(Photo : Pexels/John Tekeridis) Spotify premium subscribers

Spotify has now 158 million premium subscribers and more than 356 million monthly active users, according to the company's latest earnings report released on Wednesday, Apr. 28.

Spotify's Premium Subscribers Report

The new report shows that there is a 21% and 24% year-over-year increase, respectively. It is up from 155 million premium subscribers and 345 million monthly active users in the last three months of 2020.

The streaming service has continued to focus on podcasts, both as a way to convert free listeners to premium subscribers, and as a way to generate ad revenue.

Spotify said that ad-supported revenue outperformed its forecast, all thanks to its podcasting features. In particular, the streaming giant stated that the podcast show "Joe Rogan Experience," which it now exclusively licenses, performed above expectations.

Also Read: Spotify HiFi: Audiophiles to Stream Lossless 'CD Quality' Like TIDAL-Is it Worth It?

The company further says it has seen a strong increase in the amount of hours of podcast listening on the platform, and that the actual proportion of users listening to podcasts was consistent with the previous quarter.

Spotify's Changing Plans

On Apr. 27, Spotify announced the launch of podcast subscriptions. But it is only rolling them out for select partners at the moment, and has said podcasters won't have to pay it for the service for the first two years, meaning subscribers are unlikely to see it generate any extra revenue for the platform until 2023.

This is a similar story with the company's Car Thing music player, which is only getting a limited launch for now, and which the company is currently giving away instead of selling.

The report release follows Spotify's announcement that it would soon be increasing prices for its family plan in the US, and Duo, Student, and Family plans in the United Kingdom, and some European countries.

The recent numbers give a possible reason for the increases, which is the company's falling average revenue per subscriber.

Spotify stated it earned around $4.97 per premium subscriber. That is a decrease of 7% compared to the same period last year.

Within Spotify's premium business, average revenue per user has decreased for five out of the six previous quarters due to Spotify using discounted plans to attract subscribers in new markets like Russia and India, according to the WSJ.

Spotify consistently cites product mix as the reason for this decline, suggesting that more of its users are opting for a less expensive subscription bundles.

Increasing the price of these bundles could help slow the trend.

The recent earnings release only covers the period up until March 2021, so the impact of the price increases this year won't be released until next quarter. But Spotify reports that the increases have shown no material impacts on cancellation rates.

Aside from increasing the prices of its plans, Spotify is also attempting to push back against the public criticism that the company does not pay artists enough to stream their music.

In March, it launched a new website called Loud & Clear, where it attempted to offer more transparency about its payments, The Verge reported.

Overall, Spotify made around $27 million, which is an increase of $1.2 million from 2020, as noted by The Wall Street Journal.

Fans of the streaming service are also anticipating the HiFi feature, which is due to arrive later this year. The service is said to deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to the device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers in the select markets where it is scheduled to launch.

Related Article: Spotify Price Hike set for US, UK, and Europe

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Written by Sophie Webster

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