Spotify narrows losses as subscribers grow

New York (AFP) –


Top music streaming platform Spotify said Wednesday that it narrowed its losses in the first quarter as it kept a steady growth of subscribers.

Filing earnings for the first time in the wake of its listing a month ago on the New York Stock Exchange, the Swedish company said that it lost 41 million euros ($49 million) in the three months through March.

The losses were down from 139 million euros in the same quarter a year earlier and figured within the company's expectations.

Spotify said that it had reached 75 million paying subscribers, with another 99 million monthly users on its free, advertising-supported tier.

The figures marked a growth of four million paying subscribers and nine million free users since the start of 2018.

Spotify said that it saw particularly strong growth for its free service in emerging economies such as Vietnam and Thailand, two markets which the company recently entered.

Spotify said it also was seeing "increasing momentum" in Japan -- the world's second largest music market where CDs still dominate.

With the latest data Spotify remains far ahead of its closest rival, Apple Music. The technology giant said in March that it had 38 million subscribers on its service, which does not have an equivalent free tier.

Streaming -- which offers unlimited music online -- has rapidly transformed the music industry in recent years, leading to three straight years of growth for the recorded music business.