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Spotify passes 500 million active users, widens first quarter loss

Spotify cuts 17% of jobs as economic growth slows
Source: Pixabay

Music streaming giant Spotify on Tuesday reported that it had 515 million monthly active users as of the end of March, beating expectations, as its operating loss deepened.

The Swedish company also saw the number of paying subscribers grow to 210 million.

Analysts queried by Factset had expected the total monthly active users to reach around 501 million on average, and paying subscribers to reach 207 million.

Spotify said in a statement it had posted its “strongest” first quarter “since going public in 2018,” with nearly all performance indicators “surpassing expectations.”

The company also posted a first quarter operating loss of 156 million euros ($172 million), compared to an operating loss of six million euros a year earlier.

The widened loss was, according to the company, attributed to a higher headcount compared to a year earlier and changes in social charges.

In January, following similar moves by other tech industry giants, the streaming giant announced it was cutting around 600 jobs out of around 10,000. Its operating expenses were also increased due to severance-related charges.

Boosted by the growing number of users, revenue — of which the majority comes from paying subscribers — grew 14 percent to three billion euros.

But this fell short of analysts expectations of 3.4 billion euros.

The platform has only occasionally posted a quarterly profit since its launch and has regularly posted annual losses, despite strong subscriber growth and having had a head start on its rivals such as Apple Music and Amazon Music.

For the whole of 2022, it posted a net loss of 430 million euros, compared to a loss of 34 million euros in 2021.

Spotify has also invested more than one billion euros into podcasting in recent years, but analysts say the company has yet to prove the investment is bearing fruit.

Its venture into podcasts has also been a source of controversy, with US star Joe Rogan accused of spreading misinformation in his shows.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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