Spotify’s First Earnings Report Disappoints Investors
Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) reported its first quarterly earnings as a public company this week. Disappointing investors, the company is still losing money. Spotify reported a net loss of 169 million euros for the quarter, lower than the 173 million loss reported a year ago.
The Stockholm-based streaming-music service reported sales of 1.14 billion euros, compared with Wall Street’s expectation of 1.16 billion euros. A year ago, Spotify reported revenue of 902 million euros. It had 324 million euros in operating expenses in the period, which was down from 369 million euros in the fourth quarter.
Spotify said that it had a total user base of 170 million, with 75 million paid subscribers. In March, the company said it expects to hit as many as 96 million subscribers this year. A year ago, Spotify said it had more than 50 million subscribers.
Spotify faces formidable competition from rivals like Apple and Amazon. Apple Music said last month that it had 40 million paid subscribers. Last June, Apple Music had 27 million paid subscribers
Spotify saw 102 million euros in revenue from its ad-supported offering in the first period, which was down 22 percent from the fourth quarter. Revenue from subscriptions only grew 2 percent from the previous quarter. Its gross profit margin was 24.9 percent for the quarter. That was up from 24.5 percent in the fourth quarter and 11.7 percent in the year-ago period.
Spotify has invested in several new initiatives, including a new advertising platform and a new free app. Research and development staffers made up almost half of new hires during the quarter. New deals like family plans and student plans have been a source of strength. It has also expanded its reach in the podcast market.
The earnings report gave a disappointing outlook for revenue growth. The company forecast year-over-year growth of 10 percent to 29 percent in the current quarter. Spotify reported a 26 percent growth rate during the first three months of the year.
Spotify maintained its outlook for the year, saying it plans to lose up to 330 million euros. Its shares fell nearly 8 percent in extended trading after the announcement. Spotify went public via a direct listing in April. Since the company began trading, the stock had gained about 14 percent prior to the earnings report release.