Spotify already has a massively popular music subscription service... so why wouldn't it start a podcast subscription service next? That may very well be what's in the works according to a recent survey being sent to Spotify's users. Looks like the premium podcast plan would be ad-free and some mix of exclusive extra content at price points somewhere between $3-$8. Variety's Andrew Wallenstein recently shared screenshots of a Spotify survey he was presented with when opening the music app. The survey floats four different podcast subscription options ranging from $2.99 to $7.99 per month.
Joe Rogan, Spotify's biggest podcast star, has left the platform in an awkward position after conducting a lengthy interview with Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist banned by Swedish streaming company for producing "hate content". Jones used his appearance on the Spotify-funded programme, which has millions of loyal listeners, to raise concerns about the safety of vaccines just two years after his own show was banned by the platform after he helped spread conspiracy theories around events such as the 9/11 attacks and Sandy Hook school shooting. Jones, who has since been banned from all major tech platforms, appeared delighted to be allowed back on a relatively mainstream outlet, telling Rogan: "You got a huge audience, we can really change the world right now." Spotify did not return a request for comment on whether it exercises editorial control over Rogan's podcast or whether it took responsibility for Jones' comments about vaccines on a show it funded. Until recently Spotify has acted as a largely hands-off platform hosting music and podcasts produced by external record companies and outside broadcasters. But it recently decided to push into creating its own exclusive podcasts as part of a bid to differentiate itself from other streaming services such as Apple Music.
Spotify has announced a new subscription tier for couples, allowing them to split the cost of a Premium membership. The new membership, called Spotify Duo, gives each user access to Spotify Premium for £12.99 per month, which is slightly more expensive than its $12.99 US equivalent. Subscribers also get access to Duo Mix, a regularly updated playlist similar to the platform's Discover Weekly feature "made just for the two of them to discover audio they both love," the company's blog post reads. Couples will be able to switch between a "chill" or "upbeat" playlist. Users who have not yet signed up for Premium can receive a one month Duo trial for free, but both listeners must reside at the same address, similar to Spotify's Family plan.
Spotify is poised to press the play button on a stock market float that will test investors' faith in its future prospects, amid mixed fortunes for fast-growing technology companies. Analysts said the performance of the music streaming service's shares on its first day of trading on Tuesday would gauge market opinion on whether it can stave off fierce competition for music fans' wallets and eventually make a profit. The Swedish company's listing on the New York Stock Exchange will also offer greater insight into investors' attitudes to technology companies, following a string of floats that have attracted great fanfare but met with varying receptions. Wall Street offered a timely reminder of the volatility that can affect firms reliant on the promise of things to come, as electric car firm Tesla's shares slumped nearly 7% in early trading on Monday. Billionaire Elon Musk's company suffered amid forecasts that deliveries of its Model 3 vehicle are falling short of its targets, as investigators look into a fatal crash involving one of its cars in the self-steering Autopilot mode.
The global health crisis began to drag on the business in the first quarter of the year, with declines in daily active users and overall listening. However, by the end of June all regions had come back except for Latin America, where cases have sharply risen. At the end of the second quarter Spotify had 299 million monthly active users and 138 million paying subscribers, its most lucrative type of customer, with both coming in at the top of its guidance. Growth in North America was stronger than the company expected, more than making up for softness in Latin America and other emerging markets that saw upticks in subscriber cancellations and payment failures. During the quarter, average revenue per user for the subscription business slipped 9% to €4.41 ($5.17).