The news: Spotify exceeded investor expectations in Q4, reaching a landmark 489 million monthly users, up by 33 million, and 205 million premium subscribers. Revenues came to €3.17 billion ($3.33 billion), just above expectations, but losses widened to €1.40 per share as its podcasting business continues the long road toward its stated $20 billion goal.
How to look at Spotify: If your knowledge of Spotify was based on headlines alone, you’d assume the company’s primary business is podcasting. But despite its long-term podcasting ambitions, Spotify is still a music app first.
Podcasts are Spotify’s frontier: While its success with music is nearly guaranteed (even though competitors like Apple Music are attempting to find a similar place in pop culture) it makes sense that all eyes are focused on its podcasting business.
What lies ahead? For now, Spotify seems to be steadily coasting through tough times for the economy and advertising industry and prepping for rough waters. But those same issues are making the road to its $20 billion podcasting goal stretch out farther and farther.
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