In September, investigators at eMarketer predicted Spotify was ready to overtake Apple Podcasts in U.S. listenership at some point this year. Today, Spotify announced for the first time it might have prevailed on that front. During the organization’s Q3 2021 earnings call, the organization said that as per Edison Research and its internal sources, it “recently became” the No. 1 podcast platform U.S. listeners use the most. Given the U.S. is the biggest global podcast market, the achievement is huge and speaks to the sizable investment Spotify has made in podcasts over the past few years.
The organization didn’t separate its podcast listener numbers specifically, be that as it may. All things considered, it shared its monthly active users overall developed 19% year-over-year to reach 381 million in the quarter, up from 365 million last year. Premium subscribers additionally grew 19% to reach 172 million, up from 165 million last year.
As per eMarketer’s new information, Spotify and Apple Podcasts have been neck and neck in terms of U.S. podcast listeners. Its experts said last month Spotify would arrive at 28.2 million monthly U.S. podcast listeners by year-end, beating Apple Podcast’s 28.0 million by a meager margin. (The firm had predicted these equivalent numbers before in 2021, too.) It estimates Spotify’s number of U.S. podcast listeners would keep on developing to arrive at 43.6 million by 2025.
Reached for comment, Edison Research affirmed the podcast achievement depends on usage, not downloads.
The information is from the company’s second-quarter Podcast Consumer Tracker, its subscription service that covers the podcast industry. Respondents were asked “what platform or service do you use most to listen to podcasts?” and Spotify came in at No. 1, at 24% of weekly podcast consumers. This put it in front of Apple Podcasts for iOS (21%) and YouTube (18%). Edison Research says its sample is more than 8,000 weekly podcast consumers.
However, without hard numbers from Spotify or Apple, it’s difficult to explicitly affirm how close the race is as of now.
Spotify ascribed its podcast listenership growth to its content record, as well as to its product upgrades.
“We started our journey three years ago in podcasting with a catalog of about 185,000 podcasts. And we were nowhere, compared to the largest players in the industry. Today, we have 3.2 million podcasts on the platform, a growth rate of over 1,500%,” noted Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. In the prior quarter, Spotify had 2.9 million podcasts.
“So why did we succeed this fast? Well, our content investments have helped a great deal,” said Ek. “But it’s also another proof point of the impact our platform improvements and product innovations are having on our business overall. And the velocity of shipping matters — from the recent launch of interactivity and enhancements like polls and Q&A to the release of enhanced listening features and new original programming around the world. We fought hard to gain new listeners. And our success is not attributable to just one thing, but hundreds, if not thousands, of improvements that we’re working on in parallel for the benefit of creators, users, and advertisers alike,” he said.
Ek said that the organization’s culture of innovation, which prompts a further developed user experience, carries more makers to the platform to share their content. This thusly brings more advertisers.
“And all of these things coupled together — users, creators, and advertisers — unlock the power of our flywheel,” he added.
Nonetheless, Spotify’s achievement in U.S. podcast listenership (which Spotify affirmed to TechCrunch had not yet been shared until now) comes soon after a revamp of Apple’s Podcasts app, which was condemned by makers and end clients. Podcasters complained of bugs, errors, and a confusing interface. Apple gave a fix for one basic bug identified with automatic downloads in an update this summer, however, the harm to its standing might take more time to recuperate.
During the quarter, the percentage of monthly active users stayed strong, Spotify said and was up 20% year-over-year on a for every client basis. Podcasts’ share of overall consumption hours additionally arrived at an all-time high in the quarter.
In the meantime, podcasts are helping Spotify support its bottom line. Spotify noted it had its greatest at any point quarter for ads in Q3, to some extent powered by its developing podcast slate, and said 2021 would check whenever it first outperformed €1 billion in advertising revenue. It didn’t break out the amount of its ad revenue is currently produced by podcasts, yet said its podcast advertising development rate was “in the triple digits.”
On the product side, the organization released various updates to its podcasts platform in the quarter, including the launch of paid podcast subscriptions for the U.S., new interactive features for Anchor makers, an extension of its Music + Talk podcast format and video podcast support, in addition to other things. It likewise released 32 new Originals & Exclusives, including “Armchair Expert” with Dax Shepard and “Call Her Daddy” in July, and declared a multi-year content partnership with The Ringer and WWE for original and exclusive content. Internationally, Spotify release 76 new Originals & Exclusives.
Generally, Spotify revenue was $2.9 billion in the quarter, up 27% year-over-year, with ad sales rising 75% to reach $374 million, at the top finish of its guidance.
The organization added that it had not been essentially affected by the iOS privacy changes that had affected other ad-supported businesses, similar to Snap and Facebook, as it had “a ton of first-party data” because of every one of its clients being signed in.