Reports Media & Marketing

Podcasts Q2 2020 Spotify Takes an Early Lead

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View: Podcasts have become the next battle front for audio. Spotify’s ambitious content and product strategy have enabled it to become an early leader, but the podcast market is still in its infancy, with adoption far lower than radio or streaming music. Podcasts have greater long-term market potential than music streaming but with many divergent objectives among key players, the interplay of product and content strategy will delineate the competitive marketplace.

Key Insights

  • In XXX 2020, radio led audio consumption with XXX weekly active user penetration, ahead of streaming music at XXX music radio at XXX and podcasts at XXX is now the leading destination platform for podcast users. In XXX 2020, XXX of podcast listeners used Spotify, XXX points ahead of Apple in second place
  • Spotify podcast user penetration peaks at XXX of podcast users in Germany and is lowest in France XXX podcast user penetration peaks at XXX in the US but falls to XXX in Australia, and Downcast reaches XXX in the US but only XXX in Germany
  • Spotify is using podcasts to increase its streaming market share: XXX of Apple Music weekly active users that are also podcast listeners get some of their podcasts from Spotify
  • However, the fact that Spotify’s exclusive podcasts are in front of the paywall makes it vulnerable during the recession to subscribers cancelling in favour of Apple One, while retaining the free app for podcasts
  • In the UK, the BBC’s Sounds app XXX is the second most used platform for podcasts after Spotify XXX and far ahead of Apple in third XXX of BBC Sounds weekly average listeners use it for podcasts, compared to XXX for NPR
  • BBC Sounds sets a blueprint for broadcasters to devise app-centric product approach as the core of integrated audio strategy to drive podcast adoption and audience transition
  • Proving podcast return on investment to advertisers will be crucial during the XXX of podcast weekly average users usually skip ads in podcasts, but XXX said they are more likely to pay attention to an audio ad than ads that are displayed online

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: ABC, ACAST, Apple, Apple Music, Apple One, Audible, BBC, BBC Sounds, CBC, Downcast, France Radio, Global, Google, Luminary, NPR, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher

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