Spotify needs no introduction, it’s been a decade since the audio giant launched in Sweden in 2008. Starting out as a music streaming site, the company has now opened its doors to all types of audio. In turn it’s become the most famous digital audio content platform in the world with 159 million users worldwide and a reported 83 million paying subscribers in June 2018 (up from 57 million in June 2017).
Most recently the platform opened up to podcasts, offering broadcasters of audio content the opportunity to literally reach millions of new listeners in over 60 markets. With this article we want to give you the necessary tool kit for getting your podcast on Spotify by offering you tips on how to get accepted.
However, keep in mind that increasing the number of listeners doesn’t mean a boost in your advertising ‘numbers’; Spotify re-hosts your show which means if you have your ads set with Dynamic Ad Insertion they won’t be played – but keep your eyes peeled as Podnews recently stated in one of their recent newsletters that Spotify are currently testing pass-through shows! If you’re keen to learn more about monetization then check out this article which covers the topic of audio being a new era in advertising).
What’s Needed To Get Approved on Spotify
This is where we want to explain to you the basics for getting your audio content “Spotify ready”! At a basic level, to submit your podcast to Spotify you need to make sure it is in the following format:
- MP3 format with a good quality level: audio with bitrates between 96 and 320 kbps).
- Size: Each episode needs to be under 200MB. 200MB works out to be around 83 minutes at 320Kbps or over 200 minutes at 128Kbps.
- Podcast Image: your artwork must be square (1:1), the highest resolution possible and either a JPEG or PNG.
- Podcast feed values: special characters, in particular the ampersand (&) character must be HTML encoded (&). HTML tags such as <p> or <bold> will be removed by Spotify.
- Episode titles: should not exceed 20 characters to ensure they sit well on all Spotify screens.
- Podcast feed fields: All podcast feeds must have a title, image and at least 1 episode to qualify.
Last but definitely not least, always make sure that your content doesn’t include any copyrighted materials (Podsafe content is fine!).
How To Submit to Spotify
Once you have ticked off all the items in your technical checklist, it’s time to start thinking about the logistics of submitting your show to the platform. The Spotify submission process is relatively simple, so don’t worry if you’re not technically minded!
The best way to get your podcast on Spotify is to host it on one of the recommended platforms, such as: Spreaker, Libsyn or Podbean. If you’re hosting your podcast on SoundCloud you might use the form from Spotify.
Most popular host platforms already have a straightforward submission process in place so you can do it directly via the site and if not Spotify have created a submission form in case you don’t host with one of their enabled platforms.
How Long Does it Take and How Do I Know if I’ve Been Approved?
Now you’ve sent your podcast to Spotify it’s all just a waiting game! Approval can take anywhere between a few hours to 5 days. Spotify won’t contact you directly to say whether your show has been listed by the site, it’s up to you to check back and see if your podcast has been approved. So sit tight and cross your fingers until you find out!
Where do you see Spotify statistics?
After your show starts to get plays on Spotify you’ll no doubt want to see what effect it has on your listens! Although Spotify doesn’t give podcasters direct access to their stats and data, most of the numbers you need to know you’ll find by checking your host platform. Spreaker has made sure your Statistics Dashboard on your CMS page includes your Spotify plays and downloads and when you access your Sources page you can even delve deeper into the data to see how Spotify plays have an impact on your overall data. Blubrry and Libsyn for example also both support Spotify Statistics.
There’s no doubt about it, distribute your podcast on Spotify and you’ll notice a big difference in your listens (Spotify counts for 10% of the ‘total podcast listens everywhere’!). So submit your podcast to Spotify and watch your listeners grow!