Play Your Part: Introducing Our Civic Engagement Toolkit for Podcasters

Our ‘Play Your Part’ initiative at Spotify was built to help podcasters, listeners, and artists alike get engaged in the 2020 US elections.

As a podcaster, you know how important it is to be heard and that is never more true in an election year. This year’s election will be one of the most polarizing elections to-date in the U.S. and campaigns and nonprofits are already working hard to get out the vote this fall. But you and your podcast can play just as crucial a role in empowering a very important constituency — your listeners .

This month, Spotify launched Play Your Part, a civic engagement initiative built to help podcasters, listeners, and artists alike get engaged in the 2020 US elections. We’ve teamed up with best-in-class nonpartisan partners HeadCount, BallotReady, and TurboVote to share tools that can help creators get the word out about civic engagement to their audience. This isn't about who we vote for; it's about making sure we all have our voices heard.

With our partners, we’ve created a special civic engagement toolkit just for podcasters, whether you're a news obsessive or new to the space. Inside, creators will find different ideas for ways that they can bring messages around civic engagement into their work. You’ll see examples of host-read PSAs, calls to action that can help motivate your audience, and key national dates creators might want to highlight in their shows, such as Vote Early Day on October 24. And in a year where information about how to participate — from mail-in ballots to early voting — can be hard for many people to navigate, you’ll find resources with clear, accurate voting information from our non-partisan partners. Podcasters can also direct listeners to and to find more information on how to get registered and make a plan to vote.

But this kind of integration doesn’t have to be all facts and figures. For example, the Spotify original series Dope Labs centered an entire episode on voting. But hosts Dr. Zakiya Whatley and Dr. Titi Shodiya did so in an intuitive way that was authentic to their brand, their voice and how they engage with their listeners.

“Our show focuses on highlighting the science behind everyday observations,” say Whatley and Shodiya. “We have been bombarded with political ads on Twitter, Facebook, IG, TV, etc and we wanted to lift the hood and understand the engine driving this type of campaigning.”

Voting is, of course, the heart of the democratic process. But Dope Labs wanted to go beyond that, raising awareness for their audience around not only how to cast their ballots but how campaigns try to influence their decision.

“Political behavior is so much more than voting, and it was important for us to help people see the many ways the tendrils of advertising reach them. There are a lot of resources poured into political ads and targeting for a reason - it’s effective.”

As a podcaster, you have a platform and audience that you can inspire, no matter what your show’s about. If you’re scripting a fiction series, you could consider showing or alluding to your characters voting in an upcoming episode. A podcast on film might dig into how voting has been represented on screen. This is about getting everyone’s voices heard and tapping into the power of podcasting to get people to the polls.

For more ways to help your listeners get to the polls and get their voices heard, check out the civic engagement toolkit: