Spotify Is Counting on Podcasting – not Music – to Drive Profitable Growth | Analysis

The audio streaming service now has 205 million paying users, but it’s still losing money and and it’s banking that diversifying audio formats will change that

Spotify’s podcasting business has generated endless bad press for the Swedish music streamer: the Joe Rogan controversy, layoffs and cutbacks at its studios and the departure of a key executive. But its latest earnings report flipped the script, with CEO Daniel Ek crediting podcasts with retaining paying customers and helping steer the money-losing company on a path to profit.

The company presented its podcasting business as flourishing in a presentation accompanying the earnings release, noting that podcasts drove a 14% increase in advertising revenue. Podcasts, Ek told analysts on a call Tuesday, increased retention: “And as that happening, it is impacting our business.”

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Slav Kandyba

Slav most recently wrote features worked as an editorial analyst at Globe Newswire. A native of Ukraine (who’s fluent in Russian, but not Ukrainian – go figure) who was raised in L.A. since emigrating in his early teens, Slav’s journalism experience has ran the gamut from writing breaking news from the LAPD press room for a regional wire service, to investigating municipal corruption in Ohio for a Gannett newspaper, for which the newsroom won an Associated Press award for public service. Parallel to mainstream and trade media work, Slav has contributed extensively to top hip-hop culture magazines and digital publishers, including The Source and WMG-owned HipHopDX. For the past decade, he’s also contributed news, features and edited test drive reviews for