Spotify sees losses mount as it ploughs millions into podcasts

Spotify continues to pull in subscribers but losses mount as it ploughs millions into podcasts

Subscribers flocked to Spotify at the end of last year even as a costly bet on podcasts – including by Harry and Meghan – plunged the streaming service deeper into the red.

In an update that sent shares up more than 6 per cent in New York, the Swedish company said the total number of monthly active users rose by a fifth to 489m in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Paid subscribers – the company’s main source of revenue – also smashed expectations, rising 14 per cent to 205m. 

Royalties: Spotify reportedly splashed out around £15m for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archetypes series

That pushed quarterly revenues up 18 per cent to £2.8billion. But losses hit £187million – far worse than the £6million shortfall in the same period a year earlier – after Spotify pumped millions into star-studded shows.

Spotify has invested heavily in podcasts, reportedly forking out as much as £15million for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archetypes series.

The Harry and Meghan podcast has been regarded as a success internally for Spotify, attracting royal fans and critics alike. 

It was hailed by former chief content officer Dawn Ostroff, who left last week, as ‘among the top three or four most followed podcasts in the world’.

Shares in Snapchat owner Snap Inc plunged 14 per cent after its latest disappointing set of results.

The messaging app said sales in the last three months of 2022 stagnated, rising just 0.1 per cent to £1billion as advertisers cut back on spending. 

Losses for the quarter ballooned to £233million, from just £20million a year earlier. 

It took losses for the year to £1.1billion, almost double last year’s £570million.