option. If your podcast is not hosted with Anchor or Megaphone, be sure to select “somewhere else”. Else, you might end up completing the registration process and see no data at the end.

Spotify podcast analytics step 2

4. Log in to Spotify or create a new Spotify account (the second option will help you keep your personal account and your podcasting activities cleanly separated). Accept the terms & conditions.

Spotify podcast analytics step 3

5. Get your RSS feed address from your hosting provider and paste it into the field.

Spotify podcast analytics step 4

5. Verify the ownership of your podcast by pasting the 8-digit code Spotify sent to the email address you entered when filling out your RSS feed details. Make you have access to that email box.

Spotify podcast analytics step 5

That’s it! You’re now set up and ready to explore the data Spotify has to offer.

What data points are only available with Spotify for podcasters?

In this section, we’re going to see why you should regularly check out your Spotify data.

Spotify has a clear leg up over podcast hosting providers: it has unique access to consumption data from its logged-in users. And because users sometimes choose to sign up with 3rd party services like Facebook, Spotify sits on a treasure trove of personal data about its users.

Thus, they can provide detailed insights about listener behavior, whereas hosting providers can only provide basic analytics.

Here are statistics that Spotify and only Spotify can report on:

Age and Gender Distribution

Age and gender distribution Spotify for podcasters

This is a true gold nugget in Spotify’s data. No other platform provides it (not even Apple Podcasts Connect analytics) and it is instrumental in several ways.

First, this type of data will help you sell your inventory to advertisers ready to pay a premium to reach their core audience.

Second, This information helps you understand the demographics of your listeners, enabling you to adjust your content to better resonate with specific age groups and genders. Whether your podcast has a broad appeal or caters to a niche audience, these insights allow you to align your content with your listeners’ characteristics and preferences.

Note that Spotify’s user base skews younger, which can influence the demographics data of your podcast.

Starts and Streams

Spotify’s podcast analytics differentiate between two Listener Engagement Metrics: “starts” and “streams.” 

“Starts” reflect the number of times an episode was played for any duration beyond 0 seconds.

“Streams” quantify the instances an episode was played for more than 60 seconds, indicating deeper engagement. By analyzing these metrics, you gain a comprehensive understanding of listener interaction with your content, helping you evaluate the effectiveness of your episode introductions and content hooks.

The difference between starts and streams will help you gauge the drop-off that occurs before the end of the first minute.

Unique Listeners and Followers

Within Spotify’s podcast analytics, “listeners” refer to the count of distinct individuals who started playing an episode. By comparing your listeners to your starts, you’ll be able to see how engaged your audience is by calculating how many episodes your listeners listen to on average.

“followers” are another metric that helps assess the engagement and loyalty of your listeners. It tracks the number of individuals actively following your podcast on Spotify.

By utilizing these data points from Spotify’s podcast analytics, you can deepen your insight into your audience, refine your content strategy, and foster a more engaged and dedicated listener community.

However, it’s essential to note that while Spotify’s analytics offer exclusive and meaningful insights, they are not a good primary podcast analytics tool.

Let’s see why.

Why you should not use Spotify as your primary podcast analytics tool

While Spotify podcast analytics offers a range of insightful metrics, it’s important to recognize its limitations. Several essential data points are unavailable within the platform.

Here are some aspects where Spotify’s analytics fall short and Voxalyze truly shines:

Data from Other Listening Platforms

At the risk of stating the obvious, Spotify’s podcast analytics can only report on listener behavior within the Spotify ecosystem. This means you won’t have access to data from listeners who engage with your podcast on other platforms. Insights from Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other players are not available through Spotify’s analytics dashboard.

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

While Spotify provides data over any time frame you choose, the ability to switch between different time scales (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) within the analytics dashboard is not available. This can restrict your capacity to analyze trends across various time frames efficiently.

No Download Data Per Se

Unlike podcast hosting platforms and analytics tools like Voxalyze, Spotify does not provide explicit download data. Instead, its metrics focus on starts and streams, which can differ from traditional download counts.

Limited Geographic Granularity

While Spotify offers geographic distribution data, it is available only at the national level, not at a more granular regional or city level. This can be a limitation for content creators seeking to sell inventory to local businesses and tailor their content for specific localities.

Despite these limitations, Spotify’s podcast analytics remain a valuable secondary tool with exclusive data to help podcasters understand their audience’s behavior. Going the extra mile and complementing your insights from Voxalyze with data from Spotify makes you a top-tier podcast analyst.