How can I distribute my paid Substack podcast on Spotify?

Substack podcasters can now distribute paid podcast feeds to Spotify via the Spotify Open Access program.

This new integration has several benefits for your podcast growth:

  1. Your podcast is discoverable via the Spotify network
  2. Existing subscribers can listen to paid episodes on Spotify
  3. Free listeners have a direct path to upgrade 

How do I enable this feature?

You can submit your podcast to Spotify via your Substack podcast settings. This will sync all current and future podcast episodes.

Follow these steps to get started:

1. Open the “Spotify” section under “Distribute your podcast” in your podcast settings.

2. If you don’t have a podcast listed on Spotify, click the green “Sync to Spotify” button. This will automatically create a new podcast on Spotify with your free and paid episodes.

 

3. If you already have a podcast listed on Spotify, you have two options:

  • Replace your public RSS feed with the new feed containing paid episodes (simplest for listeners). To change the RSS feed you’re sending to Spotify, click “Manual setup.” Copy the URL provided, and paste it into your Spotify settings. This adds your paid episodes but will maintain your existing Spotify followers and listing. 
  • Create a new paid feed in addition to your existing public Spotify feed (recommended for podcasters who serve dynamic ads, or whose free previews are a majority of their premium episodes). To create a new paid feed, click the green “Sync to Spotify” button and complete the steps to sync to Spotify. Then click “Edit name” to differentiate the title from your existing public Spotify feed, e.g. “Jasmine’s Podcast (Subscribers Only).”Note that both versions of your podcast will appear in Spotify search and listings. You can also add a promotional banner to link your paid feed from your free feed.

4. Next, update the Spotify links shown on your Substack podcast and episode pages. This helps route your free and paid subscribers to the right Spotify feed.

5. You’re done! In about an hour, your podcast will be synced and viewable on Spotify. Listeners will then be able to discover, upgrade, and sign in to access paid episodes directly within the Spotify app. 

Things to note:

  • At this time, Spotify does not support syncing founding member episodes or free previews of episodes.
  • Your synced podcast will only appear published on Spotify once at least one episode is uploaded.
  • Once you sync your podcast to Spotify via Substack, you do not need to separately submit your RSS feed via Spotify for Podcasters (S4P). Doing so will create an accidental duplicate of the show.
  • If you have multiple podcasts hosted on Substack, you’ll need to complete these steps for each feed.
  • If you don’t want to set up a sync to Spotify, you can keep your existing public feed and link to it from Substack podcast pages. Copy your Spotify podcast URL and paste it into Substack under “Spotify” in your podcast settings. 

Frequently asked questions

How can listeners find my podcast on Spotify?

Syncing your podcast will show a Spotify link on the podcast episodes on your Substack publication. Subscribers can navigate directly to your Spotify feed by clicking on the link.

Screenshot 2024-04-08 at 6.23.41 PM.png

New listeners can also discover your Spotify feed by searching for your podcast within the Spotify app.

On Substack, paid and free subscribers can go to their Manage Subscription page for your Substack publication and link their Substack account to Spotify.

You can share the help article on how to link a Substack account with Spotify with your subscribers: How do I listen to paid episodes on Spotify?

What will listeners see on Spotify?

Listeners will see a list of all your paid and free episodes. 

Paid episodes are marked with a padlock, and subscribers will need to click “Get access” and link their Substack account to Spotify to listen. Free listeners will be prompted to upgrade after linking their account. 

Subscribing to The Flow State podcast on Spotify

You can share the help article on how to listen to paid episodes on the Spotify app with your subscribers: How do I listen to paid episodes on Spotify?

How can I link and promote my paid feed from my free Spotify feed?

If you have two podcast feeds set up, one free and one paid, you can add a banner linking to the paid feed from your free feed via your Spotify for Podcaster settings. This banner will only work once you’ve uploaded at least one paid episode.

If you have a single feed that includes both free/paid episodes, you won’t need to do anything—free listeners will see locked episodes, and can click “Get access” to log in and upgrade their subscription.

What if I only publish free episodes on Substack?

You can still sync your free podcast via Spotify.

Can I sync only a portion of my episodes to Spotify? 

No. If you sync a podcast, all episodes (except those restricted to founding members) in that feed will appear on Spotify. 

How can I access my Spotify listener data?

You can go to your Spotify for Podcasters account and claim your podcast to see your listen data, including streams, unique listeners, play time, demographics, and more. 

Soon, we will add Spotify listens to Substack’s podcast stats page so you can view it alongside info from other podcast players.

How do I stop my Substack podcast from syncing with Spotify?

On your podcast settings page, click on the settings icon in the Spotify section. Select "Disconnect from Spotify". This will remove your Substack podcast from Spotify and your episodes will no longer be synced to Sptoify.

Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 11.57.42 AM.png

For manually synced feeds, head to your Spotify For Podcasters dashboard and replace your Substack RSS feed URL with the original third-party hosted RSS URL that you want to return it to.

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