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Spotify reports strong user growth, raises prices

Spotify's total active users rose 27 percent to 551 million year-on-year
Spotify's total active users rose 27 percent to 551 million year-on-year - Copyright AFP ISAAC LAWRENCE
Spotify's total active users rose 27 percent to 551 million year-on-year - Copyright AFP ISAAC LAWRENCE

Spotify reported Tuesday a bigger-than-expected rise in active users at the end of the second quarter, a day after the music streaming giant announced price increases for its premium service.

The Swedish company, which is listed on the New York stock exchange, said total active users rose 27 percent to 551 million year-on-year, or 21 million more than it expected.

The number of paying subscribers also rose, with a 17 percent jump to 220 million — three million more than expected.

On Monday, the company announced it was raising its prices for premium subscribers “across a number of markets around the world,” following in the footsteps of similar moves by competing music services from Apple and Amazon.

Despite the boost in users, Spotify reported a bigger operating loss of 247 million euros ($273 million) in the second quarter, compared to a loss of 194 million euros for the same period a year earlier.

The company said it was “primarily impacted by charges related to our actions to streamline operations and reduce costs.”

In early June, Spotify announced it would be cutting some 200 positions working with podcasts.

That move came after a January announcement that Spotify was cutting around 600 jobs — equalling about six percent of its workforce — following similar moves by other tech industry giants.

Spotify has invested heavily since its launch to fuel growth with expansions into new markets and, in later years, exclusive content such as podcasts.

It has invested over a billion dollars into podcasts alone.

In 2017, the company had around 3,000 staff members, more than tripling the figure to around 9,800 at the end on 2022.

The company has never posted a full-year net profit and only occasionally quarterly profits despite its success in the online music market.

AFP
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