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Spotify looks to stoke Wall Street enthusiasm amid cooling economy

CNA – The audio streaming service Spotify Technology SA will host its first investor day since going public in 2018 yesterday, hoping to stoke Wall Street’s enthusiasm despite the slowing global economy.

The company’s stock has tumbled 53 per cent so far in 2022, worse than the 24 per cent drop in the S&P 500 communication services sector index, which includes Spotify and other media and social network companies.

Still, Spotify has fared better than some streaming services like Netflix, whose stock has plunged 67 per cent this year as it lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade.

Spotify continued to add users and paying subscribers in the first quarter, despite suspending its service in Russia and weathering a controversy over Joe Rogan’s podcasts. The service reported the number of monthly users reached 422 million in the first quarter, ahead of the consensus estimate.

Advertising was up 31 per cent from the prior year, to EUR282 million (USD302 million), though short of Wall Street projections.

Jefferies analyst Andrew Uerkwitz expressed concern about fallout from Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which Spotify said would result in the loss of about five million listeners in Russia. The impact, he wrote, might go beyond subscriber disruptions.

“It’s clear the geopolitical factors are impacting willingness to spend on advertising (not just SPOT),” Uerkwitz wrote in an investor note.

The Spotify logo hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange building. PHOTO: CNA