Spotify subscribers hit 188 million amid podcasting setbacks

Spotify’s premium subscriber count rose to 188 million in the second quarter, while its monthly active users (MAUs) now stand at 433 million, the company said in an earnings release today. This represents a year-over-year increase of 14% and 19% respectively, and compares to the figures of 182 million and 422 million announced last quarter. The company says its MAU growth was the strongest on record in the second quarter and exceeded its forecast.

The earnings come at the end of a quarter in which Spotify’s big push into podcasts suffered some hiccups. One of his biggest podcasts, Reply to all, aired its final episode on June 23 after co-hosts Alex Goldman and Emmanuel Dzotsi decided to leave production company Gimlet. Meanwhile, the Obamas, who signed a high profile podcasting deal with Spotify in 2019, recently decided not to extend the deal and will instead work with rival podcasting platform Audible.

Spotify is still a podcasting giant thanks to shows like the Joe Rogan Experience and more recent hits like Break the bread, and the number of podcasts available through its service continues to grow. But the company sees audiobooks as its next major source of growth. It acquired audiobook platform Findaway last year, and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek called audiobooks “a huge opportunity” for the company.

Spotify suffered a loss of 125 million euros (about $127 million) this quarter, although it tends to prioritize subscriber growth over quarterly profits. Average revenue per user now sits at €4.54 (~$4.60), up/down from €4.38 (~$4.44) last quarter.

Once again, the quarter has passed without Spotify announcing a release date or price for Spotify HiFi, a new, higher-quality subscription tier it announced over a year ago. in February 2021. The tier is intended to offer lossless CD-quality music streams (similar to what is already offered by competitors Apple Music and Amazon Music) and Spotify had originally announced that it would launch by end of last year. It is unclear what is causing the ongoing delay.

While Spotify is widely considered the biggest music streaming service in the world, many of its biggest Western rivals don’t post comparable subscriber numbers. The latest numbers from Apple and Amazon’s music streaming services compiled by music ally have a few years at this point, but in 2019, Apple Music had about 60 million paid subscribers, while in 2020, Amazon Music had 55 million.

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