Announcing: Retention analytics
by Harish Agarwal · April 16, 2021

Today, we're excited to launch a podcast industry first: retention analytics. Podcasters of all sizes can now get a sense of whether they’re improving their content over time. We think the tool can answer some common questions:

  • Are listeners coming back to my show? Is that trend improving?
  • Did the listeners I acquired through my most recent marketing campaign stick around?
  • How do my different shows compare to each other?

Starting Hacker Daily after working on startups for years came as a shock to the system. Within minutes of starting a website, it's dead simple to install software to get sophisticated growth metrics on usage. These metrics help you grow your business by offering deep insights into growth drivers.

We're really excited to bring one of these growth metrics to the podcast industry for the first time: cohort retention. Plenty of people have written extensively about the value of retention analysis in more detail than we can here— but in short, retention metrics let you deeply understand the business value of your marketing efforts.

Chartable's retention analysis lets you see at a glance how new listeners engage with your podcast over time. Each row represents a different cohort of new listeners — the listeners who started listening in that month.

When stacked against other cohorts of new listeners, trends begin to appear - the chart above for a weekly news podcast shows a consistent trend across cohorts.

With podcasting, knowing how long a listener stays engaged is only half the story. The business of podcasting is the business of getting episode downloads—with Chartable's retention charts you can understand how many episodes the average listener in each cohort downloaded over time as well.

The chart above, for a single season of a narrative podcast drop, shows very clearly that losing new listeners over time can be balanced out by downloads - the November 2020 co-hort downloaded an average of 5 episodes in Month 2, the month when the entire season dropped.

For more on how to use retention analysis to grow your podcast, check out this Q &A with Matt Hird from Pacific Content and Chartable CEO Dave Zohrob. Matt dives deep into why retention is important and how to make the best use of this tool.

Retention stats are now available to all users of Chartable's Pro plan. We'd love to hear your feedback!

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