Spotify Beats Expectations to Surpass 500M User Mark as Q1 Losses Rise


Music streaming giant Spotify said on Tuesday that it had 515 million monthly active users at the end of March, beating expectations as its operating expenses rose.

The Swedish company also saw its paid subscribers reach 210 million.

Analysts polled by Factset expected total monthly active users to average around 501 million, and paid subscribers to reach 207 million.

Spotify said in a statement that it posted its “strongest” first quarter “since its IPO in 2018,” with almost all performance metrics “beating expectations.”

The company also recorded an operating loss of EUR 156 million (approximately Rs 1,409 crore) in the first quarter, compared to an operating loss of EUR 6 million (approximately Rs 54 crore) a year ago. .

According to the company, the increase in expenses is due to the increase in the workforce compared to the previous year and the evolution of social benefits.

In January, the streaming giant announced it would cut about 600 of its roughly 10,000 jobs, following similar moves by other tech industry giants. Its operating expenses also increased due to expenses related to severance benefits.

Revenue — most of which comes from paid subscribers — rose 14% to €3 billion (roughly Rs. 27,082 crore) on the back of a surge in users.

But that fell short of analysts’ expectations of 3.4 billion euros (roughly Rs. 30,694 crore).

The platform has sporadically posted quarterly profits since its launch and has consistently posted annual losses despite strong subscriber growth and advances from rivals such as Apple Music and Amazon Music.

For the full year 2022, it recorded a net loss of EUR 430 million (approximately Rs 3,882 crore), compared to a loss of EUR 34 million (approximately Rs 306 crore) in 2021.

Spotify has also invested more than €1 billion (roughly Rs. 9,028 crore) in podcasting in recent years, but analysts say the company is yet to prove that the investment pays off.

His podcast venture has also sparked controversy, with American star Joe Rogan accused of spreading false information on his shows.

Xiaomi launched its camera-focused flagship smartphone, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, while Apple opened its first stores in India this week. We discuss these developments, along with other reports of smartphone rumors and Orbital, on the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and anywhere you get podcasts.

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