Spotify Podcasts: How to Subscribe, Download, and Listen

Spotify is one of the most-popular apps for listening to podcasts

The Spotify app running on an iPhone and on a car dashboard.

Bence Bezeredy / Getty Images

Spotify may be one of the most popular music streaming services around but many people also use it to stream, download, and listen to their favorite podcast episodes as well.

Here's everything you need to know about how to find podcasts on Spotify, subscribe to them, download episodes, and listen to them on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

How to Find and Subscribe to Spotify Podcasts

Subscribing to a podcast, referred to as following a podcast on Spotify, adds a podcast to the Your Library section of the Spotify apps. In addition to grouping all of your followed podcasts together for easy access, the Your Library section also automatically lists them by the date of their latest episodes.

Essentially, podcasts with new episodes will appear at the top of the Your Library Podcasts list while those with old episodes will be placed at the bottom.

Here's how to find and follow podcasts with the iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Spotify apps.

  1. Open the Spotify app on your device and make sure that you're logged in.

    Following a podcast in the Spotify iOS app.

    Once logged in, your followed podcasts and listening history will sync between your different devices including smart speakers, cars, and smart TVs.

  2. Tap on Search and search for a podcast name or genre. Several results will automatically appear as you type. If you don't see what you're searching for, scroll to the bottom of the list and tap See all podcasts.

  3. Tap on a podcast name to read more about it and listen to episodes.

    Following a podcast in the Spotify app on iPhone.

    You can use the arrow in the top-left corner to return to your search results and explore other podcasts.

  4. When you find a podcast you want to follow, tap Follow under the podcast title. The button should change to Following if you've followed it successfully.

    If you ever want to unfollow a podcast on Spotify, simply repeat these steps and tap Following. The button should change back to Follow once it's been removed from your Podcasts list.

  5. Tap Your Library > Podcasts to view your followed podcasts on Spotify.

How to Download Podcasts on Spotify

Spotify podcasts can be downloaded for offline listening but only on the iOS and Android apps and only for Spotify Premium subscribers.

Spotify Premium is a paid subscription service that unlocks better audio quality and the ability to download songs and podcast episodes on the smartphone and tablet apps. A Spotify Premium subscription also turns off all advertising on all versions of the Spotify app.

  1. Tap Your Library.

    Downloading podcast episodes in the iOS Spotify app on iPhone.
  2. Tap Podcasts.

  3. Tap the name of the podcast that you want to download an episode from.

  4. Scroll down the episode list and tap the down arrow icon to the right of an episode to download it to your device.

    Alternatively, you can also download a podcast episode in Spotify by tapping the ellipsis next to an episode title and tapping Download from the pop-up menu.

  5. When the episode has finished downloading, the down arrow icon will turn green. Downloaded episodes can be played from the podcast episode list or through Your Library > Podcasts > Downloads.

How to Create a Podcast Playlist on Spotify

Podcast episodes on Spotify can't be added to regular playlists like songs can but they can be added to your queue, a kind of temporary playlist that lines up exactly what will play next.

This can be useful for when you know what episodes you want to listen to ahead of time and don't want to manually change podcasts between each episode.

You can view your current queue by tapping on the minimized song or podcast episode currently playing at the bottom of the app and then tapping on the icon in the lower-right corner that looks like three horizontal lines.

To add a podcast episode to your queue in the Spotify app, simply tap the ellipsis to the right of the episode you want to add and tap Add to queue.

How Gimlet Media, Anchor, and Spotify Work Together

In early-2019, Spotify purchased Gimlet Media and Anchor. Gimlet Media is an established podcast production company while Anchor is a popular service for creating, publishing, and monetizing podcasts.

Both companies continue to function with a fair degree of independence since the acquisition but naturally delegate some resources to their new parent company, Spotify. For example, Gimlet Media produces some podcasts exclusively for Spotify while the technology behind Anchor is said to be used to help improve the technology behind Spotify music and podcast streaming service.

Benefits of Listening to Podcasts on Spotify

There are several reasons why some people prefer to consume podcasts on Spotify over other services such as Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts.

  • Fewer apps. A lot of people already have a Spotify app installed on their device for music consumption so listening to podcasts on it as well means they don't need to download another app or sign up for an additional service.
  • Simple UI. The Spotify user interface is fairly easy to understand compared to some other apps like Stitcher.
  • Device support. Spotify has support in all of the major smart speakers and in several car models in addition to iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
  • Podcast discovery. Spotify's algorithm frequently recommends new podcasts based on previous episodes that you've downloaded or listened to.