Spotify bounces back after lull caused by lockdowns

Hannah Boland
·2-min read
Spotify's new music releases during the third quarter were up 13pc, led by Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” album - Universal
Spotify's new music releases during the third quarter were up 13pc, led by Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” album - Universal

Spotify said more than 320 million people were now using its streaming service every month, with numbers of those listening to music and podcasts surpassing pre-pandemic levels. 

The world’s largest streaming audio service said it had added 21 million monthly active users in the three months to the end of September, beating its own expectations.

The latest release means Spotify has pulled further ahead from Apple Music, its closest competitor, which has around 60 million paying customers. Amazon Music meanwhile has around 55 million. 

The company said listening had recovered to "normal usage" in the third quarter, after a lull earlier this year when many consumers stopped travelling or commuting.

Now, following a resurgence of demand in May, Spotify said the number of people listening to music and podcasts in their cars was above the pre-Covid peak, and that more consumers were listening on connected devices inside their homes than they had ever done before.

During the three-month period, premium subscribers, who pay to listen to services without ads, were up 27pc year on year to 144 million, at the top of Spotify's guidance range. 

The Swedish company did, however, experience a dip in average premium revenue per user, after it launched family plans in various regions to help drive subscriber numbers higher. 

Despite that slip, revenue came in 14pc higher year on year, at €1.98bn (£1.79bn).

Spotify benefitted from a jump in the number of new music releases on its site, up 13pc on the prior quarter, with Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” album leading the pack, setting a record for the most first day album streams by a female artist.

Spotify has recently been doubling down on the number of podcasts on its platform, and has struck exclusive deals for podcasts with the likes of Joe Rogan, Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian.

However, this push has not been without its issues, and earlier this week Spotify became embroiled in a dispute over the popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast, after it featured an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Mr Jones's own podcast was removed from Spotify two years ago for "repeated violations of Spotify's prohibited content policies". 

Buzzfeed News reported that Spotify had emailed managers over the incident, saying it was "important to have diverse voices" on the platform. 

Telegraph Tech 100 2020: see the full list
Telegraph Tech 100 2020: see the full list