Chart: Most Popular Podcast Distribution Channels

Spotify’s focus on developing its podcast content appears to be paying off.

Last year, 58.4 million people in the US were expected use Spotify, making up 20.8% of internet users.

A year ago, Spotify was the 15th most popular mobile app among all apps. It trailed other simlar apps such as Pandora (12th overall) and Google Play (8th overall) but trailed only Apple Podcasts for podcast-specific apps.

Last year, Spotify overcame Pandora on listener counts and is expected to far outpace that platform during the next several years.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s Digital News Report 2020 found the most popular apps and websites that podcast listeners used:

  1. Spotify: 25% of respondents used this platform to listen to podcasts
  2. Apple Podcasts: 20%
  3. Google Podcasts: 16%
  4. Pandora: 15%
  5. Website stream: 11%
  6. Audible: 10%
  7. NPR One: 9%
  8. Tunein: 8%
  9. Deezer: 7%
  10. Podcast Addict: 7%
  11. Overcast: 6%
  12. Pocket Casts: 6%
  13. RadioPublic: 6%
  14. Stitcher: 6%
  15. Castbox: 5%
Segment from Episode 323 of the Beyond Social Media Show

Segment Transcript

David Erickson: This is from the Reuters Institute for the Study of journalism on the most popular distribution channels. So we kind of talk about this whenever these numbers come out because they’re kind of updating all the time. And this is no exception. This was done in February, 2020: So, pre-pandemic, kinda…might have changed after that, but I don’t think so.

Most Popular Podcast Channels

David Erickson: Which apps/websites do US podcast listeners use to listen to podcasts? Spotify leads the way with 25% citing Spotify; Apple Podcasts at 20%; Google Podcasts at 16%. So the top three; those are your heavyweights. Pandora at 15%; website–so just listening to podcasts from a podcaster’s website–streaming, 11%; Audible at 10%; Tunein, 8%; and last on the list is Castbox at 5%. Stitcher, which I think used to be more popular, at 6%. So there you go. We’ll put the chart in the show notes for people to see.

BL Ochman: Happy to know we’re on all of those except Castbox.

David Erickson: I think we’re on Castbox.

BL Ochman: Oh, we’re on Castbox, okay.

eMarketer junior analyst Nina Goetzen and forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Peter Vahle discuss changing Spotify listening behavior and the company’s podcast investments, and they break down how it makes money.

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