Spotify is today introducing a new feature aimed at helping people discover interesting and popular podcasts. The company this morning announced the launch of two brand-new podcast charts, Top Podcasts and Trending Podcasts, which will showcase both the overall most-listened to and the biggest movers, respectively. The new feature will arrive in the Spotify mobile app across 26 markets. In addition, category-level charts will be available in 7 of the 26, including the U.S., U.K., Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Germany and Australia.
The new charts will replace the existing “Top Shows” chart to offer a better discovery experience that separates popular from trending and offers, in some cases, category-level detail.
Music services have long since used top charts to help users find new music and discover artists, and Spotify hopes the same will be true for podcasts. Like its music charts, Spotify’s podcast charts will also be updated regularly to help users keep up with which podcasts are seeing the most engagement and growth.
The Top Podcasts charts will include the overall most popular audio programs, geared for stability and integrity, as determined by recent listener numbers, Spotify explains. This chart will be updated on a monthly basis, giving users a look at which shows have longer-lasting influence. Users will also be able to view the top podcasts for any market where they’re available, not just their own.
Meanwhile, the Trending Podcasts charts use an algorithm that will blend for discovery of newly-launched shows along with the fastest-climbing shows. This will be focused more on helping creators secure a place on the charts to help reach a new audience.
In the seven markets where category-level data is available, Spotify will also separate out the Top and Trending Podcasts by genre — like True Crime, Comedy, News, Lifestyle & Health, TV, Educational, Business & Technology, Celebrities, Sports & Recreation, and others. At the category level, the Top Podcasts charts will list the top 200 overall shows in the selected region and the Trending chart will show the top 50 rapidly rising shows.
Related to this, podcasters will also see an updated experience in Spotify’s online dashboard, Spotify for Podcasters, which will now alert them when their podcast is charting. They can then turn this notification into a visual card to share across social media to help further market their podcast.
Podcasts have been of significant interest to all streaming services, and particularly Spotify, in recent years. The company has acquired podcasting software and studios, made deals to secure exclusive and original content (including Joe Rogan) and it has invested in software features like podcast playlists and algorithmic recommendations to introduce podcasts to Spotify’s millions of users.
Today, the service offers over 1 million podcasts, up from the 700,000-plus it was reporting in March. And despite the coronavirus impact on where users listen to podcasts, Spotify said podcast consumption was up by “triple digits” in the first quarter of the year, compared with Q1 2019.