LONDON – 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. On the other hand, Apple will only grow its number from 27.6 million in 2020 to 28 million in 2021.
Spotify’s spectacular growth is forecast to continue in coming years with the gap between it and Apple widening considerably. By 2022, it is projected to have 33.1 million listeners, growing to 37.5 million by 2023.
For Apple, growth during the period will be relatively muted. The number of listeners is forecast to rise to 28.5 million in 2022 and by 2023, reach 28.8 million.
It is worth noting that as recently as 2015, Apple commanded a two-thirds share of the global podcast audience. The share included 80% of all mobile listeners. Despite growing its user base in the ensuing years, it has been ceding market share to competitors.
In 2018, Apple held a 34.0% share of podcast listeners worldwide, but by the end of 2021, it is projected to fall to 23.8%. Cumulatively, Apple and Spotify will together hold a 48% share of the global market in 2021.
Spotify Spent $900 Million in Two Years on Podcast-Related Acquisitions
Spotify is an undisputed leader in the music streaming industry. According to its Q4 2020 earnings report, it has 345 million monthly active users as well as 155 million premium subscribers. The figures rose by 27% and 24% year-over-year (YoY), respectively.
During the period, however, its average revenue per user fell by 8% to €4.26 ($5.13). The reason cited for the decline was the use of discounted plans to appeal to new subscribers. Ad revenue increased, accounting for a 13% share of total revenue, up from a historic 10%.
Overall, the company posted a loss of €125 million, down from €209 million in Q4 2019. Given the level of investment Spotify makes in growth, it rarely posts a profit.
Its ambitions for podcasting have driven the company to spend around $900 million on acquisitions in a span of two years. Spotify started out in the podcast market in 2019 when it committed to make a $400 million to $500 million investment to set the ball rolling.
Podcast Ad Spending to Surge by 41% in 2021 to $1.28 Billion