entertainment 4 days ago

Spotify Now Has 200 Million Users, But Only Half of Them Pay for Music

Rolling Stone — Amy X. Wang

Spotify surpassed 200 million monthly active users at the end of 2018, the 10-year-old streaming service announced during an interview at Las Vegas’s Consumer Electronics Show this week.

In November, Spotify said in a financial disclosure to investors that it had 191 million monthly active users, 87 million of them paying subscribers and 109 million of them on the free, ad-supported tier — which means that even if all of the 9 million users it’s added since then were on the premium subscription tier, Spotify would still only be drawing monthly subscription fees from 50 percent of its user base. But according to global head of communications Dustee Jenkins, the company is focused on growth “first and foremost.”

“We’ve said all along, we want to focus on growth,” Jenkins said in the CES event. “We believe in being a profitable company, but first and foremost we have to grow and get to regions of the world that still don’t have Spotify. There are still parts of the United States where Spotify is not widely used.” She added that the company is well aware that there’s “a lot of competition” in the music-streaming space and that “we’re only as good as the user thinks we are, so we have to continue to enhance our service.”

The company was scant on further details about its advances in the streaming market, but it has been ramping up its advertising (both original and third-party) in recent months and doubling down on promoting non-musical content on its platform. Jenkins said Spotify believes there is a “significant opportunity in podcasts,” calling diversity of audio content a “game-change.” This idea echoes the desires of many other digital music companies recently, such as Pandora and Apple, to broaden their offerings beyond music itself to lure in more all-around entertainment fans.

The Swedish streaming service’s next earnings report, for the fourth quarter of 2018, is slated for February 6th.