Spotify Aims For A Billion Users By 2030

Spotify logo : EMMANUEL DUNAND—AFP/Getty Images

 

 

 

Audio streaming platform Spotify said Wednesday it is aiming to have one billion users by 2030 as well as an annual revenue of $100 billion in a decade.

Co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek, speaking at an investor day event in New York, said the ambitious goal could be achieved in part through an expansion of Spotify’s portfolio of podcasts and audiobooks, while making the platform a one-stop shop for content creators.

“As the world’s creator platform, we will provide the infrastructure and resources that will enable 50 million artists and creators to grow and manage their own businesses, monetize their work, and effectively promote it,” said Ek.

The Sweden-based, New York-listed company reported 9.6 billion euros ($10.9 billion) in revenue for 2021, meaning it would need a nearly tenfold increase to hit the mark set out Wednesday by Ek.

It also had 422 million users at the end of the first quarter of 2022, making it by far the world’s most frequented audio platform.

While in recent quarters the company’s gross margin (revenue minus costs directly related to its work) has hovered around 26 percent, Ek said his goal was to reach 40 percent also within ten years.

The company is also aiming for an operating margin (sales minus all costs before interest and taxes) of 20 percent, a figure implying the firm would have become clearly profitable, which is not the case today.

In recent quarters, the online audio platform — now present in 183 countries and territories — has fluctuated between a modestly positive and slightly negative operating margin.

Spotify has invested more than $1 billion in acquiring notable podcasters as well as building a fully integrated podcast platform, from production to advertising management, to make it the world leader in the sector.

Last year, Spotify also bought the major audio book producer and distributor Findaway.

Spotify To Include Content Advisory After COVID-19 Misinformation Row

FILE PHOTO: Spotify boss Daniel Ek in front of a banner with the logo of the company.

 

Music streaming giant Spotify announced Sunday it would start guiding listeners of podcasts discussing Covid-19 to facts about the pandemic after artists including Neil Young pulled their songs from the platform in anger at misinformation.

The artists, also including Joni Mitchell, last week demanded that Spotify remove their music or drop podcaster Joe Rogan after a call from medical professionals to prevent Rogan from promoting “several falsehoods about Covid-19 vaccines”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have also flagged concerns over misinformation on Spotify, but reiterated their commitment to continue using it to publish their content.

“We are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about Covid-19,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement.

“This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated Covid-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics, and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources.”

READ ALSO: Taliban Killed 100 Ex-Afghan Govt Officials, Others – UN Report

In addition, Ek said the company would publish its “Platform Rules”, which include guidelines for creators on what Spotify labels “dangerous” and “deceptive” content.

The “new effort to combat misinformation” would roll out in the next few days, he added.

Rogan, 54, has discouraged vaccination in young people and promoted the off-label use of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to treat the virus.

 

– $100 million deal –

The podcaster, who has a $100 million (90 million euros) multi-year exclusive deal with Spotify, was kept on, and the company complied with Young’s demand and started removing his catalogue of songs.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, meanwhile, said they were “committed to continuing” their lucrative content deal despite “concerns” over misinformation.

“We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis,” a spokesperson for Archewell, the Duke and Duchess’ organisation, said in a statement.

“We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does.”

In a video posted on his Instagram account, Rogan expressed disappointment that Young and Mitchell had pulled their music from Spotify, and sought to explain why his podcast had come under fire.

He cited two episodes in particular, during which he interviewed a cardiologist, and a virologist who had worked on mRNA technology, the same method used to make several Covid-19 vaccines.

“They have an opinion that’s different from the mainstream narrative. I wanted to hear what their opinion is,” Rogan said.

Rather than spreading misinformation, Rogan insisted he was “interested in telling the truth, I’m interested in finding out what the truth is, and I’m interested in having interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions.”

He also praised Spotify’s decision to add a content advisory to coronavirus-related episodes of any podcast.

 

– ‘Regret’ –

Spotify voiced “regret” over Young’s move but cited a need to balance “both safety for listeners and freedom for creators”.

Spotify’s move drew applause online from organisations including video-streaming platform Rumble, which credited the Swedish company with “defending creators” and standing “up for free speech”.

But Young, 76, also garnered wide praise for taking a stand, including from the World Health Organization chief.

The musician also urged fellow artists to follow his lead, and calls for boycotts and cancelled subscriptions flourished on social media.

In recent years, online media titans including Facebook and YouTube have come under fire for allowing conspiracy theorists to spread their views.

But despite its explosive growth, podcasting has largely flown under the radar.

AFP

Streaming Drives 7.4% Global Music Growth In 2020

Streaming platforms, led by Spotify, Apple and Deezer, now account for 62.1 percent of global music revenues.

 

 

The global recorded music business grew by 7.4 percent last year, an industry body said Tuesday, as streaming continued to drive a fast-paced recovery from the doldrums of the piracy era.

The return of vinyl continued unabated with sales up 23.5 percent on the year before, while CDs continued their steady decline, down 11.9 percent, according to the annual report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

But it is streaming — up 19.9 percent — that has propelled the industry back to growth in the last decade, with overall revenues now at $21.6 billion, close to their level at the turn of the century before the internet began to devastate incomes.

Streaming platforms, led by Spotify, Apple and Deezer, now account for 62.1 percent of global music revenues, the report said, with some 443 million paying subscribers.

South Korean phenomemon BTS topped the overall best-sellers list, followed closely by Taylor Swift, Drake, The Weeknd and Billie Eilish.

Two songs broke through the two billion stream mark: The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” (2.72bn) and Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey” (2.34bn), while BTS dominated the album charts in both streaming and physical formats with “Map of the Soul: 7”.

IFPI said a major trend was the growth of global connections, despite pandemic-related travel restrictions.

“K-Pop continues to make great strides, of course, but I would argue the most exciting development this year has been how African music and African artists have been embraced by fans worldwide,” said Simon Robson of Warner Music in the report.

The African region was included for the first time, with growth of 8.4 percent, led by artists such as Burna Boy from Nigeria who picked up a Grammy for best global music album this month.

“What’s incredibly exciting is we now see artists from anywhere in the world have the ability to break into any other market in the world,” Dennis Kooker of Sony Music told a press conference for the report.

“There are no barriers to entry, no barriers to consumers who want to engage with an artist. It’s as exciting now creatively as I’ve ever seen.”

– ‘Misconception’ –
For all the good news, there have been mounting protests over the streaming economy, with many artists saying it benefits only the biggest stars and leaves little for mid-size and niche musicians.

Frances Moore, IFPI’s chief executive, dismissed claims that there were problems with the industry.

“The research that we did shows that artists’ revenues are higher than the revenues coming back to the industry after costs, etc. So from that point of view, there’s a misconception that artists are not doing well,” she told reporters.

She said the misconception was likely due to level of competition in a world where seven million artists are featured on Spotify, uploading 60,000 tracks per day.

“The role of the record company… is about being a partner of the artist,” added Konrad von Lohneysen, of German label Embassy of Music.

“We’re very confident our role will remain as it is and that artists will realise what they have with a label… in letting them to do what they want to do — make art.”

Spotify Launches In Nigeria, Ghana

Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming and media services provider, launched in October 2008.
Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming and media services provider, launched in October 2008.

 

International music streaming giant, Spotify, has expanded its operation into more than 80 new markets around the world, including Nigeria and Ghana.

Spotify “is embarking on a sweeping expansion that will introduce the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service available to more than a billion people in 80+ new markets around the world, and add 36 languages to our platform,” a company statement said on Monday.

READ ALSO: Adesua, Banky W Announce Delivery Of Baby Boy

“These moves represent Spotify’s broadest market expansion to date.”

The Swedish company enters a Nigerian music streaming market which boasts of services such as Apple Music, Boomplay, and YouTube Music.

Spotify was one of the trending terms on Nigerian Twitter, as of Tuesday evening, as major artists began to promote their songs on the platform.

 

Jay-Z Marks 50th Birthday With Return To Spotify

Hip Hop Rapper Jay-Z and Beyonce

 

Rap mogul Jay-Z celebrated his fiftieth birthday and surprised fans Wednesday by putting his catalog back on streaming giant Spotify, after a two-year hiatus.

The billionaire artist, who owns rival streaming service Tidal, had pulled the majority of his discography from Spotify in 2017, months before dropping his “4:44” album exclusively on his own upstart platform.

The introspective album prompted a surge of interest in the paid subscription service Tidal — which also exclusively carries his megastar wife Beyonce’s much-touted visual album “Lemonade” — briefly becoming a top downloaded app.

Fans can now stream “4:44” on Spotify for the first time, along with classics like “The Blueprint,” “American Gangster” and “Watch the Throne.”

The rapper has the second-most top albums in the history of Billboard’s rankings chart with 14, bested only by The Beatles, who have 19.

“Happy Birthday, Hov,” Spotify tweeted Wednesday, using a nickname of the rapper born Shawn Carter, who grew up in one of Brooklyn’s most notorious housing projects.

There was no indication how long Jay-Z’s flow would remain available on Spotify, which has often come under fire from prominent artists including Prince, Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke for its royalty system, which many musicians say leaves them underpaid.

In June, Forbes declared Hov rap’s first billionaire, estimating $100 million of his vast fortune came from Tidal.

As of 2016, Tidal said it said it had 3 million users.

Today, Spotify says it has 248 million users, including 113 million who pay for premium service.

AFP

Spotify Declares Drake Most-Streamed Artist Of Decade

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 04, 2019, Executive Producer US rapper Drake attends the Los Angeles premiere of the new HBO series “Euphoria” at the Cinerama Dome Theatre in Hollywood. 
Chris Delmas / AFP

 

As the 2010s winds to a close streaming titan Spotify announced Tuesday that poppy rap sensation Drake is the most globally streamed artist of the decade with more than 28 billion streams.

British crooner Ed Sheeran, hip hop warbler Post Malone, pop royalty Ariana Grande and rap iconoclast Eminem rounded out the top five most-streamed artists between 2010 and 2019, Spotify said.

Global hit machine Sheeran’s “Shape of You” won the top spot for the most streamed track of the decade with more than 2.3 billion streams, according to the data on more than 248 million worldwide users’ listening habits.

READ ALSO: Mariah Carey Wins Three Guinness World Records

Post Malone was 2019’s most-streamed artist with more than 6.5 billion, followed by Billie Eilish, whose haunting pop sound saw her win more than 6 billion streams.

Grande, Sheeran, and Latin trap innovator Bad Bunny formed the rest of the most-streamed class of artists of 2019.

“Senorita,” the sultry pop duet from real-life couple Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, was 2019’s most-streamed song, with more than one billion streams, closely trailed by Eilish’s smash “bad guy” that got more than 990 million streams.

Created in 2006, Spotify by 2010 was but a young start-up with less than a million paying subscribers — contrary to today’s 113 million.

The company’s rise to power — today counting 248 million monthly users, including paying and non-paying members — largely came on streaming’s growing dominance in the industry.

Fellow streaming giant YouTube has not published its top streamed videos of the decade — its top-viewed video remains the lilting Latin juggernaut “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee, with over 6.5 billion.

AFP

Spotify Lodges EU Complaint Against Apple Over Unfair Music Competition

 

Swedish music streaming giant Spotify said Wednesday it had filed a complaint with the EU Commission against Apple, accusing its US rival of stifling competition in the online music market.

“In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience — essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers,” Spotify said in a statement.

Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’ Most Streamed Ever On Spotify

This file photo taken on August 26, 2017 shows Ed Sheeran, winner of Artist of the Year, in the press room during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum in Inglewood, California./ AFP PHOTO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Alberto E. Rodriguez

Ed Sheeran’s dance pop track “Shape of You” has become the most played song ever on Spotify, ending the 11-month reign of Drake’s “One Dance.”

The English songwriter’s easy-going song about looking for love at a bar has been heard 1.318 billion times on the world’s most popular streaming service as of Friday, a notch above “One Dance.”

“Shape of You” came out in January as one of the first songs on Sheeran’s chart-topping album “Divide.”

The album was the first by the ginger-haired guitarist since he was propelled to stardom by the ballad “Thinking Out Loud,” which remains Spotify’s sixth most streamed track ever.

“Shape of You” and “One Dance” share subtle similarities both incorporate the rhythms of dancehall, the Jamaican club music of the 1970s that has seen a revival through pop producers.

Sheeran brings in drum machine off-beats of dancehall underneath a minimalist, minor-key synthesized melody.

The dancehall influence is more obvious in “One Dance” as Drake, who came to prominence as a rapper, sings in a Jamaican patois and incorporates Afrobeat, with an appearance by Nigerian pop singer WizKid.

“One Dance” rose to the top of Spotify’s all-time list in October 2016 — despite Drake’s close association with rival streaming service Apple Music.

Two months later, “One Dance” became the first song to hit one billion streams on Spotify, a feat since matched by three other tracks.

AFP

Online Music: 9janimi Offers Artistes Platform To Earn Royalties

MusicA streaming service, 9janimi Channel, has beefed up its web services with trendy features, as part of its commitment to providing a better service to subscribers and paying artistes royalties.

The management of the platform said the relaunch of the channel was to meet up with the growing demand for online music content.

According to the founder of the platform, Soltesh Iyere, the new 9janimi, a local Yoruba phrase for ‘I Am Nigerian’, now comes with new features.

Restating its commitment to paying artistes royalties, Iyere said that the new website and mobile app had been positioned as a more competitive and user friendly platform.

“We needed to suspend our activities for a while to bring our subscribers and new users this mobile friendly platform. It is our desire to help the Nigerian government bring piracy to its knees and this is one of the ways we are contributing to the music industry. With our new platform, subscribers are assured of their privacy along with so many other exciting features we are bringing,” Iyere said.

“Fair Trade Streaming”

9janimi Channel is looking to offer alternative platform to popular streaming services like Spotify, Middle East Anghami, Saavn and Apple Music.

With its new management, the platform lets independent artists keep 75% of the proceeds through its “Fair Trade Streaming” agreement.

“The Media 360 Company, owners of 9janimi Channel, originally projected the streaming service as an alternative to the music industry through which they could directly distribute their music to music fans and lovers. 9janimi Channel offers two tiers of services to customers, and streaming on the Web and on iOS and Android,” Iyere added.

He also explained that the streaming service was originally announced about a year ago, after a couple of years of being operated as a music channel.

According to Mr Iyere, 9janimi Channel’s music catalogue is sure to resonate with artists who are finding the models used by others.

Nokia Launches Music+, Ready To Do Battle With Other Streaming Services

World’s largest vender of mobile phones, Nokia is ready to battle with streaming services like Spotify which has spearheaded others with its playlist provisions as it launches Nokia Music+, a premium music service that builds on the existing Mix Radio available to Lumia users only for now.

This move by the Finnish phone-making company will likely tempt Lumia users to flee from other streaming services, like Spotify one of which has customised most smartphones users who are also music lovers.

The service will sit on top of the already outstanding Nokia Mix Radio and let users cache an unlimited number of playlists as well as skipping and downloads – all for the princely sum of £3.99 a month.

Jyrki Rosenberg, Nokia’s vice president of entertainment said, “Nokia Music is great for discovering new music, and we’ve found that there’s a core of users that want even more of it. This is how Nokia Music+ came about. By introducing features like infinite skips and unlimited downloads, we’re opening the doors for unlimited music discovery,”

“This is for people who care enough about music to pay something for more quality and choice, but don’t want to pay €9.99 monthly.”

The new service also lets you listen at eight times the audio quality and access lyrics for those impromptu on-the-fly karaoke sessions.