The streaming music service Spotify says it now has more than 100 million subscribers to its premium plan, marking a significant milestone for the 13-year-old company.
Spotify chalks up the growth in premium to a number of factors, including the company’s new deal to offer a bundle of Spotify premium and Hulu for $9.99 per month, a deal with Samsung to have the app preinstalled on certain phones, and plan promotions.
In addition, Spotify says it now has 217 million monthly active users, up 26% from the same quarter a year ago.
That being said, the company told investors that “ad-supported revenue growth underperformed our expectations in Q1” due to pricing issues, particularly about its “Sponsored Sessions” ad product.
Nonetheless, ad revenue grew by 24% year-over-year to $126 million, although it missed internal targets.
The company expects podcasting to become a bigger part of its business going forward.
“We expect the revenue from podcasts to accelerate through 2019,” the company’s quarterly earnings letter says. “Over time, our ambition is to develop a more robust advertising solution for podcasts that will allow us to layer in the kind of targeting, measurement, and reporting capabilities we have for the core Ad-Supported business.”
Despite having millions more free, ad-supported users than premium users, the company has lagged behind in its
efforts to monetize via ads. The company’s shift to invest in podcasting and programmatic is meant to help its ad-supported business grow.