I’m so glad Apple decided to split apart Podcasts into it’s own app. Initially I was skeptical that it made sense - why not have podcasts in the same “store” as where everyone was already going for music or movies or TV? It’s all media.
Now 3 years later it really looks like it was the right choice, at least from a user experience perspective. Obviously I have no insider knowledge on usage stats from Spotify or Apple, but Rachel Smith’s experience sums up the sentiment I keep hearing from Spotify users:
In the blessed pre-Spotify Podcasts days, I was a huge Spotify fan. I was paying for a subscription as soon as it was available in my region. Now I curse Spotify whenever they take away podcast content I previously enjoyed: Brené Brown, basically all of Gimlet. I say “take away” because I refuse to use their shitty excuse for a podcast-app-shoved-in-a-music-player that has made my once-great-music-player experience worse! Damn you Spotify, I won’t do it.
Like I said, without actual user data it’s impossible for me to say “Spotify’s approach is economically worse than Apple’s”, and I don’t know what kind of testing Spotify is doing to determine if a separate app would generate more revenue, but it certainly feels like it’s a better experience over all.