OFFICIAL: Podcasts Are A Major Threat To Music Industry Revenue
While the podcast revolution is offering a welcome boost to storytelling, niche journalism, and Spotify’s bottom line, it is now also a proven threat to the music and the music industry.
The music business should have seen this coming. There are, after all, a finite number of hours in the day and growth in one audio format (podcasts) would lead to less listening in another (music).
Now, several new studies have proven the theory.
NPR’s “Share Of Ear” studies showed that in 2014, 80% of US listening hours were directed towards music and 20% dedicated to spoken word. In 2019, music fell to 76% and spoken word growing to 24%.
For 13-34 year-olds, listening hours were 88% music to 12% spoken word in 2014 and fell to 81% and 19% in 2019.
Good For Spotify, Bad For Music
All of this is good news for Spotify and Apple Music – the don’t pay to stream most podcasts – and bad news for artists and labels who are now dependent on income form streaming.
MBW sums up the problem this way, in its own in-depth analysis:
“The paradox at the heart of this story: What happens when the world’s leading music streaming service becomes economically incentivized to encourage its customers to actually listen to less music?”
To my eye, Spotify’s “when” is now.