Get the Most Out of Your Shoutcast Streams with Audience Analysis
Giving your listeners what they want and making them happy is a great way to keep them coming back to your show in the future and to attract new listeners in your target audience. But in order to know what is working best on your show and what isn’t hitting the mark, you need more advanced analytics than those provided through Shoutcast D.N.A.S. Status updates. If you are serious about analyzing and building up your Shoutcast streams, purchasing analytics software may be the right option for you.
Why Standard Shoutcast Stats are Lacking
While you are streaming on Shoutcast you are given some helpful data that lets you know how the show you are streaming is doing. In addition to letting you know that the stream is successfully up and running, you are given stats on how many people are currently listening, what the listener peak for this stream is and what the average listening time is.
These stats are a nice generalization as they give you a rough idea of how many listeners are tuning into the show now in comparison to how many have tuned in on other days and at other times. But where are these listeners tuning in from? How accurately is the average listening time portraying the real average amount of time that listeners are tuning in?
Without more data to analyze, questions like this remain unanswered. As a result, you can’t really use these general numbers to make specific changes to your show for better or worse.
Using an Analytics Tool like Caster Stats or Saw Mill
Available at similar pricing points and offering similar services, Caster Stats and Saw Mill are both viable options for providing more specific and relevant statistics about your Shoutcast streams. Since you will likely be spending a lot of time analyzing these stats, you should choose a program with an interface that suits you the best.
The most helpful feature available is live feedback and mapping, which will actually show you in real time where your listeners are coming from on a map, how long they’ve been listening and what program they are using to listen in.
People who stream for only a minute or two or people who have been streaming all day long can skew average listening stats, so actually being able to see how long each listener has been listening gives you a much more accurate picture of the “true” average. If you notice that listeners tend to dip during a certain song or segment and tend to rise or stay tuned during others, you can use this information to make improvements to your Shoutcast stream in the future.
Knowing where your listeners are coming from is also something that can be built upon. If your show has gained popularity in a certain area that you weren’t anticipating, you can make efforts to continue to grow interest in these communities through social media marketing and updates to your show. On the same token, if areas that you thought would be doing well aren’t, you can try different things to see if you can do a better job of drawing your target audience.
Both programs also make past logs and data much easier to read, so in addition to analyzing live data you can analyze trends over the course of weeks or months to find growth and decline periods and attempt to adjust accordingly.
Hosting your show with a hosting service that caters to Shoutcast streams like http://www.zencast.net/ can also help with the growth and analytics process. The more information you have at your disposal, the better choices you can make to give your listeners the best experience that you possibly can.