Spotify has launched a beta test for a new dedicated portal for podcasts. Spotify for Podcasters lets any users distribute their shows to the streaming service by submitting their RSS feeds.
with no editorial approval needed. NOTE: A spokesperson for Spotify told RAIN News that in fact there is an evaluation process for uploaded podcasts. The dashboard also offers daily statistics and analytics about a show’s complete catalog or individual episodes in addition to back-end management. Spotify boasts millions of podcast listeners and offers categories to help producers encourage discovery.
The beta test appears to be open to any podcasters. Spotify acknowledges in the FAQ for the new portal that it will be adding more features over time. The beta label is because “we haven’t yet had a chance to build things we know you need and want.” The company is open to hearing feedback and suggestions for the new feature during the ongoing development process.
Podnews tipped us off to this development, and it also has some insights about how Spotify is handling metrics. Since the streaming platform caches audio, stats from Spotify listens won’t appear in the analytics offer by a regular podcast host and won’t be measured by services such as Podtrac.
That caveat applies to podcasts already hosted elsewhere, whose producers want to be exposed to Spotify’s large app audience. For new shows uploading to this platform, Spotify is the host, providing platform-specific analytics just like any other podcast host. CORRECTION: The service requires an existing RSS feed, so Spotify is not acting as an open hosting platform for new shows.
Spotify previously announced a move that would let some independent artists directly upload their music to the streaming platform. In both these developments, Spotify is repositioning itself as more than just an access point for a growing suite of entertainment. The company is muscling into SoundCloud’s territory as an open platform for enterprising artists and podcasters to take control of their own digital distribution. Dedicated podcast hosts in the vein of Libsyn and Blubrry will want to watch this development with an eagle eye.