Spotify overtakes Apple as top US podcast platform, says Spotify

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 27
Spotify's push to build out its podcast platform is paying dividends, as the streaming music giant on Wednesday said it surpassed Apple to become the top podcast provider in the U.S.

Podcasts


The apparent changing of the podcast guard was announced during Spotify's third quarter earnings call, when the company said it "recently became" the top podcasting destination in world's largest market. Spotify cited data from its own internal calculations and Edison Research, which confirmed to TechCrunch that the results are based on usage rather than downloads.

Whether Spotify also leads in terms of download volume is unclear. Indeed, any claims to the podcasting crown are impossible to confirm, as neither Spotify nor Apple reveal detailed listener figures.

Edison Research in its second-quarter Podcast Consumer Tracker queried more than 8,000 weekly podcast consumers about their listening habits. Specifically, Spotify's announcement appears to turn on the question, "What platform or service do you use most to listen to podcasts?" Here, Spotify led the pack with 24% of users, besting Apple Podcasts' 21% and YouTube's 18%, according to the report.

"We started our journey three years ago in podcasting with a catalog of about 185,000 podcasts. And we were really nowhere, compared to the largest players in the industry. Today, we have 3.2 million podcasts on the platform, a growth rate of over 1,500%," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said during the earnings conference call.

Ek credits Spotify's content library and laundry list of new features with the achievement. Recently launched interactive elements like polls and Q&A capabilities were called out as contributing factors.

"We fought hard to gain new listeners. And our success is not attributable to just one thing, but literally hundreds, if not thousands, of improvements that we're working on in parallel for the benefit of creators, users and advertisers alike," Ek said, according to TechCrunch.

The company has been on a tear over the past few months, releasing new tools for podcasters and a variety of enhancements for podcast listeners. In August, premium subscriptions debuted with a substantially more generous commission rate than terms offered by Apple Podcasts. Anchor, Spotify's podcast creation platform, rolled out interactive features and video podcast support within the last month.

For the most recent quarter, Spotify said it hit 381 million monthly active users and 172 million premium subscribers, with both metrics up 19% year-over-year. Podcast listeners are lumped into that massive sum. The company did say that the share of listening hours dedicated to podcasts notched an all-time high in the third quarter, but without substantive data, that claim is difficult to qualify.

Market research firms previously forecast Spotify's rise in the ranks, however, as eMarketer in September predicted the streamer would bypass Apple Podcasts by year's end.

Apple is playing catch-up in the podcasting game after squandering what could have been a near insurmountable lead that came with having a hand in the creation of the medium. Following years of neglect, Apple over the past few quarters has brought renewed focus to its podcasting platform, seemingly recognizing it as a potential source of services revenue.

Things are not going well.

Recent reports detailed a litany of complaints from both podcast creators and podcast consumers who are unhappy with the revamped Apple Podcasts solution. Among the more serious objections are an error prone content management system and persistent bugs that mar the user experience.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    Well then, I guess their whole “it’s a monopoly!” claim has a few holes it it…
    djames4242applguyigorskyBeatsDnykjpRfC6fnBs
  • Reply 2 of 15
    More competition is better for users at the end of the day. The Apple Podcasts app is a hot mess, the worst rated app Apple has on the App Store at 1.4 stars. Hopefully this means it gets more attention in the future, not just in terms of trying to get us to pay for more things but as actual new features and UI fixes. For example, on the Mac, the audio degrades dramatically if you use 1.5 speed. It’s been like that for at least 2 years. That kind of lack of attention is why people choose to listen elsewhere. 
    patchythepirateOfer
  • Reply 3 of 15
    I have more money than Bezos! (says me…)
    igorskyravnorodom
  • Reply 4 of 15
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,883member
    “Apple is playing catch-up in the podcasting game after squandering what could have been a near insurmountable lead that came with having a hand in the creation of the medium.” 

    Is this the death knell for Apple?!
    igorsky
  • Reply 5 of 15
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 277member
    AniMill said:
    Well then, I guess their whole “it’s a monopoly!” claim has a few holes it it…
    I can't remember anyone claiming Apple has a podcast monopoly. I guess you are talking about the App Store, where other content distributors feel they have a disadvantage, compared to Apple.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,723member
    IreneW said:
    AniMill said:
    Well then, I guess their whole “it’s a monopoly!” claim has a few holes it it…
    I can't remember anyone claiming Apple has a podcast monopoly. I guess you are talking about the App Store, where other content distributors feel they have a disadvantage, compared to Apple.
    The App Store is only one part Congress is looking at. They’ve already complained about iPhones and surprised I haven’t heard more about iPads having total control or real tablets. 
  • Reply 7 of 15
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 598member
    heli0s said:
    More competition is better for users at the end of the day. 
    When another company does well it's competition...when Apple does well it's a monopoly.  Just pointing out the absurdity of their current situation.
    edited October 28 patchythepirateBeatsDnykjpRfC6fnBs
  • Reply 8 of 15
    heli0s said:
    More competition is better for users at the end of the day. The Apple Podcasts app is a hot mess, the worst rated app Apple has on the App Store at 1.4 stars. Hopefully this means it gets more attention in the future, not just in terms of trying to get us to pay for more things but as actual new features and UI fixes. For example, on the Mac, the audio degrades dramatically if you use 1.5 speed. It’s been like that for at least 2 years. That kind of lack of attention is why people choose to listen elsewhere. 
    So true. It was bearable before, but with recent “upgrade” it is complete frustration. If I weren’t so lazy I would have shifted to a third-party app already. 
    Ofer
  • Reply 9 of 15
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,642member
    Absolutely embarrassing!! The “pod” in podcast comes from Apple’s “pod” branding. They’re not called “spot”casts.

    Apple had a 12 year monopoly on podcasts so this is absolutely embarrassing. Apple really doesn’t give a f*** about certain services and it shows. “Ecosystem” my ass. 
    Ofer
  • Reply 10 of 15
    igorsky said:
    heli0s said:
    More competition is better for users at the end of the day. 
    When another company does well it's competition...when Apple does well it's a monopoly.  Just pointing out the absurdity of their current situation.
    Odd how that works huh? I am waiting for the Apple is suing Spotify thread. /s
  • Reply 11 of 15
    Not surprised. Spotify is incredible.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    OferOfer Posts: 107unconfirmed, member
    Good! Between the bad user reviews and this, hopefully this lights a fire under Apple’s rear to fix the dumpster fire that is their podcast experience. They went from being the leader in this market to forgetting it exists. I still use Apple’s podcast app simply because I don’t feel like setting up all of my podcasts in a new one. But it’s a terrible user experience.
    pairof9
  • Reply 13 of 15
    Ofer said:
    Good! Between the bad user reviews and this, hopefully this lights a fire under Apple’s rear to fix the dumpster fire that is their podcast experience. They went from being the leader in this market to forgetting it exists. I still use Apple’s podcast app simply because I don’t feel like setting up all of my podcasts in a new one. But it’s a terrible user experience.
    I agree and I've had nothing but problems with my library downloads since the launch of Lossless/Atmos (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252847014) It's quite perplexing when the leader on every Apple device after a decade in digital music (Spotify), voice assistance (Alexa), and locations-maps (Google Maps) is not Apple.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    jungmark said:
    “Apple is playing catch-up in the podcasting game after squandering what could have been a near insurmountable lead that came with having a hand in the creation of the medium.” 

    Is this the death knell for Apple?!
    Apple is not committed to podcasts in any serious way by design. Its always been clear that Apple doesnt want to have anything to do with user generated content and podcasts is sort of a gray area. Its too close to social media and fringe news. They're happy to let Spotfy pay $150 million or whatever for the likes of Joe Rogan then watch from a distance as his audience dwindles and spotify employees gag and revolt.
    Ofer
  • Reply 15 of 15
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,298member
    IreneW said:
    AniMill said:
    Well then, I guess their whole “it’s a monopoly!” claim has a few holes it it…
    I can't remember anyone claiming Apple has a podcast monopoly. I guess you are talking about the App Store, where other content distributors feel they have a disadvantage, compared to Apple.
    There is no difference. There are lots of Apps including the winers like Spotify that made billions from Apple’s efforts and huge investments on the App Store. The thing is that now they have made theirs the want to close the door behind them. 
    edited November 1
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