Spotify’s first earnings report disappoints investors

Music streaming company Spotify has made put out an array of new metrics with its first earnings report as a publicly-trading entity and it has shareholders reacting negatively and strongly so.

It logged €1.139 billion ($1.36 billion) in total revenue in the first quarter ending March 31, up 26 percent from a year ago — we also learn that earnings gained from Premium subscriptions contrast against advertising revenues on free users by a ratio of approximately 10:1. It had converted an operating loss of €41 million, but it’s a 71 percent reduction from 2017.

However, SPOT stock on the New York Stock Exchange plummeted by as much as 9 percent in after-hours trading because the earnings number fell short of €1.143 billion market consensus as compiled by Thomson Reuters. The company blames a lot of negative impact on currency flux and notes its expansion into markets with lower typical revenues per user — already, ARPU is marked at €4.72 with trend lines indicating further decline as family and student plans grow in popularity.

Spotify ended the quarter with 170 million monthly active users and hope to grow the number to between 175 million and 180 million. Currently, the platform has 75 million subscribers, up 4 million from the end of 2017, but the growth rate has cooled off as Apple Music’s rise heats up. It’s expected to grow to between 79 million and 83 million by end of June. It expects further currency flux as well as costs from its recent direct listing to weigh upon next quarter’s report.

One positive trend: premium tier churn (desertion from the service) dipped below 5 percent for the first time, though we won’t learn specific numbers on an ongoing basis.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.