Spotify has just published its financial outlook for the full year 2018, and says that it expects to have between 92M and 96M paid subscribers by the end of the year. This compares with the 36M last-known number of paid Apple Music subscribers …
The company does, though, employ rather a generous definition of paid subscribers.
We define Premium Subscribers as users that have completed registration with Spotify and have activated a payment method for a premium service. Our Premium Subscribers include all registered accounts in our Family Plan. Our Family Plan consists of one primary subscriber and up to five additional sub-accounts, allowing up to six Premium Subscribers per Family Plan subscription. Premium Subscribers include subscribers who are within a grace period of up to 30 days after failing to pay their subscription fee.
Despite the impressive-sounding number, that would represent a slowing of recent growth. Revenue grew by 39% in 2017, but the company expects this year’s growth to be in the 20-30% range.
The company also says it will continue to make a substantial loss, though it does expect this year to be the point at which its growing losses begin to decline. It is forecasting a loss in the €230M-330M range this year. As Musically notes, this compares favorably to the previous trendline.
Spotify’s annual operating losses have been growing every year: €98m in 2013, €191m in 2014, €235m in 2015, €349m in 2016 and €378m in 2017.
The company’s losses won’t have been helped by the recent revelation that two million users were using a pirated version that allowed them to listen for free without ads.