YouTube Overtakes Spotify and Apple as Top US Podcast Platform


After years trailing competitors like Spotify and Apple, YouTube has emerged as the most favored platform for podcast consumption in the United States according to Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights’ Spring 2024 Podcast Download Report.

The new data, collected by MARU/Matchbox from 603 weekly podcast listeners between April 19-24, not only confirms YouTube’s new dominance but also delves into various aspects such as platform preference, content trends, and listener demographics.

After chasing podcast success for years, the new growth has taken hold after YouTube and Google’s parent company Alphabet phased out Google Podcasts in favor of the predominantly video platform.

In a new blog, Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group Insights Manager Liz Mayer and Signal Hill Insights Partner Paul Riismandel highlighted that 31% of podcast consumers now prefer YouTube, with Spotify and Apple following at 21% and 12%, respectively.

YouTube’s dominance is particularly pronounced among new podcast listeners, veteran listeners, and those who consume podcasts extensively each week. The platform’s audience tends to be younger and predominantly male, contrasting with Spotify’s younger demographic and Apple’s older, more established podcast listeners.

As an entertainment search engine, YouTube serves as a major discovery platform where 31% of listeners find new podcasts, significantly higher than Spotify’s 24% and Apple’s 12%. YouTube’s audience doesn’t carry as much brand loyalty, though – 53% of its audience also engages with podcasts on other platforms.

With YouTube being a video platform, the format preference varies significantly among listeners: 36% prefer audio-only, 33% enjoy actively watching, and 31% listen with the video minimized. New podcast listeners are more inclined towards video than long-time podcast fans.

The report also notes that different podcast genres have varying success in video format; News/Current Events and Sports podcasts are more popular for viewing, while True Crime remains a favorite for audio-only listeners.

The findings underscore YouTube’s growing influence in the podcasting sector and its role as a pivotal platform for both new and seasoned podcast enthusiasts.



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