Want to grow your podcast audience and engage current and new listeners? The easiest and simplest thing to do to your current workflow and content takes only a few minutes: Add “chapters” to your show notes.

Chapters / clickable timestamps are TABLE STAKES for two things that successful podcasters care about.

  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – search engines like Google can find your podcast content easily.
  2. UX (User Experience) – ease of use and listener retention which increases your completion rate.

As podcasts continue to surge in popularity, content creators are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage and retain their audience. One such method gaining traction which is not innovative but actually super simple and common sense is the implementation of clickable timestamps, also known as Spotify chapters.

If you watch YouTube videos you’ve noticed that the good ones have chapters or timestamped sections to topics in the video so you can easily jump to what you need. That is efficient. That is search-friendly. A 30-minute tutorial has about two minutes that you’re looking for. Without chapters you’d be waiting around for the content or more likely just find another blog/video/social post that quickly answers your question.

Benefits of podcast chapters / timestamps:

These podcast timestamps allow listeners to easily navigate through episodes, enhancing user experience and making content consumption more efficient. Here’s why adding clickable timestamps to your Spotify podcasts is crucial, along with a simple how-to guide to get you started.

Clickable timestamps serve as signposts for your audience, guiding them through the content and enabling them to jump to specific sections of interest with a single click.

This feature not only enhances user experience but also empowers listeners to engage more deeply with your content. By adding timestamps, you cater to diverse listener preferences, whether they’re seeking to revisit a particular discussion, skip ahead to a relevant topic, or simply explore different segments of your podcast.

Spotify chapters clickable timestamps - Hormozi the Game

How to Add Spotify Chapters / Timestamps:

  1. In your RSS feed host (such as Acast, Libsyn, or Podbean), edit your episode’s show notes AKA description.
  2. Type the timestamp in minutes and seconds, enclosed within parentheses. Like this: (10:22)
  3. After the timestamps write descriptive text about that segment.
  4. Example: (10:22) Investors who lost their password outperformed.
  5. When you publish the episode, these timestamps will automatically be clickable in Spotify.

Spotify Requirements: Adding or Removing Timestamps

“If you’re adding timestamps to your episode descriptions, here are a few requirements to keep in mind:

  • Your first chapter timestamp must start at 0
    • Example: 00:00 or 00:00:00
  • There must be a minimum of 3 chapters
  • Chapters must be declared on separate new lines (or with line breaks if using html)
  • Chapters should follow a “{timestamp}{title}” format
    • (MM:SS); MM:SS; (HH:MM:SS); HH:MM:SS are all acceptable, followed by the title in plain text (try not to use emojis or HTML in your titles)
    • One punctuation mark between {timestamp}{title} is permissible
    • Example: (00:00) Introduction or 00:00-Introduction
  • Chapter timestamps should be in chronological order” – via Spotify

How to generate podcast timestamps with AI:

AI Method 1) Descript.

This is so easy if you’re already editing with Descript (which I recommend for beginners to intermediate level podcasters or video creators.)

How to generate timestamps with Descript:

  1. In your composition, click on Actions above the composition title.
  2. Click “Ask AI.”
  3. Scroll down to “YouTube description” and click it.
  4. Hit Enter. Copy the text. It will include timestamps in the YouTube clickable format without parentheses, like this: 4:00. Just add parentheses as described above if using for Spotify: (4:00)

–> Use my promo link here to sign up for Descript. It’s the best.

Descript Actions - Ask AI to generate YouTube description

AI Method 2: Podcast AI tools to generate show notes

Try a free AI tool like Castmagic, Podsqueeze or Glasp. (Watch my YouTube tutorial on my two favorite AI tools for podcasts).

Conclusion

Incorporating clickable timestamps AKA Spotify Chapters into your podcast episodes is a simple yet effective way to optimize user experience and increase engagement. By guiding listeners through your content with precision and ease, you provide a better UX and attract new audiences by making your content easy to share, navigate, and clip. But it’s not enough to just show the times, you need them to be clickable (linked) with the above method.

See step-by-step visuals in my video tutorial: Enhance Your Podcast with Chapters / Clickable Timestamps