During its quarterly earnings report today, Spotify said the company continues to see exponential growth in podcast hours streamed. Admitting it’s growth that started off a small base the company saw a 39% growth in podcasts hours streamed compared to one year ago. The United States accounts for the largest share of podcast streams for Spotify, however, the company says share of listening is higher and growing faster in several European countries. The company stated that “Podcast engagement is clearly a growing global phenomenon.”
The company also reported that music listeners who engage in podcasts are showing increased engagement and many are converting from Spotify’s ad-supported platform to its Premium platform. “Some of the increases are extraordinary, almost too good to be true. We’re working to clean up the data to prove causality, not just correlation. Still, our intuition is the data is more right than wrong, and that we’re onto something special. So expect us to lean into our early success with podcasting and to share more insights with you when we’ve established causality.”
Libsyn’s Rob Walch reports that 13.1% of downloads now come from Spotify with Apple still dominating. Spotify is second behind Apple.
There are now more than 500,000 podcasts available on Spotify. In the third quarter Spotify launched 22 original shows and several other exclusive titles from Spotify Studios such as The Ringer: The Hottest Take and The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet in the U.S. Spotify also announced the release of a number of Gimlet and Parcast originals, including Gimlet’s The Clearing and The Journal, as well as Natural Disasters, Medical Mysteries, and the Summer of ‘69 from Parcast Studios.
Spotify has 248 million users, 141 million are using the free, ad-supported version. The company made an operating profit of nearly $60 million compared to a $6.7 million loss in 2018.