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Spotify sees strong user, revenue growth in Q1 2022 despite Russia exit, Joe Rogan controversy

Spotify sees strong user, revenue growth in Q1 2022 despite Russia exit, Joe Rogan controversy
Photo Credit: Pixabay
27 Apr, 2022
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Global music streaming service provider, Spotify, reported a healthy growth in its user base and revenue in the first quarter of 2022. In its latest earnings call for Q1 2022, Spotify said that despite its suspension of services in Russia, as well as headwinds created by the exit of artists such as Neil Young from the platform, total monthly active users (MAUs) on the platform grew by 19% year-on-year (YoY).

Spotify’s overall user base now stands at 422 million users worldwide, of which 182 million are paying users. The growth in its paying user base was lesser through Q1 2022, growing by 15% YoY. This helped the company to a 24% YoY growth in total revenue, which hit $2.8 billion during the quarter.

The company announced in late March that it would be suspending its services in Russia as an effect of the nation’s conflict with Ukraine, stating that “enacted legislation” in the country that sought to punish tech companies with up to 15 years of imprisonment for “spreading fake news” as the reason behind its withdrawal. The same, however, is expected to be completed this month, and therefore, the impact of this exit may not have been too heavy on the music streaming service provider during Q1 2022.

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During the earnings call, Daniel Ek, chief executive of Spotify, said that the platform saw its premium subscriber base grow despite losing about 1.5 million users due to its suspension of services in Russia.

The European and American markets continue to remain the most popular areas for Spotify, which the company also disclosed during its earnings call. While European users accounted for 39% of all paying subscribers of the service, 50% of them also came from North and Latin America. The rest of the world, which includes markets such as India, accounted for 11% of Spotify’s 182 million paying users during this quarter.

Earlier this year, Gustav Gyllenhammar, vice-president of markets and subscriber growth at Spotify, stated that the service’s premium subscriber base in India doubled through 2021, and referred to India as a “top 10 engagement market,” in an interview with The Economic Times. However, the executive did not offer absolute numbers in terms of how many paying users Spotify has in the country.

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Earlier this year, Spotify also faced backlash from popular musicians such as Neil Young, who accused the platform of allowing podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan to spread vaccine misinformation. Despite their withdrawal, Spotify’s premium subscriber base has continued to grow through the quarter.