Spotify

Spotify Technology reported a better than expected rise in first-quarter revenue on Monday as the music streaming company hit 100 million paid subscribers for its premium service, sending its shares up nearly 5 per cent.

Revenue rose 33 per cent to €1.51 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of €1.47bn, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The global leader in the sector, with double the number of subscribers of nearest rival Apple Music, Spotify has launched in regions like India, Middle East and North Africa in recent months, seeking to fuel the next stage of its development as it continues to price aggressively in the developed world.

In March, the firm said it racked up more than 1 million unique users in India across its free and premium tiers in less than a week since launching.

The launch saw the company stepping into a price-sensitive market crowded by well-funded players such as Reliance Industries’ JioSaavn and Apple’s Apple Music.

In February, Spotify reported fourth-quarter operating profit of €94m compared with a mean forecast for a loss of €16m in a Reuters poll of analysts, the first time the company had made a profit.

Spotify on Monday said it had 217 million monthly active users in March, up from 173 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting the company to have 218.6 million subscribers, according to research firm FactSet.

Premium or paying subscribers at the end of the quarter were 100 million, up from 75 million a year earlier. Analysts were expecting the company to have 99 million paid subscribers.

Europe contributed 40 per cent of the total paid subscribers, followed by North America with 30 per cent. Spotify said it expects to have about 107 million to 110 million premium subscribers by the end of the current quarter.

It also said it expects total revenue of €1.51bn to €1.71bn for the second quarter. Analysts were expecting it to forecast €1.62bn. The company reported a loss attributable to shareholders of €0.79 per share. Analysts were expecting a loss of €0.35 per share.