It might seem like putting your podcast on big platforms is the only way of growing your audience – but this isn’t the case. While streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music are undoubtedly great ways of getting your show heard, like all things, they have their downsides.
So, what do you do if you decide that you want to remove your show from a service like Spotify? Let’s take a look.
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What is Spotify?
Created in 2006, Spotify is one of the most popular music and podcast streaming services. With currently 299 million active users, Spotify boasts one of the largest music and podcast libraries online.
The platform offers paid and free streaming to listeners on desktop and mobile. One of the huge draws to Spotify (aside from more content than you could ever hope to listen to) is its range of curated playlists.
With fans and dedicated staff at the company carefully creating playlists for any occasion, one of the biggest features of the app in recent years is its ability to offer content based on whatever mood, or situation you may find yourself in. The more you use Spotify, the more it learns your preferences in music, and what podcasts are piquing your interest, generating recommendations based on your recent activity.
A lot of you may recognize this feature as a part of Spotify’s annual ‘Wrapped’ presentation – which allows users an insight into their listening habits that year. From most listened to songs, albums, artists, genres, and even tempos, it is abundantly clear that Spotify takes detailed note of the things that you like.
This makes it a great way to find new shows and music, as Spotify uses these highly advanced notes to suggest new media that you might like. This makes it a great way to keep entertained, while still expanding your horizons.
Is Spotify good for podcasting?
While initially a solely music-based platform, in recent years Spotify has started to make waves in the world of podcasting. Through the ‘Shows’ tab, you can access a dedicated browser reserved exclusively for podcasts. And, in much the same way as music, Spotify will learn what you like, and make recommendations based on these preferences.
By submitting your RSS feed to Spotify, you can reach this already huge, and continually growing userbase. Spotify is partnered with a variety of podcast aggregators, and while it doesn’t host shows directly, it does offer a subsidiary aggregator called Anchor, for further integration into its media ecosystem.
Having your podcast on Spotify allows you to make your show known to millions of people worldwide, as well as giving you access to some serious streaming analytics. This data (updated daily) gives you insights into the top-ranking podcasts, your unique listeners and followers, and starts and streams, as well as a bunch more helpful stats.
The importance of this data cannot be overstated – especially if you are eager to grow your show. However, if you choose to host your show on Anchor, you are granted access to an even more detailed report. With insights into listener age, gender, geolocation, and average listening time, it’s no wonder Spotify is becoming the go-to for podcasters worldwide.
Why would you want to remove your podcast?
The obvious answer here is that you’ve decided that podcasting is no longer for you and instead of leaving the content you’ve created where it is for people to consume in the future, you’d rather remove it completely to ‘close’ your podcast.
It may also be that you’ve simply fallen out of love with the Spotify platform and want to focus your attention elsewhere. Some of the reasons podcasters aren’t big fans of the platform are as follows:
- The heavy focus on music – Unlike a dedicated podcasting platform/app, Spotify is a music app first and foremost, and the podcast section isn’t as extensive as their musical content.
- No community section – One huge trade-off for such a large listener base is Spotify’s lack of a community section. One of the draws of podcasting is the community aspect; being able to host discussions, talk through points made on your show, and connect with fans is a great way to interact with your listeners, and as of yet Spotify offers no ability to do this in-app.
- The competition from Spotify exclusive podcasts – In recent years, Spotify has been signing deals with a number of large podcasts to make them exclusive to Spotify. This means that for listeners of those shows, Spotify is now the only platform available to listen to them on. With this investment in these deals, it’s only natural that Spotify will promote them hard.
Removing your podcast from Spotify
Now you know a bit more about what Spotify is, what it has to offer, and some of the gripes people have with it, let’s break down a few ways you can get your podcast off of the service:
It’s only right we talk first about the Spotify-approved way of removing a show. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way to get your show off, instead, you have a few hoops to jump through.
Spotify recommends that to take down a podcast, you should get in touch with their support team. To manage a show with the service directly you should send a request to [email protected]. To ensure your request gets processed as quickly as possible, they suggest including the podcast name, a link to your RSS feed, and the email of your Spotify account.
Through your aggregator
Another Spotify-approved method of removal is through your account manager. Some aggregators offer account management as an ease of life feature, meaning that if you submit your podcast for distribution on Spotify, they set up all your information for you.
This does mean, however, that you don’t have direct access to your account email, and so emailing support unfortunately isn’t an option. For this reason, your best course of action should be submitting a removal request to your aggregator of choice.
Erasing your RSS
While this is best reserved as a last resort – if all else fails you can remove a show by stripping all content from your RSS feed. It is important that you leave the RSS active, as Spotify makes a copy of the content if they detect a deleted feed on their platform.
By erasing all the content from your feed, you will be removing all of the content of your show. This is an extreme move by all accounts, as it will remove everything from every platform using that RSS feed, however for those looking for a quick way to get their podcast off of the internet, it will work in a pinch.
It’s worth noting that this method won’t actually remove your show details – at least until Spotify removes it manually. This means your logo, title, and description will all still be discoverable by searching, but with no content on the service itself, it’s safe to assume that Spotify will very quickly deprioritize your name in future search results.
Why is it so difficult to remove a show from Spotify?
At this point, you might be asking yourself why there is no easy solution for such a seemingly simple issue. Spotify makes uploading and promoting a podcast on its platform an incredibly simple process, so why is it that there is little to no support on taking it back down?
Like all platforms which rely on content and users, they simply don’t want to lose content. Platforms like this thrive on subscriptions so it is in their interest to keep their users on the app and to do that they need a steady supply of new podcasts. This is where you come in.
By putting your show on the platform, you essentially become part of their business model. The more you put up, the more content they can put ads on.
So, while they do offer an option for removing your show, it’s not straightforward. This means that instead of putting up a shiny button that says ‘Delete Me’ in big letters, there are a few more hoops to jump through.
An email correspondence adds time and effort to the process of removing a podcast. This turns it from a potentially spontaneous decision to one that requires you to talk to a real member of staff and wait a period of time while the request is processed.
If you’ve got this far, you should have a better idea about what Spotify is, the pros and cons of putting your podcast on the platform, and what to do if you decide you don’t want it there.
While big platforms do account for a large portion of the podcasting industry, they are by no means the only options. Want to see what other platforms are out there? Then we’re sure you’ll be interested in our article ‘Libsyn, Buzzsprout, Blubrry & Podbean Compared’.