Google is putting more data and insights into the hands of podcasters on its platform. The company has debuted Google Podcasts Manager, a new analytics suite to help podcast creators gain insight into how listeners are accessing content. Google says the new insights will help podcasters better understand their listeners and reach them across Google products.
The data will include not only the expected information about the number of streams and minutes per episode, but also new insights into the device the listener used. By showcasing the various devices that people are using to listen to podcasts, Google said the new analytics will also help publishers make sure their show is available to millions of Google Podcasts listeners through a simple verification process.
Google said the data included in Podcasts Manager relies on anonymized device analytics that show what percentage of an audience listens across phones, tablets, desktop computers and smart speakers. This data can help podcasters better understand and respond to changing listening behavior, it said. For example, a podcaster might discover that a majority of listeners access a show on a smart speaker. It says that could mean a producer should offer both short- and long-form content or develop family-friendly options for listening not done through a pair of headphones.
With the new Google Podcasts Manager, publishers will also be able to access metrics to understand how engagement with a show evolves over time and see activity for recent episodes. That includes retention analytics, which can help a producer to better understand where people tune in — and when they drop off — along with listening duration, minutes played and more. Google is also allowing publishers to export the data and plug it into third-party analysis tools.
“Whether taking a quick walk, diving into an ambitious cooking project or driving in the car, people are listening to podcasts to learn new things, immerse themselves in a story and understand new perspectives. We redesigned Google Podcasts with this in mind, making it easier to discover and listen to podcasts wherever people are listening,” Google Director of Engineering John Ciancutti wrote in a blog post.
The new analytics offering to podcasters is just the latest in a string of upgrades made to Google Podcasts during the past two years. Earlier this year it updated its Google Podcast website that showcases the top podcasts on the platform and shifts focus away from simply steering people to download the Google Podcast app. Last December it made finding a podcast simpler when using Google Assistant.
But the biggest move so far was made last spring when Google updated its search engine so that users began receiving results that feature links to specific podcast episodes using speech-to-text technology to generate transcripts of podcasts. The transcript gives the search engine a lot more data about what podcasts fit the search parameters, according to the company.