Apple vs. Spotify — August Data

Since March, we’ve been tracking the crusades for podcast listeners from both Apple and Spotify. Without fail, both companies have brought a new announcement or improvement to their podcast offerings each month. And, each month we’ve seen listeners gained by Spotify, while Apple often re-stakes their claim in countries that were previously stolen from them. 

August proved to be another month of battling as Spotify took Portugal, Algeria (the largest country in Africa) and Bulgaria, and Apple reclaimed Romania — which was just taken over last month by Spotify.

Spotify’s takeover of two more European countries and the battle between the two over Romania proves the continued importance of listener growth on the continent. As we reported on in June, Central Europe is a hotbed for audio and podcast growth. However, we believe that Spotify’s claim on Portugal is the most significant takeover from August, and has the explosive podcasting growth of Brazil to thank.

In January, we predicted the rise of Hispanic and Latino podcasts in 2019, and this has certainly been true throughout the first eight months of the year. In a survey from May, Ibope released data revealing that 40% of Internet users have listened to podcasts in Brazil. This percentage has skyrocketed over the last year and is leading the way amongst other Hispanic and Latino countries. Because of this, it was no surprise to us that some of Portugal’s top listened to podcasts last month (i.e. ResumoCast, Ao Ponto, Fala, Maju) are from Brazil.

Spotify’s impact on the industry shows no signs of slowing thanks to their introduction of Spotify for Podcasters in August. In essence, it will allow users to upload their shows to Spotify and provide them with an analytics dashboard. They claim that the listener data is much more detailed than what Apple currently provides. 

While things were quieter on the Apple front, they did officially roll out their enhanced categories update in August, making discovering shows on their platform a lot easier. 

Now that Spotify took a giant leap with their new platform, it looks like it’s time for Apple to make the next move. Stay tuned to get our take next month!


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