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News July 30, 2020

Spotify’s paid subscribers surge, Melissa Circosta joins ANZ team

Senior Journalist, B2B
Spotify’s paid subscribers surge, Melissa Circosta joins ANZ team

It wasn’t exactly full-steam ahead for Spotify during the pandemic, as the streamer saw its base of paid subscribers grow from 130 million to 138 million in the second quarter, ahead of analysts’ expectations, while a big drain on ad sales squeezed its bottom line.

The Swedish tech giant fell just short of posting 300 million total monthly active users, up by 29% from the previous quarter.

The health crisis has punished almost every business, and Spotify isn’t immune.

Ad revenue took a hit, down 21% year-over-year to €131 million in Q2. Total revenue in the period blasted ahead to €1.89 billion, up 13% year over year but just 2% more than Q1’s €1.85 billion ($2.17 billion) result, falling short of forecasts. 

Its net loss widened to €356 million, against €76 million in Q2 2019.

The bean counters at Spotify have spotted a correlation between coronavirus hotspots and consumption. Regions where the spread of COVID-19 appears to be slowing, including Asia Pacific and Europe, have “led the recovery,” according to a letter to shareholders.

The logo for music streaming service Spotify, whose CEO has addressed their "Hateful Content" policy

Spotify

Growth in North America exceeded expectations, India “outperformed our forecast this quarter thanks to strong performance from marketing campaigns in the region, while Latin America and Rest of World continue to see the fastest growth, reads the note.

As global industry ground to a halt, Spotify got dragged in April and May before staging a fightback. Overall, its business “performed well” in a difficult situation, and “we significantly outperformed expectations in the month of June,” according to the note.

Consumption hours are said to have recovered to pre-COVID levels, with in-car listening at the end of the quarter tracking at about 90% of pre-COVID levels, having dipped to a 50% at the lowest point in April.

“We had a very strong quarter,” Ek said in prepared remarks during an investors call, reported by Billboard. “I’ve never been more bullish about where we are today and our future opportunity. There are still billions of people who have yet to discover on-demand music streaming or listen to a podcast, and many more we have yet to reach in markets around the world.”

Melissa Circosta

In other news, Spotify has appointed Melissa Circosta as head of communications for Australia and New Zealand, an experienced PR with stints as Comms Lead at Mastercard, as Group Account Director at Eleven PR (which counted Spotify among its clients) and, more recently, as freelance PR director at Zeno Group.

Circosta succeeds Sophie Paterson, who left in April after eight years in the position.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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