Spotify keeps growing at a steady pace as Apple Music numbers remain under wraps
While the wide-ranging negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been felt across many different hardware industries and previously flourishing businesses, it pretty much looks like nothing can hinder the growth of the world's most popular music streaming service.
Although Spotify did experience some "COVID related softness" in certain metrics and regions during both the first and second quarter of 2020, the Sweden-based company impressively managed to end Q2 on a high note, boosting its total monthly active user (MAU) count to a whopping 299 million people.
That represents an improvement of 5 percent over the Q1 2020 tally of 286 million MAUs, as well as a remarkable 29 percent surge from the April - June 2019 timeframe. In other words, Spotify gained no less than 67 million monthly active users in a year, with projections ranging from a low end of 312 million people in Q3 to a high end of 348 million MAUs in Q4 2020.
Of course, the premium subscriber count might be an even more important indicator of the platform's success, and unsurprisingly, that number is also growing at a steady pace, jumping from 108 and 130 million in Q2 2019 and Q1 2020 respectively to 138 million now. Interestingly, Spotify expects this tempo to slow down a little in the July - September 2020 timeframe before possibly rebounding to reach as high as 153 million total premium subscribers at the end of the year.
While we know these numbers are considerably higher than those of all other music streaming apps around the world, we have no idea how big of an advantage Spotify holds over Apple Music nowadays.
The last time the Cupertino-based tech giant touted a number, it was 60 million+ subscribers (free trialists included) more than a year ago, but although that score has undoubtedly surged in the meantime, it has certainly not broken the 100 million barrier... or 70 million, most likely.
Then again, Spotify's Achilles' heel remains its profitability (or lack thereof), with a €167 million ($196 million) operating loss recorded during Q2 2020, up from significantly smaller €3 and €17 million deficits posted in Q2 2019 and Q1 2020 respectively. Looking ahead, the company expects to continue bleeding money through the end of 2020, which is obviously not a good thing for someone who provides a single service rather than a multitude of products, devices, and software platforms, as is Apple's case.