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SPOTIFY HITS 456M USERS

Spotify is up to 456m Monthly Active Users, a 20% rise over 2021 with monthly subscribers nearing the 200m mark.

In the last 12 months, Spotify has added 75m users and 23m new subscribers bringing the number of people who pay for the streaming service to 195m. 

The company is projecting that it will hit 202m paying subsubscribers by the end of the year.

The MAU total was 1m above guidance, which is now projecting a total of 479m MAUs by the end of 2022.

The net addition of 23m represented the company’s largest-ever Q3 growth. The MAU growth was led by the “Rest of World” category and Latin America.

Total revenue in the three-month period that ended 9/30 grew 21% over Q3 2021 to €3b ($2.99b). Premium revenue was up 22% to €2.7b while ad-supported revenue hit €385m, up 19%. Gross margin was 24.7% in the quarter, affected by the expected renewal of a major publishing contract outside the U.S., currency fluctuations and ad revenue shortfalls.

In a call with investors, CEO Daniel Ek reiterated that 2002 was an “investment year” and that it would have a drag on gross margin. The music margin, Ek said, continues to improve, while the investment in podcasts has largely caused the drag. 

He noted the company has stuck with its plan, saying “The key is to move faster that everyone else. … We’ve improved product velocity over this year,” which he says will continue into 2023.

When it comes to competitors, Ek said he has been impressed with TikTok’s “formidable growth” in the music space, but noted “I feel good about our competitive position. They haven’t taken [market] share from us.”

Apple is a different story. Ek referred to “platform neutrality wars” as the next great battle, saying Apple “continues to move the goalposts” as Spotify attempts to offer an audiobook experience on an iOS device similar to one on an android phone. “I’m more vocal about this now because it has taken four years to get a resolution.” He directed investors to read this New York Times article.

 

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