Spotify podcast charts are being revamped today. The Top podcasts chart, featuring the 200 most popular shows, will now be localized by region – and in some areas, you’ll be able to check specific categories, like comedy and technology …
The Verge reports that we’re also getting a Trending chart.
Trending, which is based partially on the speed of growth in listener numbers, includes 50 rising shows.
The site notes the problems that charts can create.
Podcast charts can be controversial, especially because the algorithms that determine their rankings are often opaque. People try to game them, too, making people in the industry question their legitimacy. A Spotify spokesperson tells The Verge it has “overlapping systems” in place that’ll monitor fraudulent activity and remove bad actors from the service.
Spotify has battled listener bots in the past that try to inflate music plays and royalties. In those cases, the incentive to cheat the system was higher because the scammers were paid per listen, so long as they published and created the music. Podcasters aren’t paid per listen, which is one reason Spotify has wanted to focus on the industry.
Still, people have tried to figure out how to game the podcast charts on other platforms. The charts could make shows more popular sheerly by exposing listeners to podcasts they haven’t heard. In 2018, podcaster John Perotti was able to pay $5 to someone online who then managed to get his tiny show to number 55 on Apple’s top podcast chart. The same could happen on Spotify as podcasters seek more attention and listeners.
Spotify podcast charts will be updated daily, and initially be available in 26 countries, including the US and UK.
Just like Apple Music, Apple’s Podcasts app will learn about your personal preferences to suggest new podcasts available on the platform, making it more customized for each user.
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