Popular music streaming application Spotify is growing faster than many expected. This is largely thanks to its recent expansion into podcasts, we’ve learned via an earnings report thanks to The Verge.
According to the report, Spotify’s podcast audience went up over 50 percent since the previous quarterly report, and close to double the numbers from the start of 2019. Of course, this led to an increase in subscribers in general, with premium subs raising 9 percent up to 108 million users paying for the service. Monthly active users, including those who use the free tier of Spotify, went up to 232 million, which is not only a 7 percent increase but higher than predictions could have hoped for.
Toward the start of 2019, Spotify bought out Gimlet Media and Anchor, which ensures users can monetize, create, and put out their podcasts in a streamlined manner. Then, it also brought into Parcast.
During the initial acquisitions, Spotify had said it was planning to invest close to $500 million towards bringing on more podcasts. From there, Daniel Ek, CEO of the streaming space, believes that around 20 percent of all of Spotify’s audio streaming will consist of podcast listening.
Moreover, Spotify also revealed a partnership with once President Barack Obama and his Wife’s media company, Higher Ground Productions. Thanks to this, there will be some podcasts exclusive to Spotify. The Obama’s company also partnered with Netflix recently and is working on American Factory which should come out at some point in 2019.
Regardless, even with the increase in subscribers, the company is still bleeding money. For example, there was a 31 percent rise in subscriber revenue from last year, accounts for close to $1.7 billion. From there, Spotify saw a 34 percent rise in ad-revenue, up to $184 million. However, they’re still in the hole around $3.3 million regarding operating loss. We’ve yet to see if the investment into podcasts will make the company profitable or not.