Spotify has released its earnings report and from what we can read, it seems the controversy that has courted the streaming service in recent months has had no impact on its books. Just a few months ago, the hashtag "Spotify Deleted" was trending online after the Joe Rogan controversy. But despite the backlash, Spotify numbers all appear to be in good shape.
According to the data, the number of premium subscribers at the streaming service went up by around 15% during the quarter ending March 31st. Spotify saw a surge of nearly 2 million in its premium subscribers. In addition to this, the number of monthly active users under the same review period also went up by around 19 percent year on year. It increased from 406 million to around 422 million people.
Despite this, Spotify did not manage to hit its expected subscriber targets. According to data released by the streaming service, the goal was to hit 183 million premium subscribers during the last quarter. The company however managed to get to 182 million. The streaming service noted that its decision to withdraw from the Russian market may have hampered these efforts.
In essence, even with the missed subscriber target, Spotify delivered a big and strong quarter for investors. The Joe Rogan controversy was a huge risk factor for the company. The problem was so serious that major high-profile artists started to pull out their music from Spotify.
Neil Young and Joni Mitchell were some of the major artists who announced they were pulling out of Spotify. There was also the #spotifydeleted hashtag that trended on Twitter for months. It looked at the time that the Joe Rogan incident would push so many active users from Spotify.
But this never materialized if anything, it seems like it’s just business as usual for the streaming service. Rogan himself also revealed that he had gained subscribers shortly after this controversy. The podcast host noted that he may have gained “2 million subscribers” during the height of this drama. With everything said and done, there is no doubt that Spotify has now put the Rogan mess behind it. The future is looking bright indeed.
After all, Spotify is largely considered the biggest audio streaming service in the world. Its biggest competitors have often been Amazon Music and Apple Music. Although both these services don’t release subscriber numbers regularly, the last time they did they were falling way behind Spotify. The loss of the Russian market is however going to be a big let-down for the audio streaming service. In fact, after beginning operations in Russia, Spotify called the launch the “most successful new market launch” in history.
But the company has now pulled out of the country. Spotify cited new laws enacted by the Kremlin that would punish spreading "fake news" with 15 years in prison as the main cause of the withdrawal. Nonetheless, even with the growth in premium subscribers, revenues per user in the quarter ending March 31st fell slightly. The company reported a net profit of 131 million euros this quarter alone.