Spotify has revealed its number of premium subscribers and it is much more than that of Apple Music. Yes, Spotify is still the leader of music streaming services with over 124 million premium subscribers. This is more than double of Apple Music whose last reported number of member stands on 60 million. Reports suggest that the Stockholm based music service provider is expected to grow this number in the range of 126 million to 131 million by the end of this quarter. However, this is not turning into revenue as some of those premium members are either paying at a discounted rate or paying nothing at all. The rise in its number of subscribers is because of several promotional campaigns. One of the most popular among all is ‘3 months on us’ for new users and a win-back for returning members.
This is why Spotify is expecting a financial loss in the first quarter of this year despite continued growth in premium subscribers and monthly active users. But the most important aspect of this growth is that it is happening in the field where it matters – podcast. The number of podcast users in the United States has been rising consistently, so does podcast members of Spotify. The podcast-streaming hours of Spotify have seen a rise of 200-percent when compare to the same period last year.
Keeping this in mind, Spotify is set to make yet another big-budget purchase to give a boost to its podcast. The streaming music company is purchasing Bill Simmons’s The Ringer. The Ringer is a podcast-centric media company and generated USD 15 million from podcast last year. The talks to buy The Ringer started in October 2019 and the deal has now been finalized. The sale price has not been disclosed and the formalities will take place in the first quarter of 2020. As per the deal, Spotify is expected to hire all of Simmons’s 90 employees. Most of them work on the company’s website which covers culture and sports. Spotify wants to keep the site running but its main focus will be Simmons’s ability to produce the podcast. This will Spotify’s fourth podcast company acquisition in the past one year. It has already spent around USD 400 million to purchase Anchor FM, Gimlet Media, and Parcast. Spotify executives argue that these purchases will not only help them brining in new users but also keep existing users for longer.
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