Which Podcast App is Best? Spotify vs Apple and Google Podcast

Google Podcasts

Google Podcasts is a podcast application developed by Google and released on June 18, 2018, for Android devices.

Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts is an audio streaming service and media player application developed by Apple Inc.

for downloading, streaming, discovering, playing, and sharing podcasts. Apple began supporting podcasts with iTunes 4.9 released in June 2005 and launched its first standalone mobile app in 2012.

The app was later pre-installed with iOS beginning October 2014. The Apple Podcasts directory features more than two million shows.

Apple Podcasts is available on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, CarPlay, Microsoft Windows operating systems, and on Amazon Alexa devices.

Spotify Podcasts

Spotify is a Swedish-American audio streaming and media services provider founded on 23 April 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon.

It is one of the largest music streaming service providers with over 406 million monthly active users, including 180 million paying subscribers, as of December 2021.

Spotify is listed (through a Luxembourg City-domiciled holding company, Spotify Technology S.A.) on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American depositary receipts.


spotify podcast vs apple podcast

Apple vs. Spotify: Which Company Has the Better Podcast Strategy?

Podcast listenership has grown substantially over the past decade. Over 100 million Americans are expected to listen to a podcast in 2021, with weekly listenership estimated to be up 100% since 2016.

The leading platform in popularizing the entertainment medium was Apple ( AAPL -0.94% ), which pre-downloads the Apple Podcasts app onto every device it sells. Spotify Technology ( SPOT -4.37% ) is newer to the podcast game. It launched podcast features on its service in 2015 and only started heavily investing in podcasts a few years ago.

Even though it is a late entrant to the industry, Spotify has gained podcast market share against Apple each of the last few years and is projected to pass Apple in listenership sometime in 2021 or 2022. Apple, as you might expect, is not taking this sitting down, recently announcing new user and monetization features for Apple Podcasts.


Why do people use the Apple Podcasts app?

Analyst says Spotify is close to overtaking Apple Podcasts in number of users

Ever since Spotify introduced its own podcast platform, we’ve been seeing the Swedish streaming service surpass Apple Podcasts in some countries. Now, according to an analysis by eMarketer, Spotify is actually close to globally overtaking Apple Podcasts in number of users.

There are, however, some things to keep in mind with this report: subscriber-only channels and shows on Apple Podcasts don’t count towards RSS activity.

eMarketer is also somewhat vague with its definition of “users” and doesn’t share clear methodology for some of its data.

Back in 2019, another research study revealed that Spotify already had more podcast listeners than Apple in South America and Europe. As time passed, the number of people using Spotify’s podcast platform instead of Apple Podcasts grew significantly worldwide.

Data from a new analysis by eMarketer shows that Spotify is expected to reach 28.2 million users by the end of 2021. By comparison, Apple Podcasts should end the year with 28.0 million users. It’s a small difference for sure, but still enough to put Spotify in first place.

How popular is Google podcast?

Recent data from Buzzsprout shows Spotify is the new king of podcast directories.

A little more than third (31.7%) of all podcast listeners used Spotify to access their favorite shows, accounting for nearly 25 million downloads in August 2021.

Behind Spotify is Apple Podcasts, the default podcasting app on all iOS devices. Apple captured 21.1 million downloads for August 2021, with 26.9% market share.
Google Podcasts lagged behind the competition, with a 2.9% share of downloads, roughly 2.2 million. It is worth noting that Google Podcasts is pre-installed on many Android devices, and is even suggested as a default podcast listening app.

google podcast vs spotify

Our favourite and most used search engine has also launched its very own podcast streaming application. It allows you to easily listen to podcasts any time you want and picks up exactly where you left from. It even allows you to adjust the playback speed and add podcasts directly from google search.

After big moves by Apple & Spotify, what is Google’s plan for podcasts?

Activity and investment in the podcasting industry is currently at an all-time high after Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and others detailed their latest efforts last month. One major player that has yet to respond with new plans of its own is Google Podcasts.

A relatively early start

Google relaunched its podcast offering in 2018 after a failed start two years prior that involved surfacing shows and episodes in Play Music. The current effort is much more of a dedicated experience and closely aligned with Google Search and, by extension, Assistant.

Google Podcasts launched on Android three years ago and then came to the web, as well as Search results, in 2019.

An iOS app was introduced last year as the web client became more full-featured. The last major announcement came at the tail end of 2020, when the app gained support for private RSS feeds, while the past few months have seen a redesigned Now Playing screen and the ability to better customize (and block) recommendations. Meanwhile, recent weeks have seen the founding product manager rise up to focus on Search features for desktop/laptop, while its product lead left Google for payment company Stripe. The former’s move coincided with the broader reshuffle of the Search organization.

Top 10 Podcast Apps You Should Be Using Right Now

One can simply google a topic and find a range of podcasts to listen to. However, at times it gets difficult, finding the right application that matches your needs and provides you with your choice of podcasts. Below is a list of the top 10 podcast apps you can use to find a podcast that matches your interests.

Pocket Casts

The features that have made this application popular are cross-platform syncing and auto episode downloading and cleanup.


If you are a fan of comedy and love laughing then this application is great for you. This comedy focused application has a massive database of comedians that allows you to search for your favourite comedian and listen to them while travelling.


This application gives you a platform to listen to other speakers as well as one to start your podcast. With more than 270,000 podcasts, this application presents a wide range of topics and podcasts for you to choose from. Even more, it allows you to impost your selections from platforms like Google Podcasts, Spotify and TuneIn radio.

Cast box

Castbox is a perfect combination of a simple interface, selected great podcasts and a strong podcast audio search. One can sign in using their mail id and subscribe to a number of podcasts. It even allows you to stream through services like Chromecast and Echo.


This application is best for you if you like sharing dialogues and parts of your favourite shows. It allows you to take snippets of the audio from any podcast show and share it with your friends and family. It even has an inbox for you to get the latest episodes of your subscribed podcasts.


It offers a curated list of playlists that include voices that we generally don’t get to hear. It offers a wide range of genres along with its originals. It allows you to set sleep timers, automatically skip episodes that you have already listened to, download new episodes and adjust the rewind and fast forward duration.

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn offers a wide range of genres for one to explore. It offers an array of podcasts for you on its home screen. The application is compatible with Alexa enabled devices and allows you to fast forward or rewind episodes, set alarms in between. You can even favourite a show if you want to listen to it later.


This is a paid application however, it can be called the Netflix of podcasts. It allows you to choose from a massive range of podcasts for just $4.99 a month. It offers you add-free podcast services and hence, provides the best podcasting experience.

Is Google podcast for free?

With Google Podcasts, you can find and listen to the world’s podcasts for free. Subscribe and listen to all your favorite podcasts. Explore show and episode recommendations just for you.

Where can I listen to podcasts free?

Popular options include Spotify, SoundCloud, Pocket Casts, and Stitcher. Many of these apps work on both Apple and Android devices, and most of them are free. (Some offer different tiers of service with the most basic one being free.) There are also podcast platforms devoted to particular genres.

Do podcasts cost money to listen to?

Music fans who are used to purchasing songs through iTunes may be accustomed to paying a dollar or more per song, but podcasts are almost always completely free.

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