Over the last few years, Spotify has been seriously ramping up its investment in podcasts with multiple acquisitions, building out a roster of exclusive shows, and more. Now it looks like those efforts are starting to pay off as Spotify is reportedly set to surpass Apple in monthly US podcast listenership according to a new analyst note.

Back in 2019, we actually saw Spotify podcasts overtake Apple Podcasts in a places like Europe, India, and South America. But Apple Podcasts have remained the most popular when it comes to the US and well as the broader market. However, that may change this year.

New analysis from eMarketer (via TechCrunch) forecasts that Spotify podcasts’ monthly listenership in the US will hit 28.2 million beating out Apple at 28 million.

While Apple Podcasts have been continuing to grow very slightly over the past years, Spotify has been significantly outpacing that growth.

Over the next two years, eMarketer believes Spotify will increase its monthly podcast listeners in the US to 37.5 million, while Apple will be at 28.8 million.

The report says that back in 2018, Apple Podcasts held a 34% share of US podcasts listeners, and that’s now dropping to 23.8% this year.

eMarketer’s Peter Vahle believes Spotify including podcasts alongside all of its other audio has been an advantage over Apple Podcasts (a separate app) and that Apple has just been outpaced by Spotify with investment and innovation.

“By putting podcasts and music in one place, Spotify quickly became the convenient one-stop-shop for everything digital audio,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Peter Vahle. “Apple was the de facto destination for podcasts for a long time, but in recent years, it has not kept up with Spotify’s pace of investment and innovation in podcast content and technology. Spotify’s investments have empowered podcast creators and advertisers through its proprietary hosting, creation, and monetization tools.”

eMarketer says that 2021 marks the first year that podcast advertising will surpass $1 billion and expects it to approach $2 billion in 2024.

Apple has been working on some new features and innovation around Podcasts. It recently launched a companion podcast for the Apple TV+ show For All Mankind, debuted a new “Spotlight” editorial in the Podcasts app, and is reportedly in talks to launch a podcasting subscription service.

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