The content of this post is now outdated! See current status of getting your show onto Spotify here.
Yep. It’s true. Spotify podcasts, or podcasts through Spotify will soon be possible.
Did you notice I used the words, “Will soon be?” That means it’s not fully rolled out at this time (May 26, 2015).
If you’re not familiar with Spotify do yourself a favor and jump over to www.Spotify.com for a second. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Spotify is one of the best streaming audio services out there (in my humble opinion). You can find almost any music you want and they have great smart phone and web apps that simply work. It’s one of the few “freemium” services I’ve considered paying for.
At a press conference on May 20, 2015 (Hey, that’s my anniversary!), Spotify announced their new service which will include both audio and video from sources they’ve previously not drawn their content from – and they specifically mentioned podcasts as part of what they’ll be offering.
Do you see what this Spotify deal could mean for podcasters?
In terms of content delivery and getting content out to people, Spotify is one of the Big Boys!
As of today Spotify has over 15 million paying subscribers. PAYING subscribers! How many more people are like me and are still too poor or cheap and use the free version?
Glad you asked… 45 million!
So there’s a potential audience of 60 million people. For the sake of perspective, that’s the entire population of the country of Italy! ‘O Sole Mio!
Rob Walch of www.Libsyn.com has stated that by the end of 2015 he expects this addition to make Spotify the #2 distributor of podcast audio behind iTunes.
That means a TON of potential new listeners – which could translate into a surge of new traffic and interest in your show.
Wow, you could become a Spotify celebrity!
So enough already… how do you get your podcast into the Spotify lineup?
You’d think something this cool would be, well, easy to implement. But for most podcasters, it’s not.
- There’s no form to fill out
- There’ no email address to use to request your show be included
- You can’t contact Spotify customer service to beg, plead, or offer a bribe.
There’s only one way (at this point) to get your podcast on Spotify
You have to somehow be connected with one of Spotify’s approved providers.
Who are the Spotify approved providers? I’m glad you asked!
Here’s a list taken directly from Spotify’s website, dated 5/20/2015 (my anniversary). As you’ll see, it’s a list of some big players in the media world. You should also keep in mind that Spotify’s new functionality will be including video as well as audio, which is probably why a lot of the names I’m about to read are in the list…
- Disney: Jimmy Kimmel Live, ESPN, Maker Studios, XGames, Fusion
- NBCUniversal: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Show with Seth Meyers, E! News, The Soup, The Grace Helbig Show, Brew Dogs
- Turner Broadcasting (now part of WarnerMedia): TBS’s CONAN and Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Rick and Morty and Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show
- Viacom: VH1, MTV
- BBC; Vice: Vice News
- TED:TED has created custom playlists of their popular Talks for Spotify, tailored especially for our new Now experience
- Condé Nast: GQ, Wired, Vogue
- Nerdist / Legendary Films & Digital Networks: Nerdist News
- Slate: Culture Gabfest
- Epic TV: here you’ll find the best, original, extreme sports, featuring surfing, climbing, wingsuit, BASE, mountain biking, adventure sports etc
- TWIT: This Week in Tech
- Blucora Media: How Stuff Works, Stuff You Should Know, Stuff to Blow Your Mind
- Elite Daily: Insights, 5 Stages
- Tastemade: food, drink, travel for Millennials
- PRX: 99% Invisible Podcast, The Moth Podcast
- I am Rapaport: Actor/Director Michael Rapaport shares his strong, funny & offensive points of view on life, sports, music, film & everything in between
- Harper Collins; American Public Media: Marketplace radio show, The Splendid Table radio show
- WNYC Studios: Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio.
Think about that list. Through this Spotify deal you could be right alongside some of the biggest names in media as a choice for people to listen to.
Now THAT is cool.
But there’s one problem… you have to BE one of those “approved partners” to be on that list… and you’re not.
Or are you?
One of the newest Spotify approved partners may be a game-changer for you
This second announcement was made by a company many podcasters are more closely affiliated with.
Their announcement was that after a lot of long, hard work, they are now approved to be a partner with Spotify as a provider of audio content. You can listen to the announcement on Libsyn’s show at this link.
Way. To. Go. Libsyn team. That’s a HUGE partnership that benefits so many people.
Way. To. Go.
So, if you host your podcast on Libsyn, that’s good news regarding Spotify.
Every Libsyn podcaster has the opportunity to be on Spotify.
But according to Rob Walch from Libsyn, you need to be clear about what that means.
- Download only hosting won’t cut it. You have to have to have your podcast set up with Libsyn in a way that utilizes their publishing platform.
- You have to accept the “terms and services” Spotify sets up on the deal… whatever they may be when they come out.
- This is a distribution and exposure opportunity, not a monetization opportunity (Rob stressed this – a lot). All that means is that you won’t get any money from Spotify through this deal – you’ll get more listeners. That’s a very good thing.
Libsyn already has a ton of options for pushing your content out to various distribution hubs automatically – like YouTube, Facebook, WordPress, and others.
- Spotify would become another of those options in your Libsyn dashboard.
- So once the Spotify destination is available in Libsyn – it’s done. Set it and forget it.
- You can even set up certain episodes to be “Spotify only” content. Pretty cool.
What about Spotify ads and other stuff you might not want on your show?
According to Rob, Spotify’s ads will NOT be interrupting your show. There will likely be an ad before and an ad after, but nothing cutting into your content.
I’m personally curious to see if it stays that way long term. Content providers (Facebook… cough) are notorious for changing their terms of service once you’re “in.” I don’t begrudge that, it’s their service so they are free to do what they want.
But that reality concerns me a little bit on this deal, so we’ll see. But for now, no ads in the middle of your content.
If it does change and you don’t like what’s happening in Spotify with your podcast, you can always go into your Libsyn dashboard and disconnect the Spotify distribution.
That’s my take on it, anyway…
I’m a Libsyn podcaster, so how do I get my podcast into Spotify?
They started this deal with select podcasters, working out the kinks in a “beta” test. But it will eventually be rolled out as an option for everyone.
But Rob says if you want to be included, all you have to do is contact him (rob AT Libsyn DOT com OR thefeed AT Libsyn DOT com) and someone will walk you through how to ensure your show is set up properly so that you can be included when it’s open to more podcasters. You can also call Libsyn at 1-412-573-1934.
Now that’s easy, isn’t it?
If you’re a podcaster who has your show set up to “download only,” the Libsyn team can help you get that switched over as well.
Rob says it this way:
If you don’t put your podcast in Spotify, you are crazy when you have the opportunity
There is nothing untoward in my coverage of this Spotify podcast issue
I’ve talked about both Spotify and Libsyn in glowing terms. But I don’t receive anything from either of them.
I use Spotify. I upload many client podcasts to Libsyn.
Other than that… I just think this is a really great deal for podcasting.