Not music to Spotify's ears - yet another loss

HOLDOUTS: Swift is one of those artists who have kept some or all of their music off the streaming service.


    May 25, 2016

    Not music to Spotify's ears - yet another loss


    STREAMING leader Spotify said on Monday that its losses deepened last year even as the company topped US$2 billion (S$2.8 billion) in revenue amid the global boom in online music.

    The Swedish company founded in 2008 has been at the forefront of the music industry's turn to streaming, which offers unlimited music on demand, yet it has never turned a profit itself.

    Luxembourg-based holding company Spotify Technologies said revenue jumped 80 per cent to 1.945 billion euros (S$3 billion) in 2015.

    The growth rate is stronger than the 45 per cent in 2014 and 74 per cent in 2013.

    The company said revenue from advertisements nearly doubled. It had 89 million active monthly users by the end of last year, up from 60 million a year earlier, of whom some 28 million were paying for subscriptions.

    But the growth did not erase losses, with Spotify putting a priority on investments at a stage when streaming is increasingly becoming mainstream.

    Net losses totalled 173 million euros, nearly 7 per cent deeper than a year before.

    Spotify says it offers more than 30 million songs on demand but has also faced growing competition.

    Tech giant Apple last year launched its own streaming service and rap mogul Jay-Z has spearheaded rival Tidal, adding to a market that also includes French-based Deezer and United States-based Rhapsody.

    Spotify has also faced holdouts including Taylor Swift and Adele who have kept some or all their music off the service, in part due to objections to its free tier.