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Spotify’s paid music subscriber base rises to 130 million, beats quarterly estimates

Spotify now has 130 million paid subscribers
Spotify now has 130 million paid subscribers (REUTERS)

Spotify expects premium subscribers in the range of 133 million to 138 million in the second quarter of this year. The company, however, may have to weather the economic slowdown.

Spotify Technology SA on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected 31% jump in paid music subscribers to 130 million and a 22% rise in revenue in the first quarter, weathering a slowdown in ad sales due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Shares of the Swedish music streaming firm rose 2% in trading before the bell.

Spotify, which launched its service over a decade ago and faces stiff competition from Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc, earns by selling music subscriptions and showing ads to free users.

"We are fortunate that as a business we are able to operate with very little disruption and our hope is that providing music, information, and an escape for many can provide some joy and comfort," the company said in a statement.

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For the second quarter, Spotify expects premium subscribers in the range of 133 million to 138 million. Analysts were expecting 136.5 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

It also forecast total revenue in the range of 1.75 billion euros ($1.90 billion) to 1.95 billion euros, below expectation of 2.02 billion euros, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Spotify said it started seeing a slowdown in ad sales in the last weeks of March as buyers tightened their purse strings due to the spread of the cornonavirus.

First-quarter premium subscribers, however, rose 31% from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting 128.6 million paid subscribers.

Revenue rose to 1.85 billion euros for the three-months ended March 31 from 1.51 billion euros a year earlier. Analysts were expecting 1.86 billion euros.

The company reported a loss attributable to shareholders of 20 euro cents per share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 49 euro cents per share.

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