Technology

Spotify subscribers rise to 236 million after record year

Spotify now boasts 236 million Premium subscribers, a 4 percent increase over last quarter, while its total number of monthly active users rose 5 percent to 602 million. The announcement came as part of its fourth quarter earnings release, which covers the three months ending on December 31st. Over the course of 2023, Spotify’s userbase and premium subscribers grew by 113 and 31 million, respectively, setting records for the company.

The results cap off a year that included both cost-cutting and price increases for the world’s largest audio streaming service. Last December the company announced it would be laying off 17 percent of its workforce, or over 1,500 people, in what was its third major round of layoffs in 2023. Spotify also increased its prices in the US and other markets around the world earlier in to year, which notably saw the monthly cost of a Premium subscription rise to $10.99 after over a decade costing $9.99.

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Despite the drive towards efficiency, Spotify posted a quarterly loss of €70 million (around $75 million), down from a profit of €65 million ($70 million) in Q3. But this was an improvement over the €270 million loss (around $290 million) it posted in the same quarter the previous year. Its net loss stood at €532 million (around $570 million) for the whole of 2023. But average revenue per user was up, and now sits at €4.60, versus €4.34 last quarter and €4.55 in the same quarter a year earlier. Advertising revenue also rose to €501 million (around $538 million) in the quarter, which the Wall Street Journal notes is an all-time high.

Beyond music, Apple’s podcasting and audiobook initiatives continue, although the company has adjusted its approaches in recent months. It recently renewed its deal with Joe Rogan, though has said it’ll now allow his podcast to be distributed via other podcasting platforms. And on the audiobooks side, the streaming service is now allowing Premium subscribers to access 15 hours of audiobook content as part of their subscription, after previously selling it exclusively as an on-demand extra.

Today’s release once again omits any mention of when Spotify’s lossless streaming option could launch. The company announced the feature, which at the time was branded “HiFi” almost three years ago in February 2021, but it’s still yet to announce an official launch date. As of last March it was still coming “at some point” and more recent reports suggest it may now be branded “Supremium,” but it’s not clear exactly when it might be available publicly.

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