Spotify podcast consumption doubles as overall listening recovers

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Spotify listening hours have returned to the same level they was at prior to the pandemic, the company announced today in its latest earnings release. It reported that the recovery was strongest in areas where the spread of the COVID-19 virus is apparently slowing. Spotify also said that overall podcast consumption has more than doubled. Spotify reported a loss of €356 million overall in the period, The Wall Street Journal reports, despite an increase in paying subscribers.

Just three months ago, Spotify reported big changes in listening habits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Every day now looks like the weekend,” the company wrote in its last earnings release, referring to the changes in morning routines it saw as people spent more time at home. As of the end of June, however, it said that consumption hours are back up to pre-pandemic levels, though it admitted that this is varying around the world.

21 percent of Spotify listeners now use it for podcasts

Spotify said that Europe and Asia, where the virus’s spread appears to be under control, “led the recovery in consumption,” while Latin America is still 6 percent below peak levels after being hit hard by the pandemic. However, it also said that Latin America is still one of its fastest growing regions, with a 33 percent increase in monthly active users year-over-year.

Although consumption levels have returned to pre-pandemic levels, Spotify said that the places where people are listening to Spotify are still different. In-car listening is still less than it was prior to the pandemic, for example, although it’s reportedly increasing.

Spotify also said its podcast business is continuing to grow. The Wall Street Journal notes that the number of monthly active users listening to podcasts saw a small increase from 19 to 21 percent, but the amount of podcast content they’re consuming more than doubled. Spotify is making big investments into podcasts, and announced back in May that Joe Rogan’s podcast will become a Spotify exclusive in September, and rolled out support for video podcasts earlier this month. Today, Michelle Obama’s podcast went live exclusively on Spotify. The growth in podcasting is good news for Spotify’s ad business, although this is a relatively small part of its overall revenue.

Overall, Spotify said that it now has 299 million monthly active users, a 29 percent increase compared to last year, while subscribers increased by 27 percent to 138 million.

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