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Spotify’s Q4 earnings: 271 million subscribers and tremendous podcast growth

Spotify’s Q4 earnings: 271 million subscribers and tremendous podcast growth
[Photo: rakhmat suwandi/Unsplash]

Spotify reported its Q4 2019 earnings today, and it did see some pretty impressive growth in a number of metrics, though the company also continued to insure some large operating losses. Here’s how Spotify’s Q4 2019 numbers break down:

  • Monthly active users (MAU) grew 31% year-over-year to 271 million at the end of Q4.
  • Premium subscribers (that is, paying subscribers) totaled 129 million at the end of Q4, up 29% year-over-year.
  • Total Q4 revenue was €1.85 billion ($2 billion), up 24% year-over-year.
  • Premium revenue was €1.6 billion ($1.76 billion) in Q4, up 24% year-over-year.
  • Ad-supported revenue was €217 million ($239 million) in Q4, up 23% year-over-year.
  • On the premium side of things, the average revenue per user (ARPU) was €4.65 ($5.13) in Q4, down 5% year-over-year.

Spotify attributes a majority of the 5% fall in premium ARPU to “the extension of the free trial period across our entire product suite in the quarter.” Other notable points from Spotify’s results include tremendous growth in its podcasting content. Spotify says that it now has 700,000 podcast titles on its platform and podcast consumption hours grew 200% year-over-year.

One negative point in its earnings was the company saw its operating expenses increase 80% year-over-year to €551 million ($607 million) in Q4. Spotify attributed this to “higher than expected social charges resulting from an increase in our share price.” “Social charges” are payroll taxes due with stock-based compensation.

Spotify also revealed its full 2020 guidance. The company says by the end of 2020 it expects to have between 328 million and 348 million monthly active users, between 126 million and 131 million premium subscribers, and total revenue of between €1.71 billion and €1.91 billion ($1.88 billion to $2.1 billion).

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