Spotify latest earnings release suggests the streaming audio service’s subscriber numbers haven’t seen much, if any, impact from the controversies surrounding its Joe Rogan podcast. just a few months ago.
In the quarter ending March 31, Spotify says its premium subscribers rose 15 percent year over year to 182 million, up from 180 million the previous quarter. Monthly active users rose 19 percent year-on-year to 422 million, up from 406 million at the end of last year. For context, in the previous quarter, premium subscribers were up 16 percent year over year, while monthly active users were up 18 percent.
Spotify previously expected to hit 183 million premium subscribers this quarter, but narrowly missed this target as a result of withdrawing from the Russian market. “Excluding the impact of our exit from Russia, subscriber growth exceeded expectations,” the company said in its press release.
Spotify’s subscriber growth doesn’t appear to have slowed significantly as a result of the Joe Rogan controversy, which hit the company this financial quarter. The controversy began when high-profile artists such as Neil Young Y Joni Mitchell pulled their music from the platform after they said Joe Rogan was using his Spotify podcast to spread misinformation about vaccines. Bloomberg noted that #SpotifyDeleted soon trended on Twitter, as users pledged to stop using the service.
Rogan recently revealed that he actually gained subscribers as a result of the controversy. “It’s interesting, my subscriptions increased enormously, that’s the crazy thing”, Rogan he said in a recent episode. “During the height of it all, I gained 2 million subscribers.”
Spotify is widely considered to be the largest audio streaming service in the world. Competitors like Amazon Music and Apple Music don’t regularly release subscriber numbers, but the latest public figures compiled by music ally saw Apple Music with 60 million subscribers and Amazon Music with 55 million.
Spotify announced that it would suspend its services in Russia at the end of March, a few days before the end of the financial quarter. In a statement, the company cited “recently enacted legislation” as the reason for the suspension; an apparent reference to a Russian law passed in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine that punishes the dissemination of “fake news” with up to 15 years in prison. Spotify announced the suspension near the end of the financial quarter and said it expected services to end entirely in April. It reports that it has already seen 1.5 million disconnections as a result of a liquidation and that it expects to see 600,000 more in April for a total of more than 2 million.
Otherwise, Spotify’s average revenue per user fell slightly from €4.40 (about $4.66) for premium subscribers last quarter to €4.38 this quarter (about $4.65), though it rose 6 percent year over year. In total, the company made a profit of 131 million euros this quarter. Spotify typically prioritizes subscriber growth over quarterly earnings and revenue, which has made quarterly earnings like this relatively uncommon.
This quarter marked a year since Spotify announced a new higher quality streaming level called Spotify HiFi which would offer CD-quality lossless streaming. Despite saying that he intended to launch HiFi before the end of the year, it is not yet available. Meanwhile, the world’s second largest music streaming service, Apple Music, Announced Y then released own lossless music streaming after Spotify announcement, while Amazon stopped charging extra no loss in your service.