Spotify is eating Apple’s lunch when it comes to podcasts. Or is it?

For years, the only place people went to get podcasts was Apple’s iTunes. Sure, there were other podcast distribution platforms, but Apple ruled. And they got lazy and complacent.

People were a little puzzled when Spotify announced that they were getting into the podcast game. But Spotify, determined to be the number one online source for all things audio, pushed ahead. And it’s working.

According to a new report from Midia Research, “Spotify is now firmly established as the most widely used podcast platform.” As of the second quarter of 2020, “42% of podcast listerners used Spotify, 10 points ahead of Apple in second place. This does not necessarily mean that it yet leads in terms of volume of listens, but it is the platform that the largest share of regular podcast listeners visit.”

Really? These results were based on interviews with 6,000 people in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, German, and France. Of those 6,000 people, 780 were podcast listeners. In other words, the sample is pretty small.

(I’ve have private conversations when I’ve been told that Spotify is indisputably number one in Canada. I wasn’t presented with any figures, though.)

We’re also still very early into the podcasting era. The same reports says that only 14% of consumers listen to podcasts regularly, so there’s still plenty of room for everyone to move up or down in the rankings.

And there’s plenty of competition. Apple has woken up and is starting to finally make innovations. Amazon Music is now into podcasts. Stitcher has been officially acquired by SiriusXM, so that could have an effect. Then we have iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, and a few others.

Bottom line? The podcasting battle is starting to get really intersting.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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