Spotify's monthly active users top 500 million for first time

Music streaming company beats estimates to reach 515 monthly active users in first quarter this year, helped by expansion into more markets

By Reuters

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Published: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 12:45 AM

Last updated: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 1:02 AM

Spotify Technology SA has crossed the half billion mark for monthly active users for the first time, helped by the music streaming company's expansion into more markets, it said on Tuesday, sending its shares up five per cent.

The number of monthly active users rose to 515 million in the first quarter, beating Spotify's guidance and analysts' forecast of 500 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Premium subscribers, who account for most of its revenue, rose 15 per cent to 210 million, topping estimates of 206 million.

Its premium subscriber forecast of 217 million for the current quarter also beat expectations of 212 million. The company forecast monthly active users of 530 million.

Spotify last year laid out plans to get one billion users by 2030 and reach $100 billion in annual revenue. It also promised high-margin returns from its costly expansion into podcasts and audiobooks.

"Spotify is not sort of one silver bullet, but it's rather 100 or 1,000 things that we are doing that sort of compounds and adds to the story," CEO Daniel Ek told Reuters.

However, the company's quarterly revenue of 3.04 billion euros ($3.35 billion) missed analyst estimates of 3.08 billion euros, and it posted a bigger loss than expected.

"There's still a kind of a lot of macro choppiness in Q1 so that impacts us a little bit," Ek said.

A lot of subscribers come on free trials, or part of a family plan, and Spotify doesn't get revenue right away, which starts coming in a quarter later, he said.

A soft ad market due to ongoing economic uncertainty has led to lower prices, hitting Spotify's margins. Gross margin dipped to 25.2 per cent from 25.3 per cent in the year-earlier quarter. Spotify's current-quarter revenue forecast of 3.2 billion euros also missed expectations of 3.26 billion euros.

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