By Alison Osborne
When someone thinks of podcast metrics or success, immediately the word “downloads” comes to mind. But it’s predicted that podcast metrics will move away from downloads in 2020 and here’s why.
As you can tell, Spotify has really made its mark in podcasting. An interesting aspect to look at when it comes to Spotify and podcasts is the fact that there’s no way to download an episode. Spotify’s listener count instead comes from the number of streams. Tom Webster of Edison Research states that:
But on top of this, downloads are starting to lose their power when it comes to telling the success of a podcast series. With the emergence of niche podcasts that have a focus on a smaller but highly targeted listener base, downloads don’t always accurately measure the value of a series. Instead, emphasis will shift towards the narrative around a podcast, who’s talking about it? Who’s listening to it? Rather than how many listeners are there.
Dane Cardiel from Simplecast says it incredibly well:
Overall, we’re excited to see the industry shifting away from just looking at the number of downloads and instead, diving deeper into who it is that’s downloading. And as Spotify continues to grow in the podcast field, we can expect that downloads won’t be nearly as important since the platform counts listens through streams rather than episode downloads.