April 11, 2024

How to start a podcast on Spotify: 7 easy steps

Find everything you need to launch a successful podcast on Spotify, from setup to publishing.
April 11, 2024

How to start a podcast on Spotify: 7 easy steps

Find everything you need to launch a successful podcast on Spotify, from setup to publishing.
April 11, 2024
Elise Dopson
In this article
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What type of content do you primarily create?

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Transcriptions
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This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions

If you want to start your own podcast, you’re in good company. Podcasting has exploded in popularity over recent years—for a reason. Creators can use their own podcast to build an audience that they can monetize with ads, affiliate links, and brand sponsorship deals. 

The problem is: most podcasts don’t make it past three episodes, largely because their creators underestimate how much effort it takes to start their own podcast. You’ll need recording gear, a premise, episode ideas, cover art, and a hosting site before ever pressing record. And that’s not even to mention growing an audience you can monetize. 

Luckily, there are tools that exist to make the process quicker and easier. Take Spotify for Podcasters, for example—the platform’s podcast hosting service that allows creators to start their own Spotify podcast for free. This step-by-step guide shares how to use it, including bonus tips on how to get your first few podcast listeners and monetize your show. 

Why add a podcast to Spotify?

Spotify has a huge audience 

Spotify is one of the largest podcast directories. More than 32.5 million listeners tune into their favorite shows on the platform, which is home to over five million shows. By starting your own podcast on Spotify, you can capture potential listeners on the app they’re already familiar with. There’s no need for them to download or navigate a new podcasting app to tune into your show.

--poster_start--

⚡️ Top the charts: How to optimize your podcast show notes for SEO

--poster_end--

It’s free to host a Spotify podcast

Anyone can host a podcast on Spotify for free. Ever since the platform acquired Anchor, a podcast hosting platform, and renamed it Spotify for Podcasters, it’s been possible for anyone to record and share their own show with zero budget.

Spotify podcasts are shareable

Podcasts are known for being difficult to promote. The vast majority of podcast directories don’t have any listener engagement or recommended show features, which makes it hard to grow your audience on the directory alone. That said, Spotify makes it easy for you to share individual episodes. Each listing has its own shareable link that you can use to promote your show. 

Spotify also has its own chart to show the top podcasts across different niches and countries. If you’re able to build a loyal audience in one of these niche categories, you could hit the top spot and have Spotify promote your show to other people who are most likely to be interested in it. 

Screenshot showing Spotify’s top podcast charts
Spotify podcast requirements

Before uploading your show to the directory, you must meet Spotify’s podcast format requirements: 

Episodes

Spotify only allows creators to upload podcast episodes that are less than 200MB in size/12 hours in length and high bitrate, either in MP3 format (at least 128 kbps) or Mp4 with AAC-LC. 

If you’re looking to record something quickly to get your show off the ground, try a podcast trailer. Use your trailer as a way to explain what the show is about, how often you upload, and what they can expect from subscribing to your podcast on Spotify. 

Cover art

Spotify requires all podcasters to create cover art for their show before it’ll appear in the podcast directory. You can design your own cover art using free graphic design tools like Canva and Adobe—both of which have pre-made templates which you can customize to add your podcast name.

You have full creative control over your Spotify podcast cover art, but it must be in 1:1 ratio and either a PNG, JPEG, or TIFF file format. 

Image of user browsing podcast cover templates in Canva

Title, show notes, and other metadata

Metadata is the textual information that’s attached to each podcast episode. You’ll also need to indicate the podcast’s language, category, and other details.

⚡️ Pro tip: Writing metadata is one of the most time consuming parts of podcasting. Thanks to Descript, you can let AI take the reins and use the Podcast Show Notes tool to summarize your episodes within seconds.  

‎How to start a podcast on Spotify: 7 steps

  1. Define a podcast topic
  2. Record your first episode
  3. Edit your podcast
  4. Choose a podcast hosting platform
  5. Syndicate your show to Spotify for Podcasters
  6. Promote your Spotify podcast
  7. Use Spotify’s monetization features 

Step 1. Define a podcast topic

The first step in starting any podcast is to choose a topic. This is the thing that every episode will touch on, so try not to make it too restrictive. Floristry for beginners, for example, gives you more leeway than Valentine’s Day roses, while also being niche enough to attract listeners who share the same interest.

Now’s also a good time to iron out your target audience. Jot down common traits that your ideal listener has. How old are they? Where do they get their news? What pain points do they have? Answers to these questions will help you produce a podcast that people actually want to listen to, as opposed to shouting into the void and hoping someone hears. 

Step 2. Record your first episode

A podcast script can come in handy here. Jotting down what you want to cover in your podcast intro and outro, plus a few talking points, will help keep you on track while recording. It’ll also make your episode easier to listen to because it’ll follow a logical structure and flow. 

Spotify has its own built-in podcast recording feature that allows you to record directly into the app. But this does come with its limitations: 

  • Editing features are limited
  • There’s a 30-minute recording limit if you’re using a Chrome browser

⚡️ Pro tip: If you’re recording a high-quality show with guests or plan to share the video podcast, you need SquadCast. The tool allows you to build your own recording studio that guests can access from their browser. It supports both video and audio recording, and when you’re finished, the video file will be ready for you to edit in Descript. 

Image comparing the quality difference between using SquadCast by Descript and Zoom to record video

Step 3. Edit your podcast 

It’s difficult to record an outstanding podcast episode on your first try. Whether you stumble on your words or lose your train of thought, editing is what turns a good episode into a great one.

No clue where to start? Here’s what you should pay attention to while editing your new podcast:

  • Long gaps between words or sentences 
  • Filler words such as “um” or “uh” 
  • Background noise, such as your neighbor’s lawn mower
  • Volume levels to make sure your audio isn’t too loud or too quiet  
  • Opportunities to add music and sound effects

Descript’s all-in-one podcast editing software is trusted by some of the top podcast producers in the world. It makes editing a breeze by transcribing your audio into written text, so you can edit your podcast like you’d edit a Google Doc—with loads of professional features to take advantage of when you need them. 

‎Step 4. Publish your episode

First, make sure you’ve verified your account on Spotify for Podcasters—you’ll need to do that before you can publish your first episode. 

Once your episode is ready, give it a catchy title and description. Optionally, you can add an episode number, season number, and episode-level artwork if you’ve got it.  

If you’re ready to publish immediately, hit “Publish now.” But a better approach is to schedule your episode—that way, you can keep episodes coming out regularly at the same day and time, so listeners know what to expect. 

To schedule your episode:

  • On the web: Find Publish date and select your desired date and time.
  • On mobile: Tap Change publish date and select your desired date and time. Then tap Schedule for…

And just like that, your episode is scheduled!

Step 6. Promote your Spotify podcast

Once your Spotify podcast is live, you’re ready for your first listeners. While engaging podcast titles, show notes, and cover art will do a great job at reaching potential listeners in the Spotify app, kick things off with a bang by promoting your show outside of the dashboard. 

Simple ideas to market your podcast include:

  • Asking guests to share the episode with their own audience 
  • Engaging in promo swaps and feed drops with other shows
  • Pitching to newsletters that are relevant to your podcast topic 
  • Joining podcast parties

⚡️ Pro tip: Find Good Clips is an AI tool that will scan each podcast episode and find the most interesting snippets. Turn them into short-form videos to repurpose on social media platforms like Instagram Reels or TikTok and drive traffic back to your Spotify podcast.

Screenshot of Descript’s Find Good Clips feature

Step 7. Use Spotify monetization features

Chances are, you started a Spotify podcast to make some money. Your goal might not be anything super ambitious, but for many podcast creators, simply covering the expense of producing their show is a good starting point. 

Spotify has its own monetization features that make it easier for creators to make money from their podcast. Compared to other platforms, the eligibility criteria is low—you need at least two published episodes and at least 100 listeners within the last 60 days to turn on Spotify’s monetization tools. 

If you meet that criteria, you can make money podcasting on Spotify through:

  • Podcast subscriptions, where people pay a monthly fee to access subscriber-only episodes.
  • Listener support, a type of donation that listeners give to their favorite podcasters.
  • Podcast advertising, where Spotify inserts ads into your episodes and gives creators a percentage of the money made.

An AI podcasting tool for professional content

Spotify has the basic tools you need to start a podcast. But if you’re serious about your show and want to take your podcast to the next level, it’s worth investing in professional podcast editor software. Enter: Descript.

Descript is the preferred podcasting tool for some of the world’s top creators. You can record and edit your podcast in the same dashboard. It even offers AI tools to speed up the editing process and create top-notch shows, including:

  • Automated transcription to edit your podcast like you’d edit a Google Doc
  • Studio Sound to remove unwanted background noise
  • Remote recording studio to co-host your show with guests 
  • Podcast Show Notes to save time summarizing each episode
  • Find Good Clips, which uses AI to pull out the most interesting parts of your podcast episode to repurpose on social media

Podcasts like Planet Money, How I Built This, and The Argument are already using Descript to edit their show. Get your free account to join them today. 

‎How to start a podcast on Spotify FAQs

Is it free to start a podcast on Spotify?

It’s free to upload a podcast to Spotify. The platform has its own podcast hosting platform that is free for creators to use. Combine this with Descript’s free podcast recorder and editor to start your own show with zero budget. 

Does Spotify pay you for podcasts?

Spotify doesn’t pay creators to upload podcasts to its platform, but you can monetize your Spotify podcast using features like ads, paid podcast subscriptions, and listener donations.

Can you use Spotify to make a podcast?

Spotify for Podcasters allows anyone to start their own podcast on the platform. That said, its recording and editing features are limited. Descript is a better option to produce the show before you upload it to Spotify.

Elise Dopson
Elise Dopson is a freelance writer, creator, and fierce Descript user. She's also the co-founder of Peak Freelance.
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How to start a podcast on Spotify: 7 easy steps

If you want to start your own podcast, you’re in good company. Podcasting has exploded in popularity over recent years—for a reason. Creators can use their own podcast to build an audience that they can monetize with ads, affiliate links, and brand sponsorship deals. 

The problem is: most podcasts don’t make it past three episodes, largely because their creators underestimate how much effort it takes to start their own podcast. You’ll need recording gear, a premise, episode ideas, cover art, and a hosting site before ever pressing record. And that’s not even to mention growing an audience you can monetize. 

Luckily, there are tools that exist to make the process quicker and easier. Take Spotify for Podcasters, for example—the platform’s podcast hosting service that allows creators to start their own Spotify podcast for free. This step-by-step guide shares how to use it, including bonus tips on how to get your first few podcast listeners and monetize your show. 

Why add a podcast to Spotify?

Spotify has a huge audience 

Spotify is one of the largest podcast directories. More than 32.5 million listeners tune into their favorite shows on the platform, which is home to over five million shows. By starting your own podcast on Spotify, you can capture potential listeners on the app they’re already familiar with. There’s no need for them to download or navigate a new podcasting app to tune into your show.

--poster_start--

⚡️ Top the charts: How to optimize your podcast show notes for SEO

--poster_end--

It’s free to host a Spotify podcast

Anyone can host a podcast on Spotify for free. Ever since the platform acquired Anchor, a podcast hosting platform, and renamed it Spotify for Podcasters, it’s been possible for anyone to record and share their own show with zero budget.

Spotify podcasts are shareable

Podcasts are known for being difficult to promote. The vast majority of podcast directories don’t have any listener engagement or recommended show features, which makes it hard to grow your audience on the directory alone. That said, Spotify makes it easy for you to share individual episodes. Each listing has its own shareable link that you can use to promote your show. 

Spotify also has its own chart to show the top podcasts across different niches and countries. If you’re able to build a loyal audience in one of these niche categories, you could hit the top spot and have Spotify promote your show to other people who are most likely to be interested in it. 

Screenshot showing Spotify’s top podcast charts
Spotify podcast requirements

Before uploading your show to the directory, you must meet Spotify’s podcast format requirements: 

Episodes

Spotify only allows creators to upload podcast episodes that are less than 200MB in size/12 hours in length and high bitrate, either in MP3 format (at least 128 kbps) or Mp4 with AAC-LC. 

If you’re looking to record something quickly to get your show off the ground, try a podcast trailer. Use your trailer as a way to explain what the show is about, how often you upload, and what they can expect from subscribing to your podcast on Spotify. 

Cover art

Spotify requires all podcasters to create cover art for their show before it’ll appear in the podcast directory. You can design your own cover art using free graphic design tools like Canva and Adobe—both of which have pre-made templates which you can customize to add your podcast name.

You have full creative control over your Spotify podcast cover art, but it must be in 1:1 ratio and either a PNG, JPEG, or TIFF file format. 

Image of user browsing podcast cover templates in Canva

Title, show notes, and other metadata

Metadata is the textual information that’s attached to each podcast episode. You’ll also need to indicate the podcast’s language, category, and other details.

⚡️ Pro tip: Writing metadata is one of the most time consuming parts of podcasting. Thanks to Descript, you can let AI take the reins and use the Podcast Show Notes tool to summarize your episodes within seconds.  

‎How to start a podcast on Spotify: 7 steps

  1. Define a podcast topic
  2. Record your first episode
  3. Edit your podcast
  4. Choose a podcast hosting platform
  5. Syndicate your show to Spotify for Podcasters
  6. Promote your Spotify podcast
  7. Use Spotify’s monetization features 

Step 1. Define a podcast topic

The first step in starting any podcast is to choose a topic. This is the thing that every episode will touch on, so try not to make it too restrictive. Floristry for beginners, for example, gives you more leeway than Valentine’s Day roses, while also being niche enough to attract listeners who share the same interest.

Now’s also a good time to iron out your target audience. Jot down common traits that your ideal listener has. How old are they? Where do they get their news? What pain points do they have? Answers to these questions will help you produce a podcast that people actually want to listen to, as opposed to shouting into the void and hoping someone hears. 

Step 2. Record your first episode

A podcast script can come in handy here. Jotting down what you want to cover in your podcast intro and outro, plus a few talking points, will help keep you on track while recording. It’ll also make your episode easier to listen to because it’ll follow a logical structure and flow. 

Spotify has its own built-in podcast recording feature that allows you to record directly into the app. But this does come with its limitations: 

  • Editing features are limited
  • There’s a 30-minute recording limit if you’re using a Chrome browser

⚡️ Pro tip: If you’re recording a high-quality show with guests or plan to share the video podcast, you need SquadCast. The tool allows you to build your own recording studio that guests can access from their browser. It supports both video and audio recording, and when you’re finished, the video file will be ready for you to edit in Descript. 

Image comparing the quality difference between using SquadCast by Descript and Zoom to record video

Step 3. Edit your podcast 

It’s difficult to record an outstanding podcast episode on your first try. Whether you stumble on your words or lose your train of thought, editing is what turns a good episode into a great one.

No clue where to start? Here’s what you should pay attention to while editing your new podcast:

  • Long gaps between words or sentences 
  • Filler words such as “um” or “uh” 
  • Background noise, such as your neighbor’s lawn mower
  • Volume levels to make sure your audio isn’t too loud or too quiet  
  • Opportunities to add music and sound effects

Descript’s all-in-one podcast editing software is trusted by some of the top podcast producers in the world. It makes editing a breeze by transcribing your audio into written text, so you can edit your podcast like you’d edit a Google Doc—with loads of professional features to take advantage of when you need them. 

‎Step 4. Publish your episode

First, make sure you’ve verified your account on Spotify for Podcasters—you’ll need to do that before you can publish your first episode. 

Once your episode is ready, give it a catchy title and description. Optionally, you can add an episode number, season number, and episode-level artwork if you’ve got it.  

If you’re ready to publish immediately, hit “Publish now.” But a better approach is to schedule your episode—that way, you can keep episodes coming out regularly at the same day and time, so listeners know what to expect. 

To schedule your episode:

  • On the web: Find Publish date and select your desired date and time.
  • On mobile: Tap Change publish date and select your desired date and time. Then tap Schedule for…

And just like that, your episode is scheduled!

Step 6. Promote your Spotify podcast

Once your Spotify podcast is live, you’re ready for your first listeners. While engaging podcast titles, show notes, and cover art will do a great job at reaching potential listeners in the Spotify app, kick things off with a bang by promoting your show outside of the dashboard. 

Simple ideas to market your podcast include:

  • Asking guests to share the episode with their own audience 
  • Engaging in promo swaps and feed drops with other shows
  • Pitching to newsletters that are relevant to your podcast topic 
  • Joining podcast parties

⚡️ Pro tip: Find Good Clips is an AI tool that will scan each podcast episode and find the most interesting snippets. Turn them into short-form videos to repurpose on social media platforms like Instagram Reels or TikTok and drive traffic back to your Spotify podcast.

Screenshot of Descript’s Find Good Clips feature

Step 7. Use Spotify monetization features

Chances are, you started a Spotify podcast to make some money. Your goal might not be anything super ambitious, but for many podcast creators, simply covering the expense of producing their show is a good starting point. 

Spotify has its own monetization features that make it easier for creators to make money from their podcast. Compared to other platforms, the eligibility criteria is low—you need at least two published episodes and at least 100 listeners within the last 60 days to turn on Spotify’s monetization tools. 

If you meet that criteria, you can make money podcasting on Spotify through:

  • Podcast subscriptions, where people pay a monthly fee to access subscriber-only episodes.
  • Listener support, a type of donation that listeners give to their favorite podcasters.
  • Podcast advertising, where Spotify inserts ads into your episodes and gives creators a percentage of the money made.

An AI podcasting tool for professional content

Spotify has the basic tools you need to start a podcast. But if you’re serious about your show and want to take your podcast to the next level, it’s worth investing in professional podcast editor software. Enter: Descript.

Descript is the preferred podcasting tool for some of the world’s top creators. You can record and edit your podcast in the same dashboard. It even offers AI tools to speed up the editing process and create top-notch shows, including:

  • Automated transcription to edit your podcast like you’d edit a Google Doc
  • Studio Sound to remove unwanted background noise
  • Remote recording studio to co-host your show with guests 
  • Podcast Show Notes to save time summarizing each episode
  • Find Good Clips, which uses AI to pull out the most interesting parts of your podcast episode to repurpose on social media

Podcasts like Planet Money, How I Built This, and The Argument are already using Descript to edit their show. Get your free account to join them today. 

‎How to start a podcast on Spotify FAQs

Is it free to start a podcast on Spotify?

It’s free to upload a podcast to Spotify. The platform has its own podcast hosting platform that is free for creators to use. Combine this with Descript’s free podcast recorder and editor to start your own show with zero budget. 

Does Spotify pay you for podcasts?

Spotify doesn’t pay creators to upload podcasts to its platform, but you can monetize your Spotify podcast using features like ads, paid podcast subscriptions, and listener donations.

Can you use Spotify to make a podcast?

Spotify for Podcasters allows anyone to start their own podcast on the platform. That said, its recording and editing features are limited. Descript is a better option to produce the show before you upload it to Spotify.

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