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SPOTIFY HITS 113M PAID SUBSCRIBERS

Spotify’s premium subscription base grew to 113m by the end of September, a spike of 26m over the last 12 months. And for the third quarter, the company surprised Wall Street analysts by posting a profit of almost $60m.

Spotify is now predicting it will have 120m to 125m subscribers by the end of the year. Monthly average users, up 30% over 2018 to 248m, is expected to grow to between 255m and 270m.

The profit came after Daniel Ek’s company reduced artist marketing and research and development costs. Revenue rose 28% to $1.92b for the quarter; subscriptions accounted for $1.73b of that total.

In a statement, the company continued to be bullish on podcasts. “For the eighth consecutive quarter, free cash flow was positive. We continue to see exponential growth in podcast hours streamed (up approximately 39% Q/Q) and early indications that podcast engagement is driving a virtuous cycle of increased overall engagement and significantly increased conversion of free to paid users.”

In addition, Paul Vogel, VP of Financial Planning and Analysis, Treasury and Investor Relations, will take over for Chief Financial Officer Barry McCarthy when he retires in January.

McCarthy, Spotify’s No. 2 since 2015, oversaw the company’s direct listing and has been its financial go-to guy since going public.

Pending shareholder approval, McCarthy will rejoin Spotify’s board of directors and remain involved with Spotify’s future growth and development.

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