Podcasts additionally supply a monetary benefit, serving to Spotify enhance revenue margin and scale back its dependence on the key document firms, whose licensing offers are by far its largest expense.

Whereas podcasts are hardly a brand new invention — they grew to become a part of Apple’s iTunes in 2005 — their recognition has surged in recent times. By some estimates, greater than 600,000 podcasts can be found by Apple, a quantity that doesn’t embrace reveals which are unique to different suppliers, like Spotify.

However whereas it could appear as if each different individual on earth is both a podcast listener or a podcast host, the cash thrown off by the boomlet has been comparatively modest. In response to a research by the Interactive Promoting Bureau and PwC, the podcast trade as a complete generated $314 million in 2017, although that survey additionally predicts that by 2020 the quantity will greater than double, to $659 million.

Spotify, which went public in April, introduced on Wednesday that it ended 2018 with 207 million lively customers world wide, 96 million of whom paid for month-to-month subscriptions. Its income for the yr was 5.three billion euros, about $6 billion, a rise of 29 % from 2017.

And whereas in 2018 the corporate misplaced €78 million, about $89 million, it had a internet revenue of €442 million, or about $502 million, in its fourth quarter. Spotify’s gross revenue margin additionally grew in that quarter, to 26.7 %, from 25.three % within the earlier three months.

Regardless of Spotify’s dominance amongst music listeners (its chief rival, Apple Music, has 50 million paying subscribers), Mr. Ek, the corporate’s chief government, predicted that “over time,” about 20 % of all Spotify listening would contain one thing apart from music.

“In the end, if we’re profitable, we’ll start competing extra broadly for time in opposition to all types of leisure and informational providers, and never simply music streaming providers,” Mr. Ek wrote in his weblog put up.

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