Apple VS Spotify – June 2019

Since we originally reported on Apple and Spotify’s podcast power struggle in March, we’ve been keeping an eye on the tug-of-war between the two audio giants every month or so. 

While we had a sneak peek before it came out, Spotify officially rolled out a reengineered library in mid-June. The update gives podcasts a completely separate tab from music, making “getting started and staying up-to-date with podcasts on Spotify a seamless, personalized experience.” Plus, they’ve taken other big steps to emphasize their stake in podcast land by announcing a partnership to produce podcasts with Barack and Michelle Obama and producing more podcast-focused content online.

Of course, when Spotify ups the ante, you can be sure Apple will too. Just last week, as reported on by Bloomberg, Apple announced its plans to fund original podcasts, which will only be available on their platform. Plus, while no specifics have been shared, they are reportedly planning to start buying exclusive rights to existing podcasts. 

While the Apple announcement sent Spotify’s shares down by 2.7% (“the biggest intraday decline in three weeks”), it’s not slowing their continued listener takeover in Europe. Since our May update, Spotify has taken over the Netherlands, Germany and Bulgaria. Spotify’s dominance of Germany is particularly important as the country is experiencing a significant amount of podcast growth. In fact, Germany (and Central Europe) is showing so much promise in the industry that Acast, a podcast marketplace, launched an office in Berlin and The Infinite Dial, a top podcast and audio insights study, plans to debut in Berlin in September.

This is sure to be far from our last update, so stay tuned to see who continues to gain more share of voice in the industry!

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