One of the first steps when you start a podcast is to make your podcast available and discoverable on podcast directories. Spotify is definitely one of the first directories you should start with.
Up until recently, Spotify had little to do with podcasting. They solely focused on music. A few years back, Spotify started making acquisitions in the podcasting world and added the ability to listen to podcasts directly from the Spotify app.
Spotify has about 300 million users worldwide. Users tune-in to listen to multiple types of audio content (songs, radio shows, podcasts, etc.). Beyond acquiring podcasting companies, Spotify also started to produce their own exclusive shows in 2020. They signed exclusive deals with Joe Rogan and Michelle Obama, among a few other key/popular podcasters.
It’s free to publish your podcast on Spotify, so just go ahead, do it, and expand your potential listeners reach wherever in the world they might be. Next, we’ll help you with a step by step guide – how to add or claim your podcast on Spotify.
It’s a prerequisite to already have a podcast. If you’re just getting started, check out this guide that explains how to start a podcast. In short, you need to host your podcast audio files somewhere, and add the show information. Then the host will create an RSS feed for your podcast which you can later submit to directories like Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Upload your podcast to Spotify
To upload your podcast to Spotify, you’ll need to go over a few extra steps than what you normally would with other podcast hosting providers. Spotify essentially host your audio files separately from your podcast host, so the traffic, downloads and analytics are all done there. To get started with adding your podcast with Spotify, start by signing up to Spotify Podcasters here, if you don’t already have a regular Spotify account.
Next, you’ll need to add your RSS feed. You’ll find it on your podcast host account. When you are linking your RSS feed once, it will automatically pull your future episodes. So there is no need to touch this part again (unless you are switching podcast hosts).
By adding your RSS to Spotify, you are agreeing to their terms, and granting them rights to use your content. Make sure you are alright with that.
You grant Spotify a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid, worldwide license to use, reproduce, make available to the public (e.g. perform or display), publish, translate, modify, create derivative works from, and distribute any of your User Content in connection with the Service through any medium, whether alone or in combination with other Content or materials, in any manner and by any means, method or technology, whether now known or hereafter created…Spotify Terms and Conditions of Use
As soon as you link your RSS feed, Spotify will verify it, and pull the information (podcast title, host name, description, artwork, and categories). They’ll then want to verify that the podcast is yours, so you will need to copy the code from your email.
Important note regarding podcast stats on Spotify – Since Spotify will be hosting your podcast separately from your current podcast host, on their own servers, the downloads/statistics information you get from your podcast host would not include Spotify listeners. You’ll have to check the Spotify stats separately and combine the two figures.
On the next page, you’ll need to add some info about your podcast. This info includes the podcast language, country, and categories. Ensure to pick the relevant categories to make it easier for potential listeners to find your podcast. That’s it, click the submit button and your podcast is on its way to be featured on Spotify (it might take a few hours, or even up to a few days in some cases).
Spotify’s guidelines on podcast & feed structure
Spotify has published a complete guide that details how you should structure your content in order to be successfully published. You don’t have to read it in order to post your podcast on Spotify, but it’s worth a quick browsing. The guide is 29 pages so we will try and summarize the important parts here:
- Audio format – currently only MP3 files with a bitrate between 96 and 320 kbps are supported. There’s a limit on the maximum file-size of 200 MB (about 83 minutes).
- Images – podcast images should be standard 1:1 square-ratio images. The accepted formats include TIFF, JPEG, or PNG.
- Metadata – use case-sensitive XML 1.0 formatted text file.
HTML ampersand characters shall always be escaped (use: News & Politics instead of News & Politics). Don’t include HTML tags embedded in elements (like <bold> for instance). Spotify will remove it from the metadata before publication.
- Listener-facing-elements should not exceed 20 characters to ensure a good fit.
- Include at least one episode in your podcast feed (it should also obviously include the podcast name and an image).
Submitting your podcast through your podcast host
It’s also possible to use your podcast host to publish your podcast on the relevant directories for you. Some will do it automatically with a click of a button, others will ask a few questions and then submit.
It can be more convenient when your podcast host does this for you, but you can always do this yourself as well if you’re in a hurry or want the podcast to be listed on Spotify as soon as possible.
Conclusion – displaying your podcast on Spotify
Spotify is becoming one of the most important podcast platforms you can upload your podcast to. It’s highly popular across the world, and provides many different ways of listening (in-app, websites, download etc.).
They have hundreds of millions of users, both paying users and free users, so getting your podcast there is a huge opportunity to increase your podcast’s popularity and gain new listeners.
It’s easy to publish your podcast on Spotify, and in this article we included a step-by-step guide of doing this yourself. With that said, you can also check with your podcast host if they can help doing it for you.
We always recommend to share a URL to your podcast website rather than a link to Spotify or Apple Podcasts. (or even worse, tell your listeners to “find us on Apple Podcasts or Spotify” – that’s counter intuitive). A podcast website allows you to control your brand much better and always be independent of the different podcast platforms.