Nordics: Spotify facing increasing competition

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The Nordics are, for sure, Spotify’s home turf. Looking at the latest Mediavision analysis, close to 4 million Nordic households had access to a paid Spotify subscription (i.e. not an ad-supported free account) in Q3 2020. This corresponds to a 34 per cent household penetration for subscriptions (non-advertising supported) – dwarfing competition – a relatively stable penetration YOY when compared to Spotify’s global subscriber growth. In other words, the Nordics is a mature market for Spotify – which is also reflected in how well their Nordic user base has adopted podcast listening.

In the Nordics, the average daily reach for podcast listening is 16 per cent – an increase of 13 per cent since Q3 2019. Spotify is the listening platform with the highest daily reach. Competition comes from commercial radio, public service radio and from Apple. In other words, on a rather fragmented market, Spotify has a strong position, and it seems as if Spotify’s “audio-first”-strategy has successfully been implemented across the Nordics.

But competition is expected to increase – perhaps most clearly illustrated by a possible launch of Amazon Prime in Sweden. When Amazon.se launched in Sweden this week, the Prime solution was not available to Swedish consumers. As of now, Amazon Music is a very small player in the Swedish market. However, if Amazon Prime Memberships would be available in Sweden, and Music was to be included in at no extra charge, things could change rapidly, suggests Mediavision. Amazon has also announced free podcasts on Amazon Music.

Another challenger is of course Apple Podcasts, reportedly looking to invest in exclusive podcasts. Could a paid podcast service from Apple possibly be a future part of the Apple One bundle – and will Apple One be made available in the Nordics? Mediavision believes the transformation of the Nordic audio market could be afoot.


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