Spotify reports 232m active users, despite loss

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Spotify now has 232 million monthly active users, with its overall user base up 29% year-on-year compared with last year’s second quarter.

In its latest earnings report, the Swedish music streaming giant posted revenue of EUR1.67 billion (R27 billion), up about 30% from the same quarter last year.

While it reported a EUR76 million (R1.2 billion) loss for the quarter, the company says this was much smaller than the EUR394 million (R6.2 billion) loss recorded in the same quarter last year.

The company’s paid subscriber numbers were below analysts’ expectations, growing to 108 million paying users.

Spotify is the global leader in paid music streaming by a wide margin. Rival Apple said it had 60 million music subscribers as of June.

Google and Amazon both launched free music streaming services this year, which smart speaker users can access on demand. Amazon had signed up about 32 million users at the end of April.

In its earnings report, Spotify highlighted its success in boosting long-term retention, particularly in emerging markets.

One of the contributing factors was the rollout of the Spotify Lite music streaming app, aimed at users in emerging markets where data costs are extremely expensive.

"As a company, our goal is to continually innovate by testing and learning from new product launches. During Q2, we launched a number of new product initiatives across our major regions. Of note, we rolled out Spotify Lite more widely, and this offering is now available in 36 markets," notes the company.

Spotify adds its podcast audience has grown by over 50% since the last quarter, and has almost doubled since the start of the year.

Earlier this year, the company acquired podcasting network Gimlet Media, as well as Anchor, which produces tools to allow music creators build, publish and monetise podcasts.

Spotify grows in SA

The streaming service is available in 79 countries, including the Middle East, North Africa and India, offering its global community of 232 million music fans access to more than three billion local and international playlists.

Since its launch in SA last year, Spotify has become a very important strategic partner for South African artists and the local music industry, it says.

Claudius Boller, Spotify MD for the Middle East and Africa, comments: “Our first year in SA has been extremely exciting and we have been thrilled by the response from music fans.

“Our launch in our first African market gave us the opportunity to offer local music fans access to a world of new music and genres, as well as giving local artists the opportunity to connect with a global audience of music fans on Spotify.”

While the company says it is unable to disclose its local user numbers, it says the most-streamed local artists by South African music fans are Nasty C and Black Coffee, followed by AKA at number three.

Based on the number of streams in major cities since launch, Johannesburg was the most musical city in SA, on the platform.

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