Apple dominates podcasting tech as it did music downloads over the past 15 years. As podcasting becomes a mainstream medium, Google is one of the only companies that’s in a position to challenge Apple. The question is: will it?
Podcasting is definitely a mainstream medium nowadays; the latest research from Edison Research’s Infinite Dial shows that monthly U.S. podcast listenership is at 73 million and rising. Podcast listening began in the early 2000s with the clunky experience of downloading files (or receiving them over RSS feeds) and listening to them on MP3 player software on PCs. Nowadays, people listen to podcasts delivered on demand by streaming to their mobile devices. At its best, the experience is as seamless as listening to music on Spotify or Apple Music or watching a TV show on Netflix or Hulu.
There are many podcast apps available on iOS and Android platforms, but the podcasting market centers on just one of them: Apple Podcasts. In a 2017 Statista survey, 50% of respondents said they used Apple Podcasts; the next-most-popular dedicated podcast app was Podcast Addict with only 5%.
Apple Podcasts dominates the market for two sets of reasons. For listeners, it dominates because it’s pre-installed on iPhones and iPads, it offers pretty much every podcast there is, and its user experience is simple and consistent with other Apple iOS apps.