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Streamer Spotify Losses Grow

FILE: A smartphone and a headset are seen in front of a screen projection of Spotify logo, in this picture illustration taken April 1, 2018.

STOCKHOLM - Music streaming giant Spotify has reported that it had 515 million monthly active users as of the end of March, beating expectations, as its operating loss deepened.

Spotify said in a statement it had posted a first quarter operating loss of 156 million euros ($172 million), compared to an operating loss of six million euros a year earlier.

The widened loss was, according to the company, attributed to a higher headcount compared to a year earlier and changes in social charges.

Despite that, the Sweden-based music streamer said it had its "strongest" first quarter "since going public in 2018," with nearly all performance indicators "surpassing expectations."

In January, following similar moves by other tech industry giants, the streaming giant announced it was cutting around 600 jobs out of around 10,000. Its operating expenses were also increased due to severance-related charges.

The platform has only occasionally posted a quarterly profit since its launch and has regularly posted annual losses, despite strong subscriber growth and having had a head start on its rivals such as Apple Music and Amazon Music.

For the whole of 2022, it posted a net loss of 430 million euros, compared to a loss of 34 million euros in 2021.

Spotify has also invested more than one billion euros into podcasting in recent years, but analysts say the company has yet to prove the investment is bearing fruit.

Its venture into podcasts has also been a source of controversy, with US star Joe Rogan accused of spreading misinformation in his shows.