Spotify announced today that it is implementing a five-star rating system to improve podcast search and discovery.
The feature is expected to roll out in the coming days in nearly all markets where the company provides its podcast service.
After listening to a podcast, listeners have an option to give it a rating using a 1–5 star system.
The average rating will be publicly displayed on the podcast’s show page on Spotify, along with the total number of ratings the show has received.
With more than 3.2 million podcasts on Spotify, the company believes it is time to find a way to prioritize the content through features like Podcast Charts and personalized recommendations. The rating system will give listeners a sense of how others thought about it, whether they enjoyed or disliked it.
Spotify wrote in a blog post that it’s intention is to give listeners an opportunity to support their favorite shows and enable feedback between creator and listener.
The star rating system is similar to a feature Apple began offering for apps and podcasts several years ago. It provided users the ability to rate and review applications on the App Store, including built-in apps like Podcasts, Music, News, and Stocks. This caused a bit of havoc, however, when developer and App Store watchdog Kosta Eleftheriou saw that the Apple Podcasts app had mysteriously jumped from a 1.8-star rating to 4.6 stars within a month.
It quickly became clear that ratings were being artificially inflated or deflated. With any rating system, there can be instances of users who intentionally target a show or app with 1-star ratings for reasons other than the quality.
Ratings are supposed to give creators insight into how listeners feel about the content. They can use the rating system to ask for more specific feedback through a Q&A system on Spotify and in off-platform social conversations.
The Q&A and poll option was added in September. It allows listeners to respond to short questions posed by the shows’ creators on podcast episode pages in the Spotify app.