×

Spotify Projects Slower Growth, 90 Million-Plus Subscribers by End of 2018

Spotify expects revenue to grow by around 20 to 30 percent this year — and between 92 and 96 million paying subscribers — the company announced on Monday, in guidance issued ahead of its public listing on the New York Stock Exchange next week.

The company, the world’s largest streaming service, said it expected 2018 revenue of 4.9 billion to 5.3 billion euros ($6.1 billion to $6.8 billion), although decline from 2017, when its revenue rose 39 percent. For the first quarter, the company said it expected revenue of 1.10 billion to 1.15 billion euros, up 22 to 27 percent.

The company still projects no clear path to profitability, but it has said multiple times that its strategy for this phase is growth over profit, which it expects as its number of users grows.

Spotify says it has 157 million monthly active users in 61 countries, 71 million of those in its premium paid subscription tier, “which we believe is nearly double the scale of our closest competitor, Apple Music,” the company said in a filing, although that number includes users on a free trial basis. Earlier this month, Apple’s Eddy Cue said Apple Music has 38 million subscribers, plus another eight million users in free-trial mode.

In a presentation on March 15 dubbed “Investor Day,” the company confirmed that it will go public on April 3 and doubled down on its controversial “freemium” free trial service, which rights-holders despise but the company asserts has converted many users into paying subscribers.

In a response clearly intended to counter claims that Spotify is not paying artists sufficiently, cofounder and CEO Daniel Ek said the company’s goal is to enable 1 million people to live from music. Head of artist relations Troy Carter spoke about the company’s Spotify for Artists, which helps them pinpoint their audience and its habits and which he said more than 100,000 artists per months are using. However, his claim that “Today, most of the artists’ reservations [about Spotify] have been addressed” would probably be disputed by many.

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Review: Taylor Swift Finds Giddiness, Amid

    Album Review: Taylor Swift's 'Lover'

    Sitting in a hot tub on “Saturday Night Live,” Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch stole the sobriquet “love-ah” from the lexicon of acceptable terms of endearment — and, by golly, Taylor Swift is reaching into that oily water and stealing it back. The word doesn’t sound unctuous on her lips as she repeats it in [...]

  • Travis ScottWireless Festival, Finsbury Park, London,

    Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix Documentary Reveal, Pop-Up in Houston

    Travis Scott just revealed his new Netflix documentary in the most organic way possible: a social media post to his 18.5 million followers on Instagram. The photo consisted of him holding a series of VHS tapes, which turns out to be the trailer for his forthcoming documentary on Netflix titled “Look Mom I Can Fly.” [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

  • Taylor Swift Debuts 'Lover' Video, Sings

    Taylor Swift Debuts 'Lover' Video, Sings 'Archer' During YouTube Livestream (Watch)

    Taylor Swift went live on YouTube today to talk about the inspiration behind her new album “Lover,” dropping tonight. Those who tuned into the live event on Swift’s YouTube channel were virtual attendees of the “Lover’s Lounge,” which included an acoustic performance of her already released single “The Archer,” a Q&A sesh and a behind-the-scenes [...]

  • Missy-Elliot VMA

    Missy Elliott to Drop New EP, ‘Iconology,’ Tonight

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Missy Elliott dropped her last album, and in that time she’s released a handful of songs, made some guest features, played some lconcerts, appeared alongside Katy Perry at the 2015 Super Bowl and this year she’s been voted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and on Monday night she’ll [...]

  • John Janick Interscope Geffen

    And the New Interscope Records Publicity Chief Is...

    Variety has confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in the music business: Cara Donatto is joining Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) as its new head of publicity. She arrives at the Universal Music Group label from Atlantic Records, where she has spent nearly two decades of her career guiding public relations strategy for such artists [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content