Spotify reports a growing subscriber base despite the recent controversy surrounding Joe Rogan. The streaming platform now has 182 million premium users.
As the saying goes, there is no bad publicity. Despite the controversy the platform was mired in just months ago, Spotify’s quarterly report shows there wasn’t much hit to its subscriber base. The company attracted 15 percent more premium uses compared to last Q1 figures. The total rose to 182 million from 180 million last quarter. Monthly active users shot up 19 percent year on year from 406 million to 422 million.
The streaming platform projected 183 million users for this quarter. However, Spotify missed its target due to pulling out of the Russian market after the country invaded Ukraine. Spotify said it was due to recently enacted Russian legislation when announcing the withdrawal. The government had passed a law that punished what it interprets as misinformation with up to 15 years imprisonment. The move saw a 1.5 million dip in subscriber number immediately and expected 600,000 more in April.
It was a frustrating turn of events for Spotify, which just recently launched its service in the country. It said the launch was the most successful in its history of roll-outs.
Spotify reported its average revenue per user dropped from about $4.66 per premium user to $4.65 quarter on quarter but actually rose 6 percent year on year. However, profit stood at almost $165 million. Spotify has been focusing on increasing the number of subscribers instead of pursuing profit every quarter.
Speaking of controversies, it appears Spotify weathered the Joe Rogan scandal very well. This was despite some high-profile artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulling their music from the platform. Joe Rogan was accused of giving a platform to a misinformation campaign about vaccines on his podcast.
The man at the center of controversy did claim he gained subscribers to his podcast. “It’s interesting, my subscriptions went up massively — that’s what’s crazy. During the height of it all, I gained 2 million subscribers,” Rogan said on a recent episode.
Spotify is the largest streaming platform for audio content in the world. While the company regularly releases its user numbers, competitors like Apple and Amazon don’t do so. It is easy to see why because they have far fewer users than Spotify, according to official reports.
Spotify expressed its satisfaction with its Q1 performance in the report. “Our business exhibited strength and resiliency in Q1. Nearly all of our key metrics surpassed guidance, led by MAU outperformance, healthy revenue growth, and better Gross Margin. Excluding the impact of our exit from Russia, subscriber growth exceeded expectations as well. Overall, we are very pleased with the performance of the business and remain highly encouraged by the traction we are seeing.”