Estimated read time: 2 minutes
Many podcasts have added a timestamp to highlight sections of their episodes in show notes. Often times that looks like this:
02:33 Topic A
07:33 Topic B
And so forth.
The theory is that podcast listeners can skip right to the section that they want to listen to. It makes sense and does appear to be a user-friendly strategy. It can help listeners save time and listen to only the parts that they actually want to listen to.
Of course, podcasters want users to listen to all of the episode’s content but I much rather have engaged listeners than some getting bored because they have to wait for their favorite part.
The problem with the timestamp
And while I have published articles as well with timestamps for the corresponding podcast, there is a problem with that strategy as well: it does take time to scroll to the right spot in the episodes.
And it’s a very manual process. If nothing else, audiences don’t seem to like manual processes of any kind. Just take the example of links. People are much more likely to click the link then to copy and paste a link.
It would be much easier to make the timestamp clickable. And there are two ways in two places where that can happen that I am aware of.
Spotify links on website
If you publish show notes on your website you can link to specific sections of your podcast on Spotify. To get those links, simply go to the Spotify app and then click share from that spot in the episode.
The biggest disadvantage with this strategy might be that you have to link from your website to the Spotify player.
The clickable timestamp in Google Podcast player
The Google Podcast player is available as an app – including on Apple devices – and can also be listened to in a web browser. If you add your time codes into your podcast episodes, the Google Podcast player will make them clickable.
When I publish this episode I just added the time code in my publishing platform – which is anchor.fm. And then Google Podcasts makes it clickable in the app.
The Marketing O’Clock podcast is doing this for the entire show and it’s very useful since it’s a longer show and not all topics apply to all listeners.
Unfortunately, it’s not clickable in Apple or Spotify.
Podcast time codes wrap
If your podcast is rather lengthy and you have a good amount of listeners this might indeed be a great strategy to keep people more engaged.
If you’re just getting started, I would recommend to consider the return on effort. How many people are even listening and how many people of the total actually would click on the timestamps?