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Spotify's User Growth Beats Expectations, Revenue Misses

  • Premium subscribers up 17% to 220 mln, tops estimates
  • Revenue of 3.18 bln euros misses forecast 3.21 bln euros
  • CFO says price increases to benefit Q4
  • Shares reverse course to fall 10%

STOCKHOLM, July 25 (Reuters) - Streaming giant Spotify on Tuesday reported second-quarter results that comfortably beat expectations for both monthly active users and subscribers, and forecast the number of listeners each month would reach 572 million this quarter.

However, quarterly revenues came in below estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv, and the company also posted a bigger than expected loss, sending its shares down 5% in premarket trading.

After laying out plans last year to get 1 billion users by 2030 and to reach $100 billion of revenue annually, Spotify has been growing rapidly, but its costly expansion into podcasts and audiobooks has hit margins.

The number of monthly active users rose to 551 million in the second quarter, beating Spotify's guidance and analysts' forecast of 526.8 million.

Premium subscribers, who account for most of the company's revenue, rose 17% to 220 million, topping estimates of 216.6 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

"It's the sixth consecutive quarter now that user growth has been doing incredibly well, and it's the gift that keeps giving," CEO Daniel Ek told Reuters.

However, quarterly revenue was 3.18 billion euros ($3.51 billion), below analysts' estimate of 3.21 billion euros. That was in line with Spotify's own estimates.

"If we have user growth, the revenue growth eventually comes - that's the lesson been learned at Spotify and we have seen it over and over," Ek said.

Spotify on Monday raised prices for its premium plans across several countries but expects those increases to have a minimal impact on revenue this quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Paul Vogel said the increase would start to take effect from September with respect to billing cycles.

"In Q4, we will have the entirety of the price increase," he said in an interview.

Spotify expects premium subscribers to reach 224 million this quarter and revenue of 3.3 billion euros. Analysts were expecting subscribers of 222.4 million and revenue of 3.40 billion euros.

($1 = 0.9056 euros)

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm, Editing by Louise Heavens, Mark Potter and Bernadette Baum

Source: Reuters

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