Spotify Now Has 271 Million Users, Still Lost Money in 2019
Spotify has released detailed statistics of activity on the platform and financial data for the calendar year 2019, and while the number of users continues to rise, the company is still reporting a net loss for the year, underscoring the razor thin margins in the streaming space.
In a recap of 2019 highlights posted here (you can read the full version released to investors here), Spotify boasts 271 million active monthly users (up from 207 million in 2018), 124 million of which are paying subscribers (up from 96 million in 2018). In particular, the company points to podcasting as a huge area of growth, up 200% year-over-year with more than 700,000 podcast titles now on the platform.
Financially, Spotify took in €1.638 billion ($1.784B USD) billion in revenue from paying subscribers and €217 million ($236M USD) from users on the ad-supported / free version. The company touted the success of its Wrapped program, which allows users to tally and share their most-listened to songs and artists of the year, which saw engagement with 60 million users, received 40 million shares, and generated 6.5 billion individual song streams. Spotify also credited its partnership with Google Home, which allows premium subscribers to grab a free Google Home Mini, in generating new subscribers, although specific numbers were not made available.
In spite of all the encouraging growth signs, the company still reported a €186 “net loss attributable to owners of the parent” ($203M USD). Expenditures in the research and development, sales and marketing, administrative and financial categories contributed to that loss, despite a gross revenue (total money taken in minus cost of goods sold, including payouts to artists and rights holders) of €1.722 billion ($1.876B USD).
The company is optimistic about its continued growth in 2020 and, who knows, might even turn a profit.