After all, if the former TV host of Fear Factor has had wild podcasting success on Spotify, you definitely can too! (Yes, that was Joe Rogan’s job when he still had hair.)
In this blog post, first we are going to explain the difference between Spotify as a hosting platform and Spotify as a listening platform. ➡️⬅️
Then we will cover why Spotify is probably not the best hosting option for you.
After that we will discuss the benefits of distributing your podcast to be listened to on Spotify. 👍
Then we will guide you through each technical step of how to start a podcast on Spotify when you are using a separate hosting platform (we will use Ausha as an example).
To finish off, we will review how to start a podcast on Spotify if you do chose to use it as your host site.
Ready to start? Let’s go!
Spotify: Hosting Platform vs. Listening Platform
The first thing you need to know when you are thinking about how to start a podcast on Spotify is that there is a difference between using it for hosting vs using it as a listening outlet. Spotify is both a hosting platform and a listening platform.
What is a Hosting Platform?
The job of a hosting podcast platform in podcasting world is to store the podcast contents and create a podcast’s RSS feed to share the contents with listening platforms. It is also sometimes called a host site. 🗄️
The hosting platform creates the RSS feed in the form of a link. The link looks just like any other URL you see on the internet. Then the RSS is copied and pasted into listening platforms (example: Apple Podcasts).
Once the RSS feed is placed in the listening platform, the listening platform can use it to access all the hosting platform’s stored information about the podcast. This includes data like cover art, show description, episode title, episode description, tags, category, language used, etc. It also includes any new episodes that are uploaded by the podcaster to the host site. 🖼️
While all hosting platforms create an RSS feed, they different in how the RSS feed then gets to the listening platform. Here at Ausha, for example, we distribute RSS feeds to over 20 listening directories around the world, including YouTube and Soundcloud, with just a couple clicks.
As you’ll see when we look at Spotify as a hosting platform, that is not the case for Spotify. 😔
What is a Listening Platform?
Technically speaking, the only thing a listening platform needs to be able to do is accept an RSS feed, pull files from it, and display those files in a way that the audience can use. But of course, many podcast listening platforms do more than just the bare minimum.
Podcast listening platforms are usually set up to maximize the listener’s experience– fast downloads, capacity to show chapter markers, make playlists, “follow” or “subscribe” to a show, etc. 🥳
Most listening platforms are free, but you do need to make an account. Some have paid options for even better listening experiences (like ad-free tracks) or access to exclusive content.
Now that you have a good idea of what a hosting platform is and what a listening platform is, let’s evaluate Spotify in each category. 🤓
Problems with Spotify as a Hosting Platform
Before figuring out how to start a podcast on Spotify, you have to decide what you really mean by that. Do you mean that you want to make it so that people can listen to your episodes on Spotify? Or do you mean that you want to host your episodes on Spotify? 🤔
In the next section we will get into how to start a podcast on Spotify just in terms of distributing your show to it so that listeners can tune in there.
But for this section we are only focusing on hosting. 👈
There are a few problems with hosting your episodes on Spotify itself.
First, Spotify is going through a lot of change right now. It isn’t clear exactly what services are hopefully coming in the future and which ones are for being offered. They have created something called “Spotify for Podcasters” but the details are still a little murky. 😶🌫️
For example, it is not clear what analytics will be available if you host your show on Spotify. You may get detailed analytics from other directories, but you may not. It is not clear.
But by far the biggest problem with using Spotify as a hosting platform is that it does not distribute your episodes. At all. It only lists them on its own app. If you want publish them in other directories, you have to manually make an account in each directory, submit your information, and copy and paste your RSS feed in. 😓
How big of a problem is the lack of distribution to other directories? A big one. According to Podtrac’s recent data in March 2023, Spotify only makes up 9% of total downloaded podcast episodes. Apple and YouTube dominate as podcasting listening directories.
Spotify can’t distribute to YouTube at all because YouTube does not use RSS Feed technology. You would have to manually upload each episode. Don’t expect a YouTube distribution feature to be added any time soon because Spotify can host video episodes itself and probably does not want to compete directly with YouTube. 😈
How bad is it not to get distribution to other directories? Pretty bad. Look at the expensive in-house Spotify podcasts that have recently made headlines for failing or getting huge money cuts. One big reason that experts say they failed? They were Spotify-only podcasts. Of course independent podcasts and manual distribution is a little different, but still it demonstrates how important it is for podcasts to be on multiple directories.
If you are going to go through all the work of buying a microphone, recording excellent audio, using good editing software, etc. you want your time to be worth it. Pick a host that will distribution what you create widely. 🌎
Benefits of Spotify as a Listening Directory
With all this being said, Spotify is a great place to distribute your podcast to. It has a large audience of millions listeners around the world. Yes, most of users are there to listen to music, but that does not mean they will only choose to listen to music. They could become podcast fans! 🤩
Plus, it is free to distribute your podcast to Spotify. If you have a host like Ausha, it takes zero work too. If you run your own ad campaigns, more listeners means more money. So if Spotify is not on your distribution list, add it today!
That brings us back to the original, specific question, how to start a podcast on Spotify. Now that you have the full context, we will explain how to start a podcast on Spotify via another hosting site (we’ll use Ausha as an example). ⬇️
How to Start a Podcast on Spotify via Ausha
In this section we are going to thoroughly go over, step by step, how to start a podcast on Spotify if you are using Ausha as your host site. Then we will answer some questions that may pop up during or right after you add your podcast to Spotify. Enjoy! 💪
6 Steps for How to Start Your Podcast on Spotify
Here are the six steps to distribute your podcast to Spotify through Ausha:
- Login to your Ausha account
- Go to the Main Menu and click Settings
- You will see a vertical menu on your left, on it click Distribution
- Look for the Spotify box (you will see the name and logo) click the Distribute button
- A small window will pop up with the text “Is your podcast already available on Spotify? Click no.
- Another small window will pop up with the text “Do you want to broadcast your show on Spotify?” Click Broadcast to Spotify.
That’s it! You’re done! That’s how to start a podcast on Spotify if you have Ausha.
From now on, you won’t have to do anything for your new episodes to appear on Spotify. Ausha automates the whole thing! 😎
Do I Need a Published Episode to Start on Spotify?
Yes. In order to distribute to any listening directory, including Spotify, you have to have at least one publicly visible, published episode. 1️⃣
How Long Will It Take for My Podcast to First Appear on Spotify?
Once you complete the six steps above, it should take anywhere from one hour to several hours for your podcast to appear on Spotify. The delay is due to Spotify’s technical process.
The same wait time applies to any new episodes. The same goes for if you edit an already existing episodes. It takes Spotify’s system a couple hours to update on their end.
What if my Podcast Doesn’t Appear on Spotify?
If your podcast does not appear on Spotify after a day of publishing it with Ausha, feel free to reach out to our Chat Help and we will be happy help you. 🧑🚀
How do I Find My Show’s Spotify Listening Link?
Now that you have succeeded starting your podcast on Spotify, you can show off your Spotify link to all your admirers. How do you find that link? There are three easy ways. 🔗
The first option is when you follow the six steps to initially start your podcast on Spotify. At the end of the process you will see a link appear. That link is the URL to your show’s listen page on Spotify.
The second option is in Ausha any time. You simply go to the Distribution page in your Ausha account. On the screen you will see boxes, one for each listening directory. Locate the Spotify box. Right below the logo you will see a URL. This is the link your show’s listen page on Spotify. 🟪
The third option is on Spotify itself. Go to https://open.spotify.com/genre/podcasts-page. Enter the name of your podcast in the search box. When the results pop up, click on your podcast. Spotify will then take you to your listen page. The URL that appears in the navigation bar of your browser is your listen page link.
Remember though! It is always better to use the Ausha Deeplink if you want to send someone a link to listen to your show. For more info on what the Deeplink is, read more here.
How do I Edit an already Published Episode?
Did you catch a mistake in your content after you published your episode? Or maybe you have cool new cover art? Don’t worry, with Ausha it super easy to make changes without much fuss and have the updated version in the listener directories in no time. 😀
Once you have logged into Ausha, go to the Episodes page. You will see a list of your episodes. Each episode has a pencil icon listed next to its name. Select the pencil icon to edit. ✏️
You will then be taken to a page that has a section for Content edits, a section for a replacement Audio File, a section for Categories and Options, a section for Privacy settings, and a section for Chapter Breakdown.
In the Content section you can the Title, Description, Permalink, Tags, and and Image (cover art). 🎨
In the Audio File section, click Change File. you will then be prompted to upload a new file.
In the Category and Options section you can create or reorganize seasons for your podcast. You can change the episode type to Normal, Trailer, or Bonus. You will also be able to toggle on or off the “explicit content” category. Here is also where you can toggle on or off the option to distribute the episode to YouTube and Soundcloud (their technology is a little different that other directories). 🤖
In the Privacy section you can set your episode to Public, Private, or Unlisted. You can also allow or deny listeners the ability to download the episode.
Last but not least, in the Chapters section, you can create, delete, or modify the episode’s chapters. 📚
Once you save these changes, you will see them updated in listening directories, including Spotify, within a few hours.
How to Get My Podcast Featured on Spotify
Let’s say not only do you want your podcast to appear on Spotify, you want it featured on Spotify! Way to be ambitious! 🤟
Sadly, the podcast Editorial Submission Form that Spotify unveiled not too long ago, no longer exists. Like we said early in this blog post, a big downside of Spotify for podcasters right now is the constant changes. 😔
Now Spotify only has Podcast Charts and those are made through quantitative data- number of downloads, etc. 📊
How to Start a Podcast on Spotify
As promised, in this section we will show you how to start a podcast on Spotify itself, if you choose to make Spotify your host site.
Make an Account
First you need to make an account on Spotify. Go to podcasters.spotify.com and click Sign Up. You will have the option to select “I want to start a podcast” or “I already have a podcast.” Since you are just starting a podcast, select the first option. 🎙️
Then fill in the account form: Full Name, Email Address, Password, and Date of Birth. Then click Sign-Up.
Next, Spotify will walk you through a process so they can create an RSS feed for your podcast. Be sure to check you inbox for confirmation emails so you can activate your RSS feed. 📩
Now comes time for the episode creation. You can, if you want, create a full episode within Spotify itself. You can do this on a desktop through podcasters.spotify.com or you can download their app and work on your phone.📱
Spotify suggest that you record your episode with only your phone microphone, straight to the Spotify app. (In our opinion, today’s phone microphones are great but they still don’t cut it when it comes to capturing the best sound quality.) If you want to record video episodes, now is the time to do that too. 📹
Next comes editing. Again, Spotify suggests you can do this within the app too, no extra software needed. That sounds good, but there are only two editing options on the app. First, you can create and rearrange clips, adding Spotify’s selection of background music and transition. Second, you can click a button called “Enhance” and the app will automatically adjust the audio for noise cancellation and voice optimization– this can be risky because the app can get it wrong. 🤷♀️
Once the editing is done, it is time to publish. Just a few clicks and your episode will publish on Spotify.
Remember, it won’t automatically publish to other listening directories so you will need to manually submit the RSS Feed to any listening directories that you want your episode to appear on. 🥴
That’s all we have today! Hopefully we have answered all of your questions about starting a podcast on Spotify, whether you choose to use it as your host site or not.
So start your podcast today! The world is waiting to hear your great content! ✊
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