Spotify sees subscriber numbers surge as lockdown spurs demand for podcasts

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Spotify Technology SA (NYSE:SPOT) saw a surge in subscribers in its latest quarter, which had helped push the music streaming service’s annual revenues up by 17%.

Subscription numbers jumped by 155mln in the quarter, exceeding the top end of the guidance range said the Sweden-based but US-listed business.

Spotify added that it gained a net 10m subscribers over the last three months of the year, with a record 30mln net signings over 2020.

Total monthly users, including non-payers, surged 27% during the final quarter to 345mln, again at the top of expectations with net additions of 74mln.

Average revenue per user fell 8% to  €4.26 year-on-year in the final quarter but usage rose again with core regions in Europe and the US seeing consumption tick up.

Podcast consumption in the fourth quarter was nearly double this time a year ago with the exclusive Joe Rogan Experience its number one podcast in 17 countries.

Ad revenues were affected by the impact of coronavirus, but picked up steadily from the second quarter, Spotify said, and helped by the growth in subscriptions revenues rose 10% to US$2.17bn in the three months to end December quarter-on-quarter and by 17% year-on-year.

Losses for the quarter were little changed on a year ago at US$179mln (US$173mln) as R&D and marketing costs rose.

For the 2020 year overall, losses were US$709mln on revenues of US$7.88bn.

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