Spotify podcast engagement spikes with 21% of users listening

Former Assistant Editor
Daniel Ek

Spotify’s big bet on podcasts over the past 12-18 months is paying off, with a solid increase in users engaging with podcasts in the first half of 2020.

According to recent financial reports, presented by, Spotify recorded a 5% increase in podcast engagement between Q4 of 2019 and Q2 of 2020.

That now means 21% of Spotify’s monthly active users engage with at least one podcast in the past month.

Unsurprisingly, the controversial Joe Rogan Experience podcast was the highest-earning podcast in 2019, bringing in $30m in revenue.

The shock jock began his new contract with Spotify at the start of September, despite recent reports that Spotify workers are threatening to strike if they Rogan’s podcasts aren’t edited or removed when they see fit to do so.

The deal is reportedly worth over $100m and will see Rogan’s entire library of content exclusively hosted by Spotify.

Coronavirus-forced lockdowns have definitely contributed to the growing uptake of podcasts on Spoitify, with 15% of users worldwide saying they are more likely to listen during lockdowns.

Spotify also released its second annual Culture Next Trends Report, looking at listening trends among Millennials and Gen Zs.

It found that 64% of young Australians said listening to podcasts helps fuel self-discovery, while 76% of podcast listeners on the platform said listening to podcasts help them feel more connected.

But while plenty of podcasts may be getting great exposure on Spotify, some are worried that its algorithm gives the platform too much power as a gatekeeper over content.

Tommy Jackett and Josh Janssen spoke about the issue on The Daily Talk Show, suggesting that Spotify’s power has meant losing the original purpose of as a “democratised to communicate.”

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