Spotify’s significant investment in podcasts, bringing in superstars like Joe Rogan and acquiring companies like Anchor and Gimlet, looks like it is paying off. According to a recent eMarketer Insider Intelligence report, it will surpass Apple Podcasts in terms of monthly listens in the U.S. this year for the first time.

Spotify Podcast Listenership Grows as Apple’s Stays Flat

The forecast found that 28.2 million people will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly in 2021, compared with 28 million over on Apple Podcasts. That’s a growth rate of 41.3 percent for Spotify this year. Not only that, listenership via the service will continue to grow, hitting 37.5 million monthly listeners in 2023. Apple Podcasts’ numbers, meanwhile, will stay relatively flat, reaching 28.8 million monthly listeners in 2023.

eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Peter Vahle commented:

By putting podcasts and music in one place, Spotify quickly became the convenient one-stop-shop for everything digital audio. 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 Listenership And Advertising  Spend up

The podcast market overall looks healthy. There will 117.8 million listeners overall this year, a year-over-year increase of 10.1 percent. Podcast listening will also hit 50 percent of monthly digital audio listeners for the first time, hitting 53.9 percent. This will rise to as high as 60.9 percent by 2024. Ad spend will increase too, hitting US$1.28 billion, the first time it has clear US$1 billion.

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