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Apple vs Spotify: Which company has a better podcast strategy?




The number of podcast listeners has increased significantly over the last decade. It is estimated that more than 100 million Americans will listen to podcasts in 2021, and weekly listener numbers will increase by 100% since 2016. The leading platform for the spread of entertainment media is pre-downloaded to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), all devices that sell the Apple Podcasts app. Spotify Technology (NYSE: SPOT) is a new feature in podcast games. We launched the podcast feature in our service in 2015 and started investing heavily in podcasts a few years ago.

Despite the delay in entering the industry, Spotify has gained market share for podcasts against Apple every few years and will listen to Apple sometime in 2021 or 2022. As you can imagine, Apple hasn’t adopted this. Sit down and recently announced new users and monetization features for Apple Podcasts.

Both Spotify and Apple are trying to gain market share and help creators monetize their podcasts, but in different ways. Which strategy will win in the long run?

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Apple: Dominant incumbent

Over the last decade, Apple Podcasts hasn’t improved much and hasn’t added any new features. It may have remained successful, largely because the major platforms didn’t try to compete and remained the dominant player, with the app pre-downloaded to over a billion devices. Basically, Apple has grown the industry independently by staying away from both listeners and creators, but there are also easy ways to help improve the industry, such as curation for users and monetization tools for creators. I was ignoring it.

This will change in the next iOS update announced at the latest Apple product event. Apple Podcasts users will have an improved search tab that gives them easier access to charts and categories. In addition, some smart playback features allow users to jump to different parts of the episode. We also participate in podcast playlists, curating groups of shows that certain viewers may like.

But the biggest change was Apple’s announcement that podcasts could launch exclusive, additional, or early window content premium subscriptions. Like all apps that go through iOS, Apple receives 30% of subscription revenue in the first year and 15% each year thereafter. In addition to some of these updates, Apple doesn’t seem to be doing much else in an attempt to improve the Apple Podcasts experience, either for the author or the user.

Spotify: Vertical integration solution

Spotify started as a music streamer 15 years ago, but has since moved its focus to the entire audio market. Podcasts are currently the biggest driving force. As of the end of last year, 25% of Spotify users were using podcasts, which means that 86 million people are using this service to listen to podcast content, based on the number of users at the end of the year. Joe Rogan Experience and other popular shows and hosts. Investors should see these deals not as a way for Spotify to make money, but as a customer acquisition tool that helps them gain more market share from Apple Podcasts.

Spotify has just announced a subscription / paywall feature similar to Apple, but the main strategy for monetizing podcasts is to build a global advertising network. It started with the acquisition of three studios (Ringer, Gimlet and Parcast), investing in an internal podcast studio and purchasing two popular distribution platforms (Anchor and Megaphone). This allows Spotify to take ownership or control of delivery of important parts of your podcast. Supply chain. It leverages this to give all of these podcasts access to the newly launched Spotify Audience Network, where you can purchase audio ads across Spotify-owned content and music, anchors, and megaphones. This will allow hundreds of thousands of podcasts to monetize their work with plug-and-play advertising solutions, just as YouTube helps creators monetize their videos. Of course, Spotify will reduce all your advertising costs.


I think it’s clear that Spotify has a better podcast strategy for several reasons. With the utmost tools for monetizing shows to creators and the abundance of podcasts, most content won’t be behind paywalls (again, like YouTube). There are also better strategies for acquiring users by marketing exclusive content to users. Given all these factors, and the fact that Spotify is already on track to overtake Apple in podcast market share, Swedish audio streamers have a better podcast strategy to please users and creators alike. It is no exaggeration to say that you have one.

This article represents the opinion of a writer who may disagree with the official recommended position of the Motley Fool Premium Advisory Service. It was miscellaneous! Asking investment treatises (even our own) helps us all think critically about investment and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer. Useful.

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