Podcast Pulse

There's no shortage of podcast-listening apps for Android and iOS users. But have you ever wondered which app listeners use most? Let's dive into the data and find out.

Podcast hosting companies have the unique advantage of tracking listener data. Every time a podcast episode is downloaded, it's tagged to a specific application, giving us insights into user preferences.

The Data from Transistor:

At Transistor, the data reveals some interesting trends:
  • Apple Podcasts dominates the scene with a whopping 51.7% market share.
  • Spotify follows closely in second place, holding 27.8% of the market.
  • Google Podcasts, despite its impending shutdown by Google, still manages to secure 2.1% of all downloads.
  • Overcast, an iOS-exclusive app developed by a single individual, impressively captures 1.6%.
  • Castbox and Pocket Casts come in at 1.4% and 1% respectively, with Podcast Addict trailing slightly at 0.8%.
Buzzsprout's Insights:

Over at Buzzsprout, the trends are somewhat similar, albeit with slightly different percentages:
  • Apple Podcasts remains the leader with 44.4%.
  • Spotify holds 28.6%.
  • Google Podcasts has a slightly higher share here at 3.5%.
  • Castbox and the older Apple iTunes player both have 2%.
  • Amazon Music and Overcast hover just below 1% at 1.6% and 0.9% respectively.
Why Does This Matter?

The battle for podcast market share is intense. Platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google are all vying for the top spot. Apple, with its 2 billion active devices, has a significant advantage. Meanwhile, Spotify, a major competitor in the music industry, is heavily investing in podcasts to boost its user base.

However, the real game-changer might be Google's pivoting from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music. While Google Podcasts only holds a 2-3% market share, YouTube boasts a staggering 2.7 billion active users. Many podcasters are already uploading video content to YouTube, and studies suggest that it might be the top platform for podcast consumption. In fact, research from The Morning Consult and Cumulus Media indicates a strong preference for YouTube over other platforms.

As Google transitions from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music, it will be intriguing to see if they can capture a larger share of the podcast market. YouTube's plans to integrate traditional podcast RSS feeds into YouTube Music could further shake up the rankings.

In Conclusion:

The podcasting world is ever-evolving, and it's fascinating to see how different platforms stack up against each other. Whether you're a fan of Apple, Spotify, or even the underrated Pocket Casts, there's no denying the impact of these platforms on the podcasting landscape.

I'm curious what you think!
Links and sources:

Transistor Podcast Hosting sponsored this episode. They're the best place to host multiple podcasts all in one place. Get 14 days free.

What is Podcast Pulse?

Observations on podcasting: audience trends, insights on podcast growth, new developments, tips, tricks. Hosted by Justin Jackson.

Justin Jackson: In this episode:
"Which app do most people

use to listen to podcasts?"

There are a ton of apps out
there on Android and iOS.

Podcast hosting companies can track this
data because they record every single

download that occurs and they can tag
that download to a specific application.

So first up, we have data from
Transistor, whom I work for.

And on Transistor, the top
listening app is Apple Podcasts

with 51.7% of the market share.

Spotify is number two, 27.8%.

And then the next app that shows up,
after Transistor's mobile player and

desktop player, is Google Podcasts,
which, as you'll recall, is being

sunsetted, killed, by Google.

Google Podcasts has 2.1% of
all downloads on Transistor.

Overcast has 1.6%, which is actually
pretty impressive considering it is iOS

only and also just built by one person.

And then we have Castbox with 1.4%.

Pocket Casts is a lot lower than I'd
like it to be at 1 percent and Podcast

Addict is underneath 1 percent at 0.8%.

Over on Buzzsprout, the trend
is the same, although the

percentages are a little different.

44.4% of their downloads
happen on Apple Podcasts.

On Spotify, only 28.6%.

And then Google Podcasts has
a 3.5% market share there.

Castbox with 2%.

Apple iTunes with 2% ; the
old iTunes player.

Amazon Music has 1.6%.

Overcast under 1% at 0.9%.

And Pocket Casts right
underneath that with 0.7%.

So why is this information interesting?

Well, for the platforms like
Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google,

I think they want as much
market share here as they can.

Um, Apple podcasts, especially now
that they are launching these Apple

podcast subscriptions, wants as many
people using Apple podcasts as possible.

Apple recently announced that they
have 2 billion active devices.

That's iPhones, iPads, Macs.

And that's a big install
base for Apple Podcasts.

Spotify, of course, is one of Apple's main
competitors on the music side, and they've

been investing heavily in podcasts.

They want as many people listening
to podcasts, and really audio, in

the Spotify player as possible.

The interesting variable in all
of this is Google and YouTube.

On one hand, it seems crazy for Google
to abandon Google Podcasts, which is in

the top 5 most popular podcasting apps.

But when you see they only have 2-3
percent market share, it makes a lot

more sense for Google to look to YouTube.

Now, YouTube Music, which is the
replacement for Google Podcasts,

only has about 80 million
active users as of last year.

But YouTube has 2.7 billion active users.

It is the second largest search
engine in the world, and many

podcasters are uploading video of
them speaking on microphones, maybe

with a guest, maybe on a panel.

to YouTube already.

Plus, we have these other studies
that are showing that YouTube

may already be the number one
platform for consuming podcasts.

This study from The Morning Consult shows
that 33 percent of respondents preferred

YouTube, 24 percent preferred Spotify,
and 12 percent preferred Apple Podcasts.

It's interesting how Buzzsprout and
Transistor's data skews so heavily to

Apple Podcasts, where a lot of these
studies here show Spotify above Apple

Podcasts and then YouTube even higher.

Another study by Cumulus Media and Signal
Hill shows that YouTube is the number

one most used platform among consumers,
regardless of tenure or heavy use.

Podcast newcomers prefer it, podcast
pioneers prefer it, and heavy podcast

consumers apparently prefer YouTube.

And at Podcast Movement, Coleman
Insights and Amplify Media presented

findings that showed that consumers
preferred using YouTube for consuming

podcasts to Spotify and Apple in
terms of enjoyability, ease of use,

and better podcast recommendations.

So we'll see if Google swapping out
Google podcasts for YouTube music

pays off; if it's able to grab more
of that podcast listening market

and not just the video market.

And YouTube says they have plans to
consume traditional podcast RSS feeds

in YouTube music, which could mean that
podcast hosting providers like Transistor

could start tracking those downloads.

And then we'll see!

We'll see how YouTube stacks
up in the list of most popular

podcast listening apps.

That's it for this week.

If you liked this episode, it'd be great
if you subscribe to us or followed us

on your favorite podcast listening app,
whether that's Apple, Spotify, Google,

try out Pocket Cast if you haven't
tried it already, it's a great app.

It's, uh, now run by the same
people who run WordPress and I

don't think it gets enough press.

You can also watch this episode on
YouTube and leave a comment there.

That's it for this week.

I'm Justin Jackson and
we'll see you next episode.