Spotify has reached 130 million paid subscribers, despite initial concerns over how the COVID-19 crisis could affect listening habits. The music-streaming platform says it gained six million subscribers in the first quarter of 2020. It said the figures fell into the higher end of what had been predicted before the coronavirus outbreak. But analysts have warned Spotify’s quarterly results may not be as positive as the company suggests.
Spotify said a double-digit rise in quarterly revenue had helped offset a decline ad sales, which contributed less than 10% of its overall revenue. “Despite all the turbulence around the world, we hit pretty much all the metrics,” chief executive Daniel Ek told Reuters.
The platform had begun to see a fall in user numbers in February among Countries hit hardest by the virus, including Spain and Italy, he said. But there had been a “meaningful recovery” over the past month.
The company said monthly active users had risen 31% in the quarter. But Media Research analyst Mark Mulligan told BBC News: “Checking an app once a month is not active users.
So says that the ratio of daily active users is where scrutiny needs applying. “Spotify says that the ratio of daily active users relative to monthly active users was ‘strong’ may not be that useful an adjective here.”
Mr. Mulligan also noted 28% of consumers in the US and 25% in the UK had been using their usual commute listening time now for other activities. “It is after all possible to have falling streams but a growing user base, i.e more people signing up but using the service less,” he added.
Last month, Global, which owns Capital FM and talk station LBC, said online radio listening had jumped 15% since the UK’s lockdown began. “The figures indicate that the public is turning to radio in times of crisis,” a Global spokeswoman said at the time.