How to Create a Specialty Radio Show Using Spotify, Anchor

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Spotify recently introduced a new feature that allows almost anyone to create some sort of personalized radio show using the streaming service podcasting platform, Anchor. In this article, Seth Resler explains, step by step, how to create a specialty radio show using these tools.

Post invited by Seth Resler by Jacobs Media Strategies

Last week, I wrote about the introduction of a new Spotify feature that lets anyone create a radio show using its podcasting platform, Anchor. One way to think of these shows is as mixtapes with talk breaks. You can create a specialized show around a number of themes, from local music to acoustic music to tributes to loved ones. This week I want to go into more detail on how to create a show like that.

When I was program director at WBRU in Providence, one of my favorite specialty shows we produced every year came on Halloween night, when we invited the devil to be our guest DJ for the evening. We lowered the DJ’s voice and played a variety of Halloween-themed songs from our golden library. Now you can do the same with this new Spotify feature. Here’s how it works in a web browser:

1. Go to Anchor.fm and create an account (or log in). If you are creating a new account, you will need to click on the confirmation link that is emailed to you.

2. On first login, you will see a step-by-step guide. While you can start by creating your first episode, you’ll also need to set up the overall show that this episode is part of. I recommend going through creating the show first.

Anchor Guided Timeline

3. Give your show a name and description. You will also select the language and category.

Anchor Show Setup

4. Upload artwork for your show. Make sure it’s a square and readable when scaled down to a small size on a smartphone screen. Also, make sure you have the appropriate rights to any images you use.

Anchor - Download exhibition artwork

5. Anchor allows you to add text above your image if you wish. In this case, I don’t need it because I included the text when I created my illustration in Photoshop.

Anchor - Add text to illustration

6. Once you have set up your show, you will be taken to the step by step guide, where you can now click the button to create your first episode.

Marked Anchor Guided Tutorial

7. On the “Create Your Episode” screen, you can record new sounds (“pauses”), access previously recorded sounds, add songs, insert voice messages from fans, or add sound effects.

Anchor - Create an episode

8. Let’s start by clicking on the blue “Music” tab and looking for some Halloween songs to add to this episode. In the middle column, you can search for songs and click the gray “plus” icon to add them to your episode (the right column). You can rearrange the songs by entering them by the dots.

Anchor - Add music

9. By clicking on the red “Record” tab, you can record breaks directly in Anchor. Unlike radio, where we’re constantly told to keep our breaks short to attract PPM ratings, Spotify strives for a healthy balance of music and spoken content in its episodes. If your conversation breaks are too short, the episode may be rejected, so make sure you have something substantial to say. See these guidelines.

Anchor - Add breaks

10. You can also add musical beds in the background of your breaks.

Anchor - Add background music

11. I’m going to upload my conversation breaks instead of saving them directly to Anchor because I want to lower my voice to sound like the devil. It also gives me the ability to edit them more closely. I recorded my breaks on my computer and exported them as MP3 files for download here. Then I previewed the episode to make sure I’m happy with how it sounds.

Anchor – Download Breaks and Marked Preview

12. When your show is over, click the purple “Save Episode” button and you will be taken to a screen where you can give the episode a name and description.

Anchor - Episode Description

13. You can also upload artwork for this episode and assign season or episode numbers to it. Be sure to mark it explicitly if needed.

Anchor - Episode Art

14. Click the “Submit Episode for Review” button and distribute it to Spotify so that it appears in the Spotify directory.

Anchor - Distribute on Spotify
Anchor - Analytics Dashboard

15. Once your show has been submitted for review, you will be redirected to your episode review page. From there, you can also edit the episode if you want.

16. You will receive an email when your episode is released. If your episode is rejected, review these guidelines, edit it, and resubmit it. Once it is published, share the link widely.

Ta-da! You created a specialized radio show. Congratulation !

Seth Resler: Digital Points Connector at Jacobs Media Strategies.

Seth Resler is a 20-year broadcast veteran who has worked behind the mic and programming desk in major markets including New York, Boston, Seattle, St. Louis, Providence and San Jose. He left radio in 2006 to enter the world of online marketing. But he continued to return to the broadcast industry, teaching radio stations how to apply online marketing techniques used by Silicon Valley companies. He writes a weekly column for AllAccess.com, offering internet strategies for broadcasters. In 2015, Seth joined us as a Digital Dot Connector, helping radio stations combine all their digital tools into one overarching strategy.

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