Spotify predicted to surpass Apple Podcasts in US by end of year

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited September 2021
Spotify will have more U.S. users listening to podcasts on its service than Apple Podcasts by the end of 2021, according to new predictions published this week.


In a report on Monday, eMarketer predicts Spotify will average 28.2 million monthly podcast listeners by the end of the year. That figure compares to an expected 28 million monthly listeners for Apple Podcasts.

While the research firm expects the market to decelerate in the coming years, Spotify is anticipated to gobble up a bigger portion of the pie through 2025. The streaming giant is predicted to grow its podcast listener base incrementally over the next four years to land at 43.6 million users a month, or about 12.7% of the U.S. population.

Apple Podcasts, meanwhile, has "essentially stagnated" and will reach 29.1 million monthly listeners by 2025, according to the report.

Currently, 117.8 million people in the U.S. listen to at least one podcast per month, equating to 35.2% of the population. That number is predicted to increase to 131.2 million listeners in 2023. Likewise, 40% internet users will listen to a podcast at least once a month this year, a figure expected to increase to 45% in 2024, the report said.

Despite having a hand in the creation of podcasting, Apple only recently made definitive moves to capitalize on the medium by introducing a podcast subscription mechanism in June. Spotify, which has aggressively built up its podcasting platform over the past couple years, launched a similar feature in August.

As both companies look to expand their respective content libraries, Spotify is offering creators 100% of subscription revenue until 2023, at which point a 5% commission kicks in. Apple, on the other hand, is levying its normal 30% rate for listener subscriptions, a rate that is reduced to 15% after a year.

Today's predictions come on the heels of a report that detailed a variety of podcast creator complaints with Apple's podcasting solution, including an error prone content management system and a bug that significantly impacted downloads this summer.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 7
    My two cents (mostly worthless):

    1- If an almost unknown company —Marketer is not the NYT— need promotion, the best way is to say… “Apple is doomed.” (Sorely, bloggers and news site feed those news.)
    They ‘speculate’ on 28.2 to 28.0… 0,7%. Pure BS!

    2— For those old enough to remember the bad days of Apple —second half of the 90s— would remember that Mitchell Dell suggested that Apple ‘sell everything and give back the money to shareholder.’
    Not too long after that, Apple's capitalisation surpassed Dell's cap. When someone asked Steve Jobs… he said: “Nice. But things change…”
  • Reply 2 of 7
    And if Apple had done more in podcasts, everyone would scream they are a monopoly. I enjoy Podcasts but there's little money in it.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Using the podcast app on MacOS & iOS over the past few years has been testing to say the least. Spotify seem to show more interest in podcasts. 
  • Reply 4 of 7
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    If true, I don’t even care anymore. Fu** Apple. Half a decade of failure after failure after failure. It’s embarrassing that the platform Apple invented (The “Pod” is from Apple’s infamous naming of products and “cast”) and had a 100% monopoly on is being thrown away by Apple.

    As soon as they removed Podcasts from iTunes and the Music app is when they started to fall. Having a clunky Podcast app and changing the name to “Apple podcasts” was just more salt on the wound. Salt Apple themselves threw into the self-inflicted wound.

    No HomePod 2, bugs in the podcasts app that were ignored for years, missing features that were removed when podcasts were separated from the Music app, I could go on forever about the stupid choices Apple made and continues to make with podcasts. And I’m not speaking in retrospect I called these stupid decisions out day one.

    This news is equivalent to some roach coach taking over McDonalds sales and McDonalds removing their drive-thrus and ignoring customer issues.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    mike54 said:
    Apple Podcasts really needs improvement. It is still not good despite them updating it recently. Like the mac mini and Apple TV, and some of their other products, Apple has let Podcasts languish.

    They had a 100% monopoly and have a decade of exclusive episodes. I think they got complacent.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Meh, haven't used Apple's Podcast app for years.  The app is feature-lite and has playback bugs in my previous experience. 

    Wouldn't go near Spotify though, Overcast is my app of choice.

    Does anyone actually think this podcast subscription stuff is going to take off?  I predict it'll be quietly closed down within a couple years.
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