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Spotify has significantly gained relevance as a podcast platform in Germany

PRESS RELEASE — February 20, 2020

Berlin, Germany—The podcast network zebra-audio.net has anonymously evaluated shows and user data of the year 2019 together with the podcast hosting and analytics provider Podigee. Thereby more than 6,000 podcasts were examined.

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. Every fourth German is familiar with the format. The joint analysis by zebra-audio.net and Podigee now provides information on how they are consumed, meaning through which device and which platform, and which categories are particularly popular.

Important insights of the evaluation

Mobile vs. desktop - podcasts will soon be exclusively a “mobile topic”. More and more users are consuming them via their mobile devices rather than on a stationary computer. Mobile usage has risen from 86.4% to almost 90% compared to desktop usage.

Feed vs. web player - 95.5% of podcasts are consumed via an app instead of a web player. At the beginning of 2019 the figure was 8.5%, now only 4.5%.

Platform division - Spotify has been able to establish itself, Apple has suffered losses. According to the analysis of the number of downloads and streams of the individual platforms, Spotify continues to gain importance, whereby all other platforms have lost market share. While Spotify’s share was 19.7% at the beginning of 2019, it is now 34.4% at the end of the year. This was at the expense of Apple (with losses from 42.5% to 35.9%), Castbox (from 4.8% to 3.6%) and Deezer (from 5.6% to 5.1%).

Most popular genres - When uploading to the host’s server, the categories for the podcast must be specified. The categories and their names are taken from iTunes and Apple Podcasts. (The category assignment may be different on the platforms themselves, so there may be slight differences.) The most popular genres heard by the users in 2019 (averaged over the year) are:

  1. News 19.20%
  2. Comedy 15.19%
  3. Society & Culture 14.19%
  4. Business 10.57%
  5. Sports 10.10%
  6. Health & Fitness 7.67%
  7. True Crime 3.46%
  8. Arts 3.02%
  9. Education 2.86%
  10. Leisure 2.75%

The popularity of the individual genres developed as follows throughout the year:

It is generally observed that the genres are developing dynamically. The popularity of the individual categories depends strongly on the number of popular formats launched during a certain period. The following trends can be seen from the figures (comparison of Jan 2019 with Dec 2019):

The category Society & Culture is growing in popularity (from 9.6% to 22.5% in December 2019) and is therefore not without reason ranked third among the most popular categories. The same applies to Sports, which increased from 8.2% to 13.3% at the end of the year. True Crime, Fiction and Government are also more popular.

Overall, the category News loses relevance at the end of the year and falls from 21.8% to 12.4%. However, it remains the most popular genre with an average of 19.2%. Other declining genres are Education, Science, Leisure, Arts and History.

Comedy is relatively stable with an average share of about 15%. Health & Fitness also remains stable around 7.6%. Other consistent genres are Kids & Family, Religion and Spirituality, Music, Technology, Business and TV & Film.

Most popular genres of the three most important platforms

The genres favoured by the users (spread over the year and on average) differ among the various platforms. While Apple and iTunes have the same categories in the top 5, the category Health & Fitness is at the top of the list on Deezer, and the categories Music and Arts are also within the top ranks.

Apple (without iTunes)

  1. News 23.35%
  2. Society & Culture 15.67%
  3. Comedy 13.39%
  4. Business 12.04%
  5. Sports 7.45%

Spotify

  1. Comedy 23.51%
  2. Sports 15.55%
  3. Business 10.44%
  4. Society & Culture 10.13%
  5. News 8.36%

Deezer

  1. Health & Fitness 17.93%
  2. Society & Culture 15.14%
  3. Music 14.88%
  4. Arts 14.64%
  5. Comedy 14.21%

Publication and download times

Podcasts are uploaded to the server especially in the early morning hours. But they are mainly played between 7am and 8am, and then again between 5pm and 6pm. On weekends this pattern is not visible as podcast consumption is less strong overall. This again confirms the assumption that podcasts are largely listened to in a contextualised way, for example on the way to work or while doing housework.

Conclusion

The data-based evaluation supports the trends that other studies have already identified in regard to platform shares, the dominance of mobile use and the popularity of the individual categories.

The podcast genres are becoming more and more diverse, even fictional formats such as True Crime are slowly but steadily growing in popularity. Spotify and Apple dominate as platforms, but recent developments could lead to more diversity of providers. “More players will conquer the market in 2020. With the diversity of platforms and offerings, the podcast ecosystem will remain independent and will be able to grow further,” says Tina Jürgens, managing director of zebra-audio.net.

About zebra-audio.net

zebra-audio.net is a 360° multi-podcast network and represents an important hub in podcast marketing for podcast producers and advertising companies. In addition to strong networking, zebra-audio.net offers podcasters comprehensive support from conception and production to distribution and monetization of their audio content. This provides brands and advertisers with a target group-oriented selection of formats with relevant reach. The company was founded in January 2018 as a subsidiary of ZEBRALUTION GmbH. The business is managed by Tina Jürgens from the company’s headquarters in Berlin.

About Podigee

Podigee GmbH is Germany’s largest podcast hoster and has developed into one of the most important specialised podcast service providers in Europe since its foundation in 2013. Nearly 7,000 customers from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and many other countries make use of the extensive range of podcast hosting, analytics and consulting services. From the company’s headquarters in Berlin, Podigee today has more than 10 employees who play a decisive role in promoting the standardization and dissemination of the podcast medium.

This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions. Press releases can be sent to updates@podnews.net

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