It appears that Spotify’s podcast investments are paying off. For the first time, Spotify’s US podcast listenership will overtake Apple Podcasts’, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. This year, 28.2 million people will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly, while 28.0 million will listen via Apple Podcasts. Spotify has experienced significant growth in recent years; the company will grow 41.3% this year.
Despite its growth, Apple Podcasts has been losing its podcast listener share since we started tracking it in 2018. At that time, it represented 34.0% of podcast listeners, which will fall to 23.8% in 2021.
“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.”
Overall, there will be 117.8 million overall monthly podcast listeners in 2021, a 10.1% year-over-year (YoY) increase. This year, podcast listeners will represent 53.9% of monthly digital audio listeners, surpassing 50% for the first time. We anticipate that more audio listeners will start listening to podcasts monthly, leading to a 60.9% share by 2024.
This year, $1.28 billion will be spent on podcast advertising, surpassing $1 billion for the first time, representing a 41.0% YoY increase. Podcast advertising is continuing to gain share of total digital audio ad spending, representing 24.0% in 2021.