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For the first time, Spotify podcasts will surpass Apple Podcasts listeners in 2021

All of that money Spotify invested in podcasting is paying off.

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Image: KnowTechie

According to data from eMarketer, approximately 28.2 million users will be listening to Spotify podcasts per month in 2021, whereas Apple Podcasts can count on 28 million monthly users. 

Investors poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Spotify’s ambitious goal to dominate the podcast industry. Spotify invested that money in acquiring podcast startups, getting exclusive deals with popular podcasts, improving its platform, and most notably, putting together music and podcasts under one umbrella. 

So far, Spotify investors hasn’t seen any returns. However, it seems that the company is up for a treat as the tide is changing in favor of Spotify. All those heavy investments started to pay off as Spotify is on track to surpass Apple Podcasts for the first time.

To get to this position, Spotify grew at an unprecedented pace in the past couple of years. However, this year is the game-changer for Spotify as it is expected to experience a 41.3% growth. 

Apple Podcasts was the number one platform for podcast listening for many years. Just like Spotify, they were also fully aware of the expansion of the podcast industry. But they couldn’t keep up with the extent of the investments in innovations and content by Spotify. Spotify’s monetization tools and proprietary hosting further enticed podcast creators to move to its platform.

The bad news for Apple Podcasts doesn’t stop there as the analysts at eMarketer predict that the trend will most likely continue over the next two years. They predict that the gap between Spotify and Apple will only widen. They expect that Spotify will reach 33.1 million monthly listeners by 2022 and 37.5 million listeners per month by 2023. On the other hand, Apple Podcast is expected to have 28.5 million monthly listeners by 2022, whereas in 2023 to add only 300k new monthly listeners. This means they will be able to count on only 28.8 million monthly podcast listeners. 

Investors and companies are pouring millions into the podcast industry, mainly through the two most prominent players Apple Podcasts and Spotify, because of its massive expansion. According to analysts’ prediction, there will be 117.8 million podcast listeners by the end of the year. That’s almost double compared to 2020.

Furthermore, podcast listeners will represent the most digital audio listeners in 2021 (53.9%), whereas by 2024, it will reach 60.9%. Consequently, companies will spend $1.28 billion on podcast advertising in 2021. This is the first year in which more than $1 billion will be spent on podcast advertising.

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