Spotify reaches 205 million Premium subscribers as losses mount
The company's pandemic hiring spree caused costs to balloon.
Spotify just released its Q4 earnings and announced that it now has 205 million premium subscribers, up 10 million from last quarter. It also made €3.17 billion ($3.43 billion) in revenue, so it exceeded expectations in both subscriber count and sales. It now counts nearly 500 million monthly active users including ad-supported and paid subscriber tiers.
However, its losses continued with €270 million ($292 million) in red ink compared to €39 million in the same period last year, due to moves that chief executive Daniel Ek called "too ambitious." For all of 2022, the company reported a net €430 million loss ($466 million) on revenue of €11.7 billion ($12.7 billion).
Spotify said that the losses were due to "higher personnel costs primarily due to headcount growth and higher advertising costs," along with currency fluctuations. That helps explain the company's actions last week, when it announced that it was laying off 6 percent of its workforce as part of a company-wide restructuring.
As part of that, chief content officer Dawn Ostroff stepped down and Ek said that the company would "fundamentally change how we operate at the top," including his own role. At the time, Ek said that "in hindsight, I was too ambitious in investing ahead of our revenue growth." Looking ahead to the next quarter, Spotify forecasts that it'll hit a half-billion monthly active users and see a modest boost to 207 million premium subscribers.