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Spotify Q1 2021 earnings Shifting headwinds

Report by Mark Mulligan
Cover image for Spotify Q1 2021 earnings
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The 20,000 Foot View:  The first quarter of the year is usually a slow one for Spotify, but        2021 saw a few metrics slowing more than in previous years. There were lots of solid performance metrics in Spotify’s results and a slew of new product announcements, but there were also signs of a coming slowdown driven in large part by wider industry headwinds.

Key Insights

  • Spotify added        million monthly active users in        2021 to reach        million, compared to the        million it added one quarter earlier. This was higher than the        million and        million added in        and        2020 respectively
  • Spotify finished        2021 with        million subscribers. It added fewer subscribers in        2021 (three million) than it did in        2020 (six million), and was the first year since 2015 it added less than four million in the first quarter
  • European subscribers were up, while ad-supported users were down. North America saw continued solid subscriber growth as did ‘rest of world’; however, Latin American subscribers were down despite Mexico delivering strong growth
  • Revenues and margin maintained good trajectories, but revenue growth was below market benchmarks. Total revenue was up        year-on-year, while major label streaming revenue was up       
  • Ad revenue was up        year-on-year, in line with Facebook but below YouTube        Quarter-on-quarter ad revenue was down by        compared to falls of        for YouTube and        for Facebook
  • The share of monthly active users that engaged with podcast content remained at around        representing        million podcast monthly active users, up from        million quarter-on-quarter. Consumption and revenue growth came from better engagement of established users

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon Music, Alphabet, Betty Labs, Deezer, Facebook, Peloton, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube

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