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Spotify earnings: ‘Every day now looks like the weekend’

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Listening habits are changing as a result of the pandemic

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

People are changing how they listen to Spotify as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced in its latest earnings release today. Spotify says that it has met its forecasts in the three-month period ending March 31st, but noted that people’s daily routines are changing. “Morning routines have changed significantly,” says Spotify. “Every day now looks like the weekend.”

It makes sense. As more people work and study at home, people don’t have a morning commute to spend listening to Spotify, and there’s less listening occurring through the service’s car and wearable apps. Spotify says this has had a more significant impact on podcasts than music. However, other devices appear to be picking up some of the slack. The company says that the audience listening through TVs and game consoles is up by over 50 percent.

Spotify admits that the pandemic has and will have a negative effect on some areas of its business, though. Although the company says these numbers have recovered in some areas, consumption and daily active users were impacted in markets like Italy and Spain which were hit hard by the pandemic early on. However, monthly active users and paid subscriber number numbers did not see a fall in areas where consumption decreased.

Spotify’s ad business has been hit harder than other areas, as economic uncertainty means companies spend less money on advertising. The company says its ad-supported revenues fell short of its forecast, and it has lowered its revenue guidance for the year as a result. Spotify also says it’s slowing down its hiring plans for the rest of the year. However, overall the company is optimistic, noting that it believes its business model is “uniquely positioned” to deal with the ongoing crisis.

Spotify says that it now has 286 million monthly active users worldwide (an increase of 31 percent) and 130 million subscribers (also up by 31 percent). Although the number of users cancelling their accounts were down overall, Spotify did say that one in six people who cancelled their accounts in the US cited COVID-19 as a reason, adding that a majority plan to renew their accounts once their economic situation improves, The Wall Street Journal notes.