Spotify Poised to Surpass Apple Podcasts in U.S. Listeners This Year

Spotify has been making inroads in the podcasting market over the course of the last few years, ramping up its original podcast offerings and making major acquisitions like Gimlet Media, Parcast, and Anchor, as well as scoring key deals such as the rights to the popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

spotify vs apple podcasts feature
Spotify's efforts may be paying off, according to a new forecast shared today by eMarketer (via TechCrunch) that predicts Spotify could soon have more podcast listeners than Apple.

According to eMarketer's estimates, 28.2 million people will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly, while 28 million people will listen through Apple Podcasts. Though Apple has also made efforts to improve its podcast offerings, ‌Apple Podcasts‌ has been losing listener share.

spotify apple music
In 2018, ‌Apple Podcasts‌ represented 34 percent of podcast listeners, a metric that will fall to 23.8 in 2021. Spotify's rise in popularity can be attributed to Apple's failure to match Spotify's pace of investment and innovation in the podcasting space, according to eMarketer analyst Peter Vahle.

"By putting podcasts and music in one place, Spotify quickly became the convenient one-stop-shop for everything digital audio," said eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Peter Vahle. "Apple was the de facto destination for podcasts for a long time, but in recent years, it has not kept up with Spotify's pace of investment and innovation in podcast content and technology. Spotify's investments have empowered podcast creators and advertisers through its proprietary hosting, creation, and monetization tools."

Apple is working to counter Spotify's deep investments in podcasting with its own original content. Apple recently debuted the first podcast based on "For All Mankind," one of its Apple TV+ shows, and more TV-related content is expected to come out.

Rumors suggest that Apple is also working to purchase exclusive original podcasts for the Podcasts app, with those original podcasts also perhaps serving as inspiration for future television content.

As of November, Apple allows ‌Apple Podcasts‌ to be embedded on the web to increase visibility, and in January, Apple launched a new Podcasts Spotlight feature to highlight rising podcast creators. Apple is also said to be working on a podcast subscription service to better allow it to compete with Spotify by luring content creators with the promise of more money.

It's worth noting that eMarketer's analysis is based on estimated podcast listeners, and there is no concrete data available from Apple on the number of people in the United States who are listening to podcasts.

Popular Stories

6chatgpt mac app

5 Reasons to Use OpenAI's ChatGPT App for Mac

Thursday May 23, 2024 6:07 am PDT by
On May 13, OpenAI during its Spring Update announced that it would be releasing a desktop ChatGPT app for the Mac in the "coming weeks," and said that ahead of a wider launch it had started rolling out the app to some ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. After testing the app for a few days, we thought it was worth sharing some reasons why...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
macOS 15 Feature

macOS 15 System Settings to Get Design Overhaul

Thursday May 23, 2024 12:51 pm PDT by
With the macOS 15 update that is set to debut at WWDC in June, Apple plans to rearrange "menus and app UIs," according to a report from AppleInsider. The System Settings app, which was last updated with macOS Ventura, will get one of the biggest updates. With macOS Ventura, Apple renamed the System Preferences app to System Settings, introducing a design similar to the Settings app on the...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...

Top Rated Comments

grantew1 Avatar
42 months ago
Spotify experience > Apple music experience.

Dont @ me :)
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Suckfest 9001 Avatar
42 months ago
Spotify app continues to provide a much better experience overall and suggests far better music. Same goes for Podcasts. There’s a reason apples afraid to let you specify default music apps. Even the current implementation is hokey and requires a convo with Siri lol
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rob_2811 Avatar
42 months ago

Spotify experience > Apple music experience.

Dont @ me :)
Spotify had around 30 million paid subscribers when Apple Music launched, that number is over 150 million now.

People on here said Apple would kill Spotify!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
panjandrum Avatar
42 months ago
This does not surprise me in the least. Has anyone at Apple actually attempted to use Apple's Podcast app? It's absolutely terrible. I mean, it's not even intuitively obvious how to play episodes (reliably) in proper chronological sequence! That's really important for those podcasts with intense, literary, plots to follow. You know, like My Dad Wrote a Porno*. Try figuring out what's going on in that if you get them out of order! Heck, try figuring out what's going on in that in any given sentence for that matter, even if you're listening to it correctly! But really, Apple's Podcast app is hands-down the worst Podcast app I've ever seen, so it's not surprising that people are using other ones. Think Different! Overcast is pretty nice. Or Spotify.

* Not MY dad. Do not listen to while driving. Do not listen to while wishing to appear sane. Do not listen to while mowing lawn. Do not listen to during sex. Do not listen to without installing sense of humor first. Do not listen to with conservatives. Do not listen to if you work in the pots and pans industry.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kevinpdoyle Avatar
42 months ago
Spending a boatload of money on content will do that.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
42 months ago
Podcasts started out great. Then, like everything, through a combination of bloat and neglect, the podcast experience has become yet another sewer.

Nothing gold can stay, I guess.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)