Podcast Episode Engagement: What It Tells You & How to Measure It

Master these metrics to build a successful show.

If you’ve been with us for a while, you probably already know…

The branded podcast, like all content marketing tools, is about a whole lot more than financial ROI.

As we’ve discussed in other posts, it’s important to consider a wide array of performance indicators when it comes to judging the success of your show.

Your branded podcast, like all strategic content marketing, should focus not so much on conversion or immediate return — but on the relationship you build with your audience or, better still, your fans.

To build an enthusiastic, reciprocal and lasting connection, you have to make content that really grabs your listeners and offers them something they can’t find anywhere else.

Perhaps you’ve defined your customer avatar, built a show with them in mind, and tried your best to help, entertain or inform them in a way that’s meaningful or memorable… but you aren’t quite sure if you’ve succeeded.

One of our favorite ways to judge this — and a method we employ with all of our clients — is by taking a good hard look at the episode engagement your show delivers.

Want to learn more? Let’s take a look at how this is measured…

Time spent listening

One simple metric that can help you determine your episode engagement is time spent listening.

Instead of looking at a metric like unique downloads — which only tells you whether someone has listened to the episode — you should determine how much time they actually spend listening.

Is it seconds, minutes, or hours?

If you’re a regular reader, it probably won’t surprise you that eight out of ten US podcast consumers are listening to shows for upward of seven hours each week.

That’s some serious bonding time — that comes with the potential to foster a number of other impactful KPIs.

Imagine the brand awareness, sentiment, and recall you could build with your audience by snatching some of those precious hours up!

Listen-through rate

Next is one of the most common and effective metrics you can use to gauge the success of your branded podcast — your listen-through rate.

Also called your LTR, this figure is the percentage of each episode your listeners stick around for whether you’re hosting a ten-minute, 30-minute or hour-long show.

Ideally, you should be aiming for an average of at least 90%, and these are the kind of results a qualified podcast production agency should be able to offer.

Taking a look at shows produced by JAR Audio…

If you’d like to see this happen for your series, don’t be afraid to reach out to our qualified team of podcast pros.

Learn how to measure the ROI of your podcast. 


Popular drop-off points

Another piece of data that can help you assess and improve your engagement rate is the popular drop-off points within each episode.

This information is particularly valuable because it tells you not only how long listeners stick around but where you might be making mistakes within your show.

If you see a particularly high drop-off rate during a certain segment, with a certain guest, or when a certain subject comes up, you’ve uncovered valuable info on what not to do moving forward.

This, in turn, should help you make your best, most loved episodes.

Ready to learn more?

As we mentioned above, episode engagement is just one of many factors that can help you gauge the success of your show.

Other popular ROI measures include…

  • Lead generation

  • Brand authority

  • Listener engagement

  • Unique listeners

  • And share of voice

But that’s certainly not all…

If you’re ready to learn more, grab our Ultimate Guide to Podcast ROI — a totally free and seriously useful resource that should definitely help you out.

Learn how to measure the ROI of your podcast. 

Looking to Solve Your Business Problems with a Podcast?

JAR Audio is a full-service agency that solves brand problems with Original Podcasts.