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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Spotify reports 29% growth in paid subscribers in 2019

  • In 2020, Spotify expects a slowdown in the growth of its premium subscriber base
  • Spotify says it has over 700,000 podcast titles on the platform now and consumption of these grew by 200% year-on-year

Music streaming service Spotify today reported a 31% growth in its monthly active user (MAUs) base year-on-year. The company, in its Q4 2019 earnings report, said it now has 271 million MAUs worldwide. 124 million of these are paid subscribers, which is a 29% growth year-on-year.

The company also revealed its guidance for the year ahead, saying it expects total MAUs to rise to 324-328 million while premium subscribers (those who pay for the service) should go up to between 143 and 153 million. So, while the company does expect growth in 2020, it expects a slowdown in the growth of its premium subscriber base. The 2020 projection is just 19% higher than the current number.

The company called its guidance for 2020 “conservative", saying that its data, “particularly around the benefits from podcasts, is still reasonably new". However, it also noted that there has been tremendous growth in users listening to podcasts on the platform.

Spotify said it has over 700,000 podcast titles on the platform now and consumption of these grew by 200% year-on-year. “We continue to see exponential growth in podcast hours streamed (up approximately 200% Y/Y) and are now seeing clear indications that podcast usage is driving increased overall engagement and retention," the company said.

The music streaming service didn’t report anything on India or the number of subscribers here though, other than the fact that it entered India during this financial year.

The Indian streaming market has often been touted as a big playing field for platforms like Spotify. In a December 2019 report by Bloomberg, the publication found that YouTube Music (which entered India months after Spotify’s entry) had already amassed over 800,000 subscribers on its paid tier.

While Times Internet-owned Gaana had over a million paid subscribers, the report said that YouTube Music had been growing faster than rivals, including Spotify and Gaana. While Spotify announced two million MAUs in India in its Q1, 2019 earnings report shortly after entering India, it has shied away from talking about how many are paying for the platform.

The India music streaming market has been touted to be a $150 million market, according to a research by TechSci Research. The firm also estimated that the market will reach $400 million by 2023. At the moment, platforms like Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, YouTube Music, Google Play Music and Apple Music are jostling for space here.

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