Spotify Is Now Expanding Its Services for Podcasters — Introducing ‘Spotify for Podcasters’ (Updated)

Spotify for Podcasters
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Spotify for Podcasters
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Spotify’s Podcasts: It Ain’t iTunes… yet.

Last month, Spotify started allowing select indie artists to upload directly to the service through Spotify for Artists.  But why stop there?

Correction (Oct. 4th): Yesterday, we mistakenly reported that Spotify was offering direct uploads of podcasts, similar to a beta-phase offering for artists in Spotify for Artists.  Turns out that’s not the case: just this morning, Spotify clarified that direct uploads are not part of the expansion — just uploads from centralized RSS feeds.  But, Spotify for Podcasters will dramatically expand the suite of tools for podcasters to monitor their engagement.

Now, the company is launching its beta Spotify for Podcasters.  As you might have guessed, the service will allow podcasters to upload files to the service directly.  The service will allow podcasters to easily link their RSS feeds to Spotify, allowing for easy upload through various podcast aggregators.

Incidentally, we’ve been doing exactly that for months with the Digital Music News podcast on Spotify, via podcast aggregator/distributor Libsyn.  But maybe that Spotify RSS integration service wasn’t being promoted, or was limited.

Podcasts have a unique profile in that they are typically long and can consume a lot of bandwidth.  That makes podcast-friendly hosting and analytics a unique requirement.

On Thursday morning, reps for Spotify insisted that this isn’t about direct uploading, just uploading via RSS feeds.  In a traditional setup, a podcaster uses a centralized aggregator to distribute their content.  For example, the Digital Music News Podcast works through Libsyn, which pushes an RSS feed to a variety of endpoints with new episodes.

Those endpoints include iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Libsyn offers a range of different stats, including actual download numbers.  But now, it looks like Spotify is aiming to enhance those stats with their built-out podcasting services suite.  So let’s see where this all goes.

The Spotify beta appears to be open to all podcasters, though a Spotify spokesperson did confirm that there is an evaluation process for newly submitted podcasts.  Spotify welcomes feedback from those who are interested in the platform and acknowledges that the company “hasn’t had a chance to build the things we know you need and want.”

On a broader level, Spotify appears to be positioning itself as a point of access for all digital entertainment.

The podcasters dashboard offers analytics and daily statistics about the podcasts’ complete catalog on the service. Spotify’s FAQ about the service says the company plans on adding more features over time as they get more feedback from its users.

If you’re interested in trying out the new beta, check out Spotify for Podcasters.

Spotify is making it easier for indie podcasters to get on the platform, but they’re also stepping into the podcasting ring with exclusive shows, too. Ebb & Flow, Unpacked, Showstopper, and The Joe Budden Show are just a few podcasts that are exclusive to the service for now.

Podcasting is just another arena in which Spotify and Apple are competing head-to-head, with iTunes being the long-reigning champ of podcasts.  Then again, iTunes was once the reigning champ of digital music, as well.