Media host Libsyn recently announced that Spotify accounted for 5.1% of its downloads. The Spotify platform, which has been available to podcasters hosting with Libsyn for about a year, is now available to all podcasters.
You can submit your podcast to Spotify here.
But is it worth doing? That's the big question.
Yes. It's a simple process that will take you about five minutes to complete.
But don’t think Spotify will be a magic bullet for your podcast’s popularity. While 5.1% would be a nice bump for any individual podcast, that number is a little skewed, since it accounts for all podcasts hosted by Libsyn and the majority of podcast downloads are for top shows from NPR, Gimlet, and other major providers. Unless you actively promote your podcast on Spotify, any bump to your numbers is likely to be a lot lower.
Almost all of Spotify's roughly 83,000,000 paying customers are there for music, not podcasts. Because of this, the podcasters who have the most luck from random searches on Spotify are those with podcasts that focus on music or the artists that make music.
If you have a non-music podcast though, you still have an opportunity to get new listeners via Spotify.
Again, Spotify has 83,000,000 paying customers. A lot of people have it.
This is where the big opportunity of having your podcast on Spotify comes in. Paying users know how to use the service, so if your podcast is on it, they also know how to access your podcast, even if they don't know how to get podcasts otherwise.
It's not sexy. It's not the "set it and forget it" magic pill podcasters always hope for, but the best way for most podcasters to take advantage of having their podcasts on Spotify is by simply telling people, "Search for my podcast on Spotify" or sending a direct link to your podcast on the Spotify player. This especially works well if your target audience is with the same demographics most likely to already have Spotify.
Spotify is responsible for a lot of podcast downloads because of its size. With approximately 140,000,000 users (paid and free), almost anything you release via the platform is going to get some listens.
You want a lot of listeners though. Admit it and own it.
You don’t want just the "crumbs" that come from random searches — you want listeners who will love your podcast, continue to listen to it, and ultimately engage with you.
Your best distribution option to make these things happen is to find the app your potential listeners are most likely to use (or already using) and point them there. That’s the key — you have to take control of your podcast marketing by actively promoting your podcast where listeners will listen.
Sometimes that's Spotify. Most of the time it isn't.
If it's easy to make your podcast available through a new platform, like it is with Spotify, by all means make your podcast available through that platform. But never confuse this ease with the actual work it takes for you to get new listeners to your podcast and keep them engaged. "Easy" or "lots of potential" is not an excuse for you to stop actively promoting your podcast where your listeners actually are, even if where they are isn't trendy and everybody else has left.