Simplecast Created a Stickiness Metric

Simplecast announced a stickiness metric. The company wants podcasters to answer deeper questions than they can get from Facebook page likes or website views. Those questions include: Does your show keep listeners coming back for more? Do marketing efforts help attract new listeners? Do marketing efforts create new “sticky” listeners?

While I only selected a few shows for this article, I’ve chosen them to illustrate a few different scenarios of a show’s launch. Show # 1 is a weekly show with a big initial launch day (eg. featured in apps like Stitcher and Apple Podcasts), Show # 2 is a weekly show with an organic growth trajectory (eg. word of mouth or current available audience), and Show # 3 is a daily show and also has an organic growth trajectory.

You can find more information about how Simplecast came up with their data and metrics on the Medium post that was written by Chief Technology Office of Simplecast, Stephen Hallgren.

By “stickiness”, he means listeners who keep coming back to a podcast for more. He expected and hoped to see listeners transitioning from 1 to 2 to 3+ episodes for each episode release. He also hoped to see the percentages for single episode listeners to be low.

Things didn’t quite work out that way with the three shows he gathered data on. Show # 1 pulled in significant numbers of listeners on launch day, but then the number went down. Only 20% of initial listeners returned to listen to at least one additional episode. Show # 2 and Show # 3 had much smaller launch days, but their listeners were more engaged and were likely to keep listening to more episodes.

Simplecast is working on other analytics (beyond stickiness) such as podcast onramps and episode entry points and user behavior across episodes. The concept of stickiness of listeners is interesting.

That said, I doubt advertisers will switch from using IAB information about number of downloads in favor of listener stickiness. Podcasters, however, might find stickiness to be useful for figuring out how dedicated an audience they actually have.