Spotify’s latest earnings release suggests that the audio-streaming service’s subscriber numbers haven’t been impacted much, if at all, by the controversy surrounding its podcast, Joe Rogan just a few months ago.
For the quarter ended March 31, Spotify said its premium subscribers grew 15 percent year over year to 182 million, from 180 million in the previous quarter. Monthly active users grew 19 percent year over year to 422 million, up from 406 million at the end of last year. For comparison, in the previous quarter, premium subscribers grew 16 percent year over year, while monthly active users grew 18 percent.
Spotify had previously expected to reach 183 million Premium subscribers this quarter, but fell slightly short of that target due to its withdrawal from the Russian market. “Excluding the impact of our exit from Russia, subscriber growth has 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 that gripped the company this fiscal quarter. The controversy began when high-profile artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their music from the platform after saying Joe Rogan uses his Spotify podcast to spread misinformation about vaccines. Bloomberg written down that #SpotifyDeleted was soon trending on Twitter as users vowed to stop using the service.
Rogan recently revealed that he actually gained subscribers as a result of the controversy. “It’s interesting, my subscriptions have increased massively – that’s crazy,” Rogan said in a recent episode. “At the peak of it all, I gained 2 million subscribers.”
Spotify is widely regarded as the world’s largest audio streaming service. Competitors such as Amazon Music and Apple Music do not regularly publish subscriber numbers, but rather the last public figure compiled by Musical ally saw Apple Music with 60 million subscribers and Amazon Music with 55 million.
Spotify announced that it would discontinue its services in Russia Late March, a few days before the end of the fiscal quarter. In a statement, the company cited “recent legislation” as the reason for the suspension; an apparent reference to a Russian law passed after its invasion of Ukraine and the proliferation of “fake news‘ with up to 15 years in prison. Spotify announced the suspension late in the fiscal quarter and said it expects services to be fully shut down by April. It reports that it has already seen 1.5 million disconnects due to a settlement and that another 600,000 are expected in April for a total of over 2 million.
Elsewhere, Spotify’s average revenue per user fell slightly from €4.40 (around $4.66) for premium subscribers last quarter to €4.38 this quarter (around $4.65), although it was down year-on-year increased by 6 percent. Overall, the company made a profit of 131 million euros in this quarter. Spotify generally prioritizes subscriber growth over quarterly earnings and revenue, which has made such quarterly gains relatively uncommon.
This quarter has been a year since Spotify announced a new one Higher quality streaming tier called Spotify HiFi that would provide CD-quality lossless streaming. Although it has said it wants to launch HiFi before the end of the year, it is still not available. The second largest music streaming service in the world, Apple Music, announced and then started lossless music streaming after Spotify’s announcement while Amazon has stopped charging additional fees for lossless on its service.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/27/23044260/spotify-financial-results-q1-2022-joe-rogan-russia-suspension Spotify subscribers rise to 182 million despite Joe Rogan controversy