Spotify’s paid subscribers hit 165 million as podcast listening ‘moderately improved’

Spotify now has 165 million premium subscribers and 365 million monthly active users according to users a new earnings report released today. It’s a year-over-year increase of 20 percent and 22 percent, respectively, and up from last quarter’s 158 million subscribers and 356 million MAUs.

Rivals Apple Music and Amazon Music don’t regularly release similar songs, but their most recent public figures compiled by Music Ally puts them at 60 million and about 55 million paying subscribers, respectively.

Spotify’s interest in podcasts has shown no signs of slowing this quarter as it continues to make acquisitions and investments in both podcasting content and technology. The company recently acquired the exclusive rights to two podcasts, call her daddy and Dax Shepard’s armchair expert, as well as the Podz company whose technology automates the process of creating sample clips featuring key moments from podcasts.

According to Spotify, the percentage of monthly active users engaged with podcast content in the past quarter is “modest” compared to the last two quarters, when about 25 percent of all MAUs were engaged. Listening to podcasts hit an all-time high in the second quarter in terms of share of consumption hours on the platform. Spotify says that too The Joe Rogan Experience “Continues to perform above expectations.” There are now 2.9 million podcasts available on Spotify, The Wall Street Journal notes, up from 2.6 million last quarter.

In addition to acquiring exclusive rights to podcasts, Spotify is also luring other creators to its platform with paid subscription features. It announced its own podcast subscription feature in April, and yesterday it said paid shows from platforms such as Slate and Acast can be streamed through its service. Features like these should make Spotify a more attractive and profitable platform for podcast creators.

Spotify’s average revenue per user has increased this quarter, reversing recent trends. The figure now stands at €4.29 (about $5.07) per premium subscriber, up from €4.12 last quarter. The increase comes after the service increased subscription prices in the UK and US this quarter. However, the figure is still down 3 percent year-on-year.

In total, the company made a net loss of €20 million, compared to a net loss of €356 million in the same quarter of the previous year. Executives have said the company’s focus is on growth rather than making a quarterly profit Wall Street Journal notes, while the previous loss was mainly due to taxes the company had to pay related to its Swedish workforce.

Today’s release doesn’t offer any details on Spotify HiFi, the service’s upcoming lossless streaming tier. Despite announcing the new level in February with a tentative release date of later this year, Spotify has yet to announce an official launch date or price. In the months since the announcement, competitor Apple Music announced and subsequently released its own lossless audio streaming feature, which is available at no additional cost. (Amazon also dropped the premium it previously charged for its own same-day lossless streams.) Like it or not, Spotify likes it, the lossless streaming market is a lot more competitive now than it was in February.