Apple takes the fight to Spotify with original podcasts

Former Assistant Editor
Apple Music, Spotify

Spotify‘s redoubled push into the podcasting space hasn’t gone noticed by market-leading Apple.

As Bloomberg reports, Apple Inc. is planning to fund original, exclusive podcasts for its streaming service, in a move to stay ahead of fast-moving competitors like Spotify and Stitcher.

As it stands, Apple holds around 50-70% of all podcast listening, via the Apple Podcasts app. Now the company is set to invest heavily in exclusive content, in a move that Forbes suggests could aid the transition of the podcasting market away from free content on open platforms.

Apple’s market share has reportedly dropped with the rise of Spotify, which has spent millions on original podcast content recently.

Spotify reportedly now holds between 10%-20% of listeners.

So the fight for advertisers on podcasts intensifies.

A report by Spotify earlier this year found that 81% of podcast listeners have taken action as a result of listening to audio ads during a podcast.

Couple that with recent suggestions that the podcast industry as a whole is expected to generate $1 billion US by 2021, and it’s clear why the battle for ears is hotting up in a lucrative market.

Spotify launched its Spotify For Podcasters beta server in late 2018.

It has since purchased podcasting networks Gimlet and Anchor, true crime studio Parcast, and struck a deal to distribute the Acast podcast library.

More recently, the Swedish-born DSP doubled down on a push to lure radio listeners, releasing its Your Daily Drive that puts news updates and podcasts next to music on personalised playlists.

For now, Australia remains one of terrestrial radio’s healthiest markets globally.

As of May 2019, 83% of the population aged 12 and over listened to radio each week, down from 85% the year prior.

This year’s Infinite Dial study found that podcast listening was up to 15%, up from 13% year on year.

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