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Spotify Hits 100M Paid Subscribers, Misses Q1 Earnings Estimates

Despite growing competition, Swedish music streaming service Spotify has become the first subscription service to reach 100 million paid subscribers, compared to 50 million for Apple Music.

Spotify shared the milestone on a company announcement post revealing paid subscribers grew by 32 per cent year on year, however, it is still struggling to turn a profit.

In February 2019, Spotify reported its first profit since the company launched in 2008, to the tune of €94 million (A$150.26 million).

In Q1 2019, it posted a loss of €142 million (A$225.1 million), well over its operating loss projection for the quarter but an improvement of the loss of €169 million (A$267.9 million) it posted in the same period last year.

Including its free subscribers, the streaming giant now has a total of 217 million monthly active users (MAUs) worldwide — bolstered by the new two million subscribers who joined since Spotify launched in India in February 2019.

Spotify is forecasting a user count of 222 to 228 million by the end of this quarter, including 107-110 million paid subscribers.

These numbers put the Swedish streaming service well ahead of its closest global competitor, Apple Music, who reported 50 million paid users worldwide in April 2019.

Spotify also wrote in its Q1 report that it sees voice speakers as a “critical area of growth” for the company, particularly for music and podcasts.

Currently, the company is offering a free Google Home Mini speaker to every family account subscriber in Australia, and there are rumours it is developing its own speaker.

Recently, the streaming giant acquired podcasting platforms Anchor and Gimlet in February and expects revenue from podcasts to “accelerate through 2019” via the use of targeting ads during ad-supported listening.

Spotify currently offers over 250K podcast titles on its platform including exclusive content such as The Joe Budden Podcast, Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith, and Dope Labs.

This new subscriber count diminishes Spotify’s claim that Apple is a “monopolist” in the streaming market.

However, Spotify continues to struggle to convert non-paying subscribers to its Premium tier.

Read the full Q1 2019 report here.

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