Spotify ended Q2 2022 with 188m subscribers and 433m active users


Spotify has published its financial results for the second quarter of 2022, revealing that it ended June with 433 million monthly active users (MAUs), including 188 million premium subscribers.

That’s year-on-year growth of 19% for users and 14% for subscribers. In Q2, Spotify added 11 million net new listeners and six million subscribers.

The streaming service posted 2.86bn ($2.9bn) of revenues for Q2 2022, up 23% year-on-year. That included growth of 22% for its subscription revenues (to €2.5bn) and 31% for its advertising revenues (to €360m).

Ads were 13% of Spotify’s total revenues in Q2 this year, which is a new record for that quarter. The company said it saw “healthy double-digit growth” for its music business, as well as “strong double-digit” growth for its podcasting revenues.

(We wonder whether at some point, Spotify will begin breaking out these two business lines officially in its financials.)

Spotify recorded an operating loss of €194m for the quarter, compared to a €12m operating profit this time last year.

“Nearly all of our key metrics surpassed guidance in Q2’22,” is how Spotify introduced the financials, making a particular point of mentioning that “MAU performance accelerated this quarter, with net additions reaching a record Q2 high of 19 million”.

Against a backdrop of concerns about potential recessions and slumps in spending by consumers and brands alike, Spotify was keen to talk up its performance.

“While we continue to monitor the uncertain macro environment, we are very pleased with the resilience of the business, particularly our strength in MAUs and Subscribers.”

What about that €194m operating loss? That’s based on a 38% increase year-on-year in Spotify’s operating expenses, which it put down to the expansion of its workforce, particularly its ad sales team and through acquisitions. The latter include Podsights, Chartable and Whooshkaa.

The company also cited “higher advertising costs for growth initiatives” focused on younger Gen-Z listeners and emerging markets. Spotify has already announced plans to “slow headcount growth by 25% beginning in Q3, while also taking a closer look at marketing activity”.

Spotify’s financials offer a little more data on where it’s growing fastest, citing “outperformance in India, Indonesia and The Philippines” due to marketing campaigns and “elevated OEM intake” (which we *think* means hardware partnerships, but will check.)

Spotify also called out “higher reactivations” in Europe, and growth for its Gen-Z audience in Latin America as factors in its continued listener growth. Latin America and Europe were also cited as having a notable impact on Spotify’s subscriber growth last quarter.

There are some podcast stats too, with 4.4m podcasts on Spotify by the end of Q2. That’s up from 2.9m a year ago, and 1.5m a year before that. Spotify used to say what percentage of its users were listening to podcasts. For example it was 25% at the end of 2020: around 86 million people.

It doesn’t publish that stat any more though: this quarter it merely said that “The number of MAUs that engaged with podcasts grew in the substantial double-digits Y/Y and per user podcast consumption rates continued to rise”. The company launched 100 new original or exclusive shows in Q2 2022 alone.

Spotify also offered its guidance for Q3 2022, while warning that the forecasts are “subject to substantial uncertainty”.

It expects to add around 17 million net new MAUs this quarter, taking its total to 450 million, and six million net new premium subscribers, taking it to 194 million. Spotify is forecasting €3bn of quarterly revenue in Q3 and an operating loss of around €218m.

Finally, a supplement to the financials lays out how many listeners and subscribers Spotify had in Russia before ceasing business in that country following its invasion of Ukraine. Those figures were five million listeners and one million premium subscribers.

Written by: Stuart Dredge