iTunes doesn’t provide podcast subscriber numbers. Let’s talk about how we can get an idea for how many podcast subscribers a show has.
How many subscribers do I have on iTunes?
iTunes doesn’t provide analytics to podcasters. We can get an idea for how many subscribers by measuring the spikes in downloads.
What is a Podcast Subscriber?
A podcast subscriber is someone who sets their phone to automatically download the show when it becomes available. Because the subscribers automatically download the shows, we can assume that the spikes in podcast traffic are related to the number of subscribers.
In order to get an estimated number of subscribers, we can subtract the normal day to day traffic from the the spikes we see when we publish a new episode.
How to Estimate Podcast Subscriber Numbers
The best way to get an estimate of your podcast subscriber numbers is like this.
First find the number of downloads you have on a day where you don’t publish a podcast. These may be downloads from people who are researching new shows, or it could be the average number of downloads you get from people streaming or doing other day-to-day podcast listening activity. Let’s call this number your regular download rate.
Second, look to the days where you publish an episode. This will probably be the highest number of downloads on a single day. Let’s call this number the peak download rate.
Let’s subtract the regular download rate from the peak download rate. That will give you the best idea for your subscriber count.
If your show has an audience that listens via a web browser or an android device it’s likely that you’ll get a lot of downloads that should not be added into your subscriber count estimation.
You can filter your downloads by device and operating system to get a better idea for iOS specific download counts.
At the end of the day, a rough estimate is great for your decision making. It’s probably better to focus on creating excellent podcasts than to spend time working on a more nuanced estimate of subscriber numbers.