Spotify has published its financial results for the first quarter of 2022, revealing that it had 422 million monthly active users and 182 million premium subscribers at the end of March.
That’s up by 19% and 15% year-on-year respectively, and it means Spotify added 16 million listeners in the first quarter of this year – but only two million subscribers, thanks to its decision to pull out of Russia in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
“Excluding the impact of our exit from Russia, subscriber growth exceeded expectations as well,” is how Spotify explained that figure, adding that its premium subscriber total factored in “approximately 1.5 million disconnects from the wind-down of our Russian operations”.
The streaming service posted revenues of €2.66bn (around $2.82bn) for Q1, which was a year-on-year rise of 24%. That included year-on-year growth of 23% in subscription revenues and 31% in advertising revenues.
Ads were 10.6% of Spotify Q1 2022 revenues, down from 14.7% in Q4 2021 – although that final quarter of the year is a bumper one for advertising.
The company reported an operating loss of €6m for the quarter overall, compared to a €14m operating profit this time last year.
Other figures and announcements of note from the financials include:
– There was a glitch in Spotify’s matrix in Q1 that logged users out of the service, leading to around three million people creating new accounts to log back in. So, Spotify thinks that its real monthly active users total for Q1 may be 419 million.
– Spotify’s monthly ARPU – its average revenue per paying user – grew by 6% year-on-year to €4.38. It cited “price increases in 2021 and favorable product mix shift”, which should please music rightsholders.
– Q1 saw Spotify double the number of artists and labels using its ‘sponsored recommendations’ feature to promote their music, after launching self-serve tools to run these campaigns in the US.
– There are now 4m podcasts on Spotify, up from 3.6m at the end of 2021. The company continues to be somewhat vague about its exact number of podcast listeners though, saying only that “growth in the number of MAUs that engaged with podcast content continued to outstrip total MAU growth, podcast consumption rates grew in the double digits Y/Y, and podcast share of overall consumption hours on our platform reached another all-time high”.
– Spotify expects to end Q2 2022 with 428 million monthly active users, adding around 14 million once the impact of the Russian pullout and Q1 logout problems is factored in. It expects to end the quarter with 187 million premium subscribers – around six million more including another 600k disconnects in Russia.