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  • Spotify Poised to Overtake Apple Podcast in 2021 with 41% Growth to 28.2 Million Listeners

    Published on March 12, 2021

    Based on ongoing trends, Apple is set to lose its podcast supremacy to Spotify in 2021. According to the research data analyzed and published by Finaria, Spotify is projected to increase its number of listeners by 8 million in 2021 to reach 28.2 million. From the 2020 total of 19.9 million, that will be a remarkable 41.3% increase in one year.

    Based on its Q4 2020 earnings report, the music streaming giant saw a 27% year-over-year (YoY) increase in monthly active users to 345 million. Its premium subscribers grew by 24% YoY to reach 155 million during the quarter.

    Spotify Spent $900 Million in Two Years on Podcast-Related Acquisitions

    Spotify’s remarkable growth in the podcast space is forecast to continue in the coming years. In 2022, it is expected to have 33.1 million listeners, growing to 37.5 million by 2023.

    On the other hand, Apple has gradually been ceding its market share. In 2015, it had a two-thirds share of podcast listeners globally, including 80% of mobile listeners. By 2018, the share had reduced to 34.1% and is set to drop to 23.8% by the end of 2021.

    Apple’s podcast listeners are expected to have a small increase from 27.6 million in 2020 to 28 million in 2021. That would place Spotify in the top position for the first time. In subsequent years, Apple will keep up the muted growth with listeners increasing to 28.5 million in 2022 and 28.8 million by 2023.

    In a bid to become the top industry player, Spotify has invested a cumulative $900 million on podcast acquisitions since 2019. It spent a cumulative $400 million on three acquisitions in 2019. These included Anchor, Gimlet Media and Parcast. And in 2020, it acquired The Ringer for $196 million and Megaphone for $235 million.

    For the podcast market as a whole, the number of listeners will increase by 10.1% in 2021 to 117.8 million. Ad spending will also rise by 41% during the year to $1.28 billion.


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