Welcome Back to The Input, A Video Series on Podcast Best Practices From Spotify

Get a recap of some best practices we shared in season 1 and find out what to expect from season 2!

In 2019, we launched Spotify for Podcasters—and it's been a busy couple of years. We've released new programs for podcast creators, like paid subscriptions; new features for podcast subscribers, like podcast timestamp sharing; and new improvements for the podcast industry, like our new podcast charts.

We’ve also been sharing resources around every topics that podcasters want to learn more about, like landing dream podcast guests, how to write show notes and show descriptions, and organizing remote interviews.

One of those resources is The Input, our video series on podcast best practices. In each episode, we feature podcast best practices shared by members of Spotify’s team.

In this article, we’ll share what you can expect from The Input season 2, which covers podcast growth and optimization. We’ll also recap some of the best practices around podcast creation and distribution we shared in season 1.

What Is The Input?

The Input is hosted by Xavier “X” Jernigan, Head of Cultural Partnerships at Spotify and host of Spotify’s morning show "The Get Up." In each episode, X shares best practices on podcasting from experts within Spotify, covering topics like understanding Spotify’s podcast analytics and creating the perfect podcast trailer.

What’s New in Season 2 of The Input

Season 2 of The Input covers podcast promotion and optimization with experts from Spotify’s editorial and marketing teams.

Find out why Spotify’s podcast playlists are important for podcasters from Spotify’s Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, Podcast Editor, Music and Entertainment.

Learn all about key podcast promotion strategies from Nicole Buntsis, Podcast Marketing Lead at Spotify, featuring promotion on social media and sharing interesting podcast content.

Understand how to optimize your podcast show pages with lessons from Natalie Tulloch, Global Lead, Spotify Sound Up.

You can tune in to the conversation around each of our episodes by following us on Twitter @forpodcasters.

4 Podcast Best Practices from The Input Season 1

In season 1, we covered topics related to podcast distribution and analytics. Here are a few best practices we shared:

1. Keep your show trailers around a minute

In our episode on making great podcast trailers, Maya Prohvonik, who leads R&D for Spotify's podcasting platform Anchor, recommended keeping your podcast trailer short and focused.

“Your goal should be to capture the message of your show as concisely as possible,” said Prohvonik.

Your trailer is an elevator pitch to potential podcast listeners and new audiences for your show, so you need to make sure it covers your show’s tone and format and gives people a good idea of what to expect from each podcast episode.

2. Use Artist Insights to tailor your show’s music choices

When X spoke to Sari Nahmad, Senior Data Analyst at Spotify, in our episode on understanding audience and demographic data, he learned how podcasters can use aggregate audience data to inform the creative choices they can make in their show.

Artist Insights is a Spotify for Podcasters feature that shows podcasters their audience’s five most popular music artists. Using this information, podcasters can choose music for their shows that align with their audience’s music interests.

For example, if your podcast audience likes listening to The Marías or Phoebe Bridgers, maybe you can include some indie instrumentals in your intros and outros. This might increase both your ability to connect with your audience and also the likelihood they’ll return to listen to future episodes of your show.

3. Reduce the gap between your starts and streams by front-loading content

For our episode on show and episode data, X learned that Spotify has two different data metrics for your listenership: “starts” and “streams.”

Starts are recorded every time a listener starts one of your episodes. Streams are recorded every time a listener tunes in for at least 60 seconds. The smaller the gap between your starts and streams, the more likely it is that your listeners are engaged with your show and like what they hear.

One strategy we recommended podcasters use to reduce the start-stream gap is to front-load their content. Front-loading content involves sharing the most relevant content with your listeners as soon as you can instead of keeping it buried within the middle or towards the end of your episode.

For example, if your episode is ‘100 ways to cook eggs’ and your first 60 seconds doesn’t mention eggs, you might see a large gap between your starts and streams. Instead, you could share a few of the most interesting and surprising ways one might cook eggs within your first 60 seconds so that your listeners know what to expect and keep listening to the episode.

4. Distribute your podcast on Spotify with a podcast hosting platform

In our episode on podcast distribution, X learned that podcasters can distribute their show to Spotify from their podcast hosting platforms.

Shows are automatically distributed to Spotify by most hosting platforms. For some platforms, creators might need to follow an extra step to get their show distributed.

In the episode, we shared a helpful resource where podcasters can check out step-by-step instructions on submitting their show to Spotify from 20+ hosting platforms.

Podcasters can enter their show’s title, cover art and description in their hosting platform to have that same information distributed to their show’s Spotify page. X learned that Spotify pulls this information directly from a podcast’s RSS feed, so podcasters don’t have to re-submit this information to have it reflected on their show’s Spotify page.

Check Out The Input!

Get ready to level up your podcasting knowledge, whether you’ve just started or you’re a veteran podcaster. All episodes of The Input season 2 are available on the Spotify for Podcasters blog.