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Spotify now has 100M paying subscribers, but it’s still losing money

Published Apr 29th, 2019 4:09PM EDT
Spotify Premium
Image: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Spotify now has 100 million subscribers paying for the streaming music service’s Premium subscription tier, in addition to now enjoying a presence in 79 markets since the company went public a year ago this month.

However, the milestone which Spotify announced today also illustrates a fundamental truth about the streaming music business. It’s apparently really hard to make money, given that Spotify’s announcement of 100 million paying subscribers comes at a time the company also lost $158 million during the most recent quarter.

Barron’s reports that the company’s latest quarterly earnings performance has been seen as less than stellar by Wall Street. The 100 million number is certainly strong, as is the fact that Spotify now boasts 217 million monthly active users. Meanwhile, other key metrics failed to impress. Spotify’s average revenue per user, for example, slipped in light of the company adding more family and student plans, which the report notes are cheaper on a per-user basis.

The company is positioning podcasts as a growth area for its business, with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek telling analysis on the company’s earnings conference call that Spotify will be rolling out new tools to podcast creators and improving podcast advertising capabilities. But the future’s not going to be any easier for the company, which will face a new threat soon from Amazon and the new music service the retailer plans to launch.

Nevertheless, Spotify is celebrating its 100 million-strong milestone today for good reason, and in the way it knows best. By creating a themed playlist.

“In celebration of this accomplishment and in thanks to you, our subscribers, we’ve put together a special playlist,” the company announced via a blog post today. “Look closely and you’ll notice that each song title contains a number. When combined, they add up to 100 million — just like all of you.  Thanks to all our premium subscribers for being one in a [100] million.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.