@angela_k_moore – I totally agree with Reed (obviously). We've been noticing that with the new iteration of Apple Podcasting Analytics, we're starting to see more informative results. They now are trying to more accurately report things like unlistened downloads (assuming you download it in the Podcast app on your iPhone), ad skipping, and episode retention rates. But generally it seems that the data is starting to be useful, but they still are focusing heavily on overall downloads as the main KPI. Sigh….we still have a long way to go.
Did you know that the IAB has podcast measuring guidelines? That might of interest to you – check it out here: https://www.iab.com/guidelines/podcast-measurement-guidelines/