Apple set to be Knocked off Perch by Spotify

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to lose its top spot for U.S. podcast listenership to Spotify Technology S.A. (NASDAQ:SPOT) this year, according to a new market forecast by eMarketer.

eMarketer’s projections seem to show 28.2 million people will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly, compared with 28 million listeners for Apple Podcasts. Spotify, which has experienced significant growth in recent years, is projected to grow 41.3% this year.

In comparison, Apple’s podcast listener share is projected to fall to 23.8% this year from 34.0% in 2018, when eMarketer first started tracking the metric. According to the firm, Apple has been losing podcast listener share since 2018.

Spotify is projected to further grow to 33.1 million podcast listeners next year, while Apple is expected to edge up to 28.5 million listeners. By 2023, the gap is expected to further widen, with Spotify pegged at 37.5 million listeners compared to Apple’s 28.8 million.

Unlike Apple, Spotify has been investing significantly in podcasts. Last week, the company announced new products and features, including its plan to launch paid podcast subscriptions and a new audio advertising marketplace called Spotify Audience Network.

Spotify and DC Comics, a unit of WarnerMedia, said last week they plan to expand their multiyear deal reached in June last year for narrative-scripted podcasts on DC’s superheroes.

In comparison, Apple has split off podcasts as a separate app, instead of offering music and podcasts on a combined app. However, the tech giant recently launched the first podcast based on “For All Mankind”, one of Apple TV+ shows.

AAPL shares settled 13 cents to $124.99, while those for SPOT lost $5.10, or 1.6%, to $317.64.