The streaming music industry remains a lucrative, if volatile, field for companies, and the latest news from Spotify further confirms this. Financial filings from Spotify Thursday show the company had growth in both paid users and losses last year.
For the previous year, Spotify reported growth in its total user base of 38 percent to 126 million users. The company also announced Thursday it had reached more than 140 million monthly active users. Among its Spotify Premium subscription tier, the streaming music service saw a similar jump of 71 percent to a total base of 48 million users. Earlier this year, Spotify touted on Twitter that it had broken the 50-million user mark for Spotify Premium.
However, the streaming service also saw significant upticks in losses last year. Spotify posted a 52 percent gain in revenue to 2.9 billion euros ($3.2 billion), but also saw its year-over-year net operating losses jump from 231.4 million euros ($248.07 million) to 539.2 million euros ($601.34 million). Spotify attributed the jump to increased operating costs and other expenses.
Spotify is currently in the process of negotiating deals with several major industry groups. Earlier this year, it agreed to deals with indie label group Merlin and Universal Music Group. As part of these negotiations, labels can now choose to make certain high-profile releases limited exclusives for Spotify Premium.
Spotify vs. Apple Music: Which Service Is Bigger?
As the streaming music service market starts to contract, Spotify and Apple are two of the bigger remaining players. For Apple, Apple Music hasn’t necessarily been focused on achieving scale. At its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple said Apple Music had 27 million paid subscribers. As for its financials, Apple has traditionally lumped Apple Music into its Services section, which includes App Store, iTunes and other revenue sources, on its financial disclosures.
But with some basic math, it’s possible to get a rough estimate of Apple Music’s size. Earlier this year, analyst Amit Daryanani at RBC Capital Markets previously estimated that Apple Music contributes around 10 percent to Apple’s total services revenue. Going off Apple’s first quarter services revenue of $7.17 billion for 2017, Apple Music could conservatively have brought in around $717 million in revenue for the quarter.
What’s Next for Spotify?
As for Spotify, the streaming company reportedly is planning to go public through a direct offering later this year or in early 2018.
“We face strong competition for users, listening hours and advertiser spending, and we face competition from players with substantial resources at their disposal,” Spotify said in its filing.