The Naked Truth About Your Podcasting Stats and Why You Should Host Your Show on Libsyn

Just like bloggers, most podcasters are obsessed with checking their stats. I’m a huge stats junkie myself so I can totally relate to why people are constantly checking their stats. But if you’re hosting your podcast with Libsyn (which I highly recommend) there are a few things to keep in mind and be prepared for before you start digging through the mountain of data in your dashboard.

I’m not going to tackle this task all by myself (although I am going to add my own personal take) instead I want to share with you a video HOA featuring the top podcasters in the industry as they go behind the scenes, and get down to the nitty-gritty of podcasting stats in the Libsyn dashboard with Rob Walch, the VP of Podcaster Relations.

What You Will NOT Learn From Your Podcasting Stats

Before I share the video with you, let’s talk about why I titled this post “the naked truth”.naked truth about your podcasting stats

First off, switch gears for a second and think about Google Analytics and all the stats you can learn about traffic coming to your site. For example, here is a short list of what you can learn about your blog’s traffic by checking your stats in Google Analytics:

  • How many people visit your site
  • How long people stay on your site
  • How many pages people visit
  • How quickly do they bounce
  • How many returning visitors you have, etc.

So let’s just put it out there right now. You are NOT going to find out that information in your podcasting stats. There’s just no way that information will be tracked by a media host be it Libsyn or any other podcasting host.

Secondly, switch gears again and think about the analytics you get from YouTube.

  • How long people watch your videos
  • How do people find your videos
  • How many times your videos are shared on social media
  • How many times people click your annotations, etc.

Again you might ask if you will find similar information in your podcasting stats? Again the answer is nope.

Last but not least (before we get into what you will learn in your podcasting stats) let’s talk about the “s” word.

Yes, it’s the thing that all bloggers and webmasters who know what they are doing covet. Even most podcasters beg for non-stop throughout their shows. You know what I’m talking bout!


Let me break it to you gently in case you don’t know where I’m going with this. You are NOT going to find out how many subscribers you have to your podcast.

You want subscriber counts? Check AWeber. You can even check FeedBurner.

Wait hold up a second, that was very misleading.

I don’t mean that you can find your podcast subscriber count in Feedburner. In fact you should never, ever check any of your podcasting stats in FeedBurner. I was talking about blog subscribers. But now let’s go back to talking about podcasting stats and without further ado – I bring you my friends David Jackson from the School of Podcasting, Daniel J. Lewis from the Audacity to Podcast and Ray Ortega from the Podcasters Studio as they hangout with Rob Walch in From Stats Top To Bottom with Rob Walch

Key Take-Aways About Podcasting Stats

I didn’t want to scare you away from checking your podcasting stats, but since I’m a huge advocate for podcasting and I know a lot of you are learning about podcasting through this blog, I wanted to help dispel any myths that are floating around before you get led astray. However, I know that some folks don’t have time to watch the entire video so here are some of what I consider to be the highlights and key take-aways from the conversation:

What is considered as “a download”

Most of what you’ll see in your stats are “downloads” and what that means is that whenever someone plays your podcast on their device, or if its downloaded to your library, or if its streaming or progressive streams from an HTML5 player.  This is how downloads are counted by Libsyn and they filter out extras and duplicates based on IP addresses.

In the past, people would use the term “subscribers” but we [podcasters] should no longer refer to the number of subscribers because it is not an accurate way of determining the growth of your show, use the number of  downloads as a better gauge of your shows health.

Recommended reading:

How to determine the growth of your show

For example, if you have a weekly show, look at the total number of downloads for an episode about 4 weeks after it was published. If the total number of downloads is around 500 or more consider your show to be above “average” and your audience should be growing every month. Many of us will see traffic spikes in our stats charts for the number of downloads per episode which can be based on a number of factors, including how well the show was promoted by yourself or any of your guests or co-hosts.

Here’s a good way to think about it:
There are 60 million people who consume podcasts per month, however the median number of downloads for podcasters is around one hundred and forty to 200 per episode. Well you might ask, what does that mean?

It means that half of the podcasts hosted on Libsyn get more than 200 downloads per episode and half get less than 200 per episode. With that being said, some of the biggest podcast get hundreds of thousands of downloads per episode. The biggest show is a video podcast called Happy Tree Friends and they get over 1 million downloads per month. There are some popular podcasts that have reached around 2,400 to 2,500 downloads per month.

The panel talks more about the advanced stats which you will find under the Technology link and you will see a report for User Agents. The term “user agent” represents the device that’s being used to consume your downloads and by far the most popular user agent is Apple Core Media which includes iOS devices, the podcast app and HTML5 media players in Mobile Safari Smartphone apps.

There is a lot more covered in this HOA, and you can keep up with all the news about the release of the brand new Libsyn 4 dashboard on the Official Libsyn Podcast called The Feed, hosted by the lovely Elsie Escobar.

You Should Host Your Show With Libsyn

Libsyn is the number one podcast hosting service, they have a long standing reputation in the podcasting community and their rates are very affordable.

Libsyn Pricing 2013
In order to get the Libsyn Basic stats you pay $7 a month under the Classic 50 or get more storage for $15 a month. Basic Stats show you the list of countries, cities, and states where your podcast is being played. For the App 400 you pay $20 a month (which is the plan my daughter Nikki and I both use for our podcasts) you get advanced stats which includes the list of User Agents, neat looking donut charts like the one below, and the ability to export your data (shout out to my listeners in Singapore – who knew?)

Location Stats for Ms Ileane Speaks

But most importantly and the number one reason I recommend Libsyn as a podcasting host is the ability to have your own podcasting app.

This gives you a HUGE advantage when it comes to discover-ability and branding! Let’s face it, one of the primary reasons you started a podcast in the first place was to establish yourself as an authority in your niche right? Having your own Smartphone app will put you on the map in more ways than you can imagine. I love the way Mia Voss reacted when I told her about this in a recent hangout we did this past weekend.

If you are ready to get started with your very own podcast you can get one month of free hosting using my friend Dave Jackson’s referral code when you sign up. Just enter SOPFREE when you check out. Dave was kind enough to allow me to share this video with you and he also offers podcast coaching and other professional services.
Now you have the naked truth about your podcasting stats and why I think you should host your show with Libsyn.

You can be sure to subscribe to my podcast here Ms. Ileane Speaks Podcast | Blogging, Social Media & YouTube Content Creation Mastery

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Welcome! I'm Ileane and this blog was created to help you learn about WordPress blogging, Social Media Optimization, YouTube Tutorials and more. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and be the first to know when I upload a new tutorial.
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  1. First and foremost, this design looks great. Secondly, I agree with the points that Podcasting can be a launching pad for our blogs. I’ve noticed it a long time ago that you are pretty high on podcasting and you are actually right. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I have to admit that I am a newbie into podcasting in terms of doing it for my own business. For my customers I create new videos on weekly basis. Though stats aren’t very impressive and very much seems to depend on the niche. Thanks for the referal code, I think I might use it!

    • Carl,
      I will be posting some new YouTube video tips soon that might be helpful for your client work. Let me know if you need any help or have questions about starting a podcast.

  3. Miss Ileane, has always been my inspiration behind blogging and I regularly read Basic Blog Tips due to it’s inspirational articles. I totally agree with the points that are included here in this great article And thanks for this great contribution.


  4. Hi Ileane,

    I haven’t been here in quite awhile and that’s never good.

    Like the new design and definitely an upgrade from the last design.

    If you’re working on something, it is always important to analyze the results that you receive.

    Including pod-casting.

    – Samuel

    • OMG Samuel, long time no see – how the heck are you? I’m glad to see you are still blogging and I appreciate you for stopping by. Have a wonderful new year.

  5. I haven’t really considered podcasting because blogging alone is time consuming, i have always wondered how you find time to blog and podcast at same time, and i don’t need to be told that you generate a lot of traffic from it.

    This is something i will have to look into this 2014 and see how i can use podcasting in promoting my blog and products.

  6. Hi Ileane,

    I have never tried podcasting my self, but I read more than once about it on your blog and other blogs as well and I am very interested in trying it out, maybe this is something that I should try this year. I will follow your recommendation as start on Libsyn as you suggested. Thank you so much for sharing this article.
    I would also to congratulate you on the blog design change, it looks very nice.

  7. Hi Ileane,

    Thanks for the article/video – I absorbed a lot of useful information about podcasting and I look forward to learning more through your Youtube channel. Thanks!

  8. Totally agree that you should use Libsyn for hosting (I will be in the coming weeks when I start my podcast!)

    But in terms of stats. There is a wordpress plugin called Blubrry PowerPress: This gives you very accurate stats on download numbers, obviously you can pay for even more stats. Is this mentioned in that video?

    So, if you look at both blubrry stats, libsyn stats, feedburner subscriber counts, then it’s pretty easy to get a clear idea of whether your show is growing or not!

  9. Naked chef?! 😉 Ileane: I want to have chat with you on my EGO NetCast podcast during 2014. I haven’t tested Libsyn yet. I have been using Audioboo, SoundCloud and BlogTalkRadio.

    What does it mean that you get your own podcasting app? How much time could you save on 400mb per month?

    I am planning to have 1 podcast every month for 1 hour interview, 1 podcast every two weeks for about 15 minutes per episode and 1 podcast every week for max 3 minutes per episode.

  10. Hi Ileane,
    I will need to start watching some tutorials on podcasting. I don’t really know much about it. It’s on my vision board for this year, but, it looks really involved. Do you have tutorials on podcasting? I know, it’s probably like asking the butcher if he knows how to cut meat ! :)
    Thanks for this post.

  11. Thanks for the article/video – I absorbed a lot of useful information about podcasting and I look forward to learning more through your Youtube channel.Good luck !

  12. I have never tried podcasting my self, but I read more than once about it on your blog and other blogs as well and I am very interested in trying it out, maybe this is something that I should try this year. I will follow your recommendation as start on Libsyn as you suggested. Thank you so much for sharing this article.
    I would also to congratulate you on the blog design change, it looks very nice.

  13. I do not think that podcasting is so important when you are a blogger. Of course I have experience based mainly on my own country where podcasts do not have a big audience. I am conservative and I prefer good quality content than videos :) But of course you have interesting point of view.

    I would argue with Libsyn. For non-experienced podcaster the free software will be good enough 😉

  14. Thanks Ileane for this post. I have never use pod casting before but i was considering using it. After this post i learn i was about going into something i have very little insight about. Thanks for the post and the video. Finally i must tell you this theme is breath taking. Congratulations for this new theme.

  15. Hello,

    Great stuff regarding podcasting and I’m also very newbie in pod casting and I was thinking to jump into to. Pod casting is really great strategy to reach out to new readers.


  16. Indeed the details of this post revealed a lot of about podcasting stats. Its indeed a naked truth. I guess podcasters can use Libsyn as their perfect alternative to Google Analytics! The podcast host service seems to offer some of the best options for marketers!