This is why Spotify isn’t just talking the talk about podcasts

30 Apr 2019

Image: © spaxiax/

100m paying subscribers and the rise of podcasts make for beautiful harmonies.

Audio streaming platform Spotify has surpassed the milestone of 100m paid subscribers, getting there ahead of rival Apple Music.

The financials reveal the company has a passion for podcasts and is putting its money where its mouth is.

‘More than 50,000 shows have been submitted to Spotify through Spotify for Podcasters’

The Swedish music giant reported yesterday (29 April) that its monthly active users were up 26pc year on year.

Premium subscribers who pay €9.99 per month reached the 100m-user mark, up 32pc year on year.

For Q1, the company reported revenues of more than €1.5bn.

However, the company slipped from the black back into the red, reporting a loss of €47m.

Key highlights from the quarter include Spotify expanding its Google Home Mini partnership in France and the UK, including a free device for new and existing Family Plan accounts. The company also struck promotional relationships with Hulu and Samsung, and revealed that the value of its Tencent Music investment increased by €652m to €2.3bn.

Graphic showing Spotify's financial performance for the first quarter of 2019.

Image: Spotify

In Pod we trust

One of the most interesting insights to emerge from the results is the company’s rapid drive into podcasting.

The company is understood to have paid around €50m to acquire LA-based Parcast, creator of popular podcasts Serial Killers, Female Criminals and Mind’s Eye.

In all, Spotify is understood to have spent €358m to acquire Parcast and two other podcast start-ups, Gimlet and Anchor.

In October last year, the company launched Spotify for Podcasters in beta to provide podcast creators with tools and data insights about audience demographics. Early adoption is gaining momentum, with more than 20,000 podcast teams now using the platform on a monthly basis.

“Additionally, more than 50,000 shows have been submitted to Spotify through Spotify for Podcasters, enabling listeners around the world to discover new and unique content that suits their interests,” the company said. “Today there are more than 250,000 podcast titles available on our platform.”

Hitting the high notes

Another vital insight into where the streaming giant is heading next is original content via Podcasts.

During the quarter it launched 15 original and exclusive podcasts including Podkinski in Germany, Gynning & Berg in Sweden and a daily news podcast called Café da Manhã in Brazil, a format it hopes to expand to other countries in Latin America.

As well as this, Spotify for Artists a launched a new feature called Unique Links, which enables artists to share a customised URL that links to a playlist featuring their tracks at the top of the playlist.

“By offering greater personalisation of Editorial playlists, we’ve increased the number of artists featured on playlists by 30pc and the number of songs listeners are discovering by 35pc,” the company told shareholders.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years