Everyone knows Spotify is the home of music, but it’s also a massive platform for podcasts. There are currently more than 5 million podcast titles available on Spotify and they are all free.
Despite this, Apple’s iTunes is still more widely used by both podcasters and listeners. Their current podcast data suggest 28 million podcast creators. This platform contains 75% of the podcast market in the US alone.
Many other podcasting streamers are fighting to overtake both giants to get the top spot too. Amazon has recently hit 5 million podcasts, showing they are narrowing in on Spotify.
As of March 2023, Apple Podcasts held the number 1 spot for the most listeners. They had 38.7% of all podcast listeners on their platform. Spotify came in second with 28% of all listeners.
Spotify has always aimed to be the best though, and has poured millions of dollars into this site of their business – especially when it comes to making deals with famous podcasters. Despite Amazon Music’s growing success, they only hold 0.8% of all podcast listeners.
What Spotify Is Doing To Reach Number 1
As Spotify is quickly falling behind Apple, the platform has been considered ways to boost its popularity.
We spoke to Martin, from WiredClip.com, on the issue. Martin explained:
“Spotify’s substantial investments in high-profile podcast deals certainly play a significant role in boosting the podcasting industry.
By acquiring top-tier talent and offering competitive financial incentives, Spotify is fostering an environment where content creators can thrive. This, in turn, encourages more creators to enter the podcasting space, resulting in a richer and more diverse ecosystem for listeners to enjoy.
The growth driven by these deals also generates increased interest and investment from other platforms, further propelling the podcasting industry’s overall expansion.”
Through Martin’s explanation, we can see that Spotify is focusing on unique podcasts rather than “click-bait” shows or podcasts that follow a “samey” formula. They are trying to encourage more unknown artists and are creating a space for communities rather than money-makers.
This, of course, doesn’t mean the returns on a Spotify podcast are low. In fact, the 5 podcasts below are currently fighting for Spotify’s number 1 spot, and are earning millions in the process.
The Top 5 Podcasts
Right now the top 5 podcasts on Spotify are:
- The Joe Rogan Experience
- Call Her Daddy
- The Michelle Obama Podcast
- StartUp Podcast
- The Ringer
The Joe Rogan Experience
This podcast is controversial. Hosted by Joe Rogan (UFC Fighter), friends and guests of the host talk about MMA, celebrities, and political issues. Rogan often comes across as racist, anti-medicine, misogynistic, and anti-trans.
His popularity stems from negative opinions which produce a high viewership through angry comments and defensive fans.
Right now, his podcast is worth $100 million and he averages around 190 million downloads a month.
Call Her Daddy
This podcast, hosted by Sofia Franklyn and Alexandra Cooper, uses comedy to discuss sexuality, relationships, and advice.
Although CHD aims to be sex-positive, they suggest gaslighting partners when caught cheating and using the 1-10 system to rank women.
CHD is currently worth $60 million and averages 2 million downloads per episode.
The Michelle Obama Podcast
The Michelle Obama Podcast is hosted by the former First Lady and takes a conversational approach to podcasting. Here you can listen to inspiring conversations from herself and other famous guest speakers, which matches the Oprah Winfrey talk show style.
Michelle Obama has not disclosed how much her podcast is worth, however, we can estimate that the figure is significantly higher than the last 2 shows we will discuss. She averages more than 1 million downloads per episode.
StartUp is aimed at entrepreneurs and is an educational podcast. It is the most successful educational podcast in the world and was recently acquired by Spotify. As the acquisition was so recent, the value of the show has not been released yet. However, it averaged more than 1 million downloads per episode.
The Ringer is a sports and pop culture podcast that discusses sporting events, athletes, as well as sports in the media, for example movies.
This podcast is currently worth $250 million, but the average number of listeners per episode is so dramatic that a real figure cannot be accurately drawn. This shows that the Ringer follows their interests rather than following their viewership – allowing for more diversity in their content.
You can always expect controversial content to do well, as it will generate die-hard fans and angry commenters. However, podcasts such as StartUp and The Ringer doing so well show that unique content can still flourish on Spotify.