Latin America and Asia Drives Growth for Spotify in Q1 2020

Spotify met its business expectation on all major parameters despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Both the MAUs and premium subscribers grew 31% YoY to reach 286 million and 130 million respectively. This is driven by strong regional performances in Latin America and Asia Pacific. MAUs grew 36% YoY in Latin America while it grew 65% YoY in the Rest of the World (the Asia Pacific and Middle East Africa ) due to the good performance of Mexico, Brazil, and India.


Spotify MAUs and subscribers (in Millions) Q1 2018 - Q1 2020

Impact of COVID-19

The only metric which did not perform in line with the guidance is ad-supported revenues. This is because the pandemic has curtailed many advertisers budgets and have withdrawn ads from the platform. However, this revenue accounts for only 10% of Spotify’s overall revenue so this is not making a big dent in Spotify’s revenues. On the other hand, premium revenue grew 23% YoY and 4% sequentially in Q1 2019. Interestingly, this indicates that the growth in premium subscribers is not just because of free trials given by the company, but that people are willingly paying to subscribe to the service.

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, on the global level, there is hardly any impact on paid subscribers and MAUs. In fact, both new and reactivated MAUs grew during lockdown periods in markets including North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, etc. Notably, for the quarterly average, the ratio of daily active users (DAUs) to monthly active users (MAUs) was higher than Q1 2019.

Beginning late February, Spotify saw the negative effects of the outbreak as there was a notable decline in DAUs and consumption in highly affected Spain and Italy. However, the market has started to rebound in these markets over the last week of March.

As people continue to stay at home, the usage in cars, wearables, and web platforms has dropped, however this gap is filled with increased traction on smart TVs and gaming consoles which is up by over 50%.

There is a shift in pattern from listening while commuting to listening at home. Podcasts related to wellness and meditation have seen an uptick. The freemium model of Spotify has turned out to be successful in the pandemic time compared to the premium model of Apple Music and Amazon Music. Apple is well aware of this fact and this is one of the reasons it has given 6 months free trials to people in 52 new markets that it recently entered.

Podcast in focus

Spotify is moving from a music first to an audio first company, as podcasts have been gaining user engagement for over a year now. The company has clear plans to keep investing in podcasts with an aim to ace the exclusive content category. It acquired The Ringer in Q1 2020 giving it a total of four studio operations.


Entering India has been a good move for Spotify. There is still a lot of scope for it to shine in the Indian market due to cheap 4G data and around half a billion smartphones capable of installing the app. Also in 2020, Spotify will focus on increasing its share in other countries. In the webcast, Spotify made it clear that it sees Russia and South Korea as having good potential. There it will be competing with regional giants like Yandex Music in Russia and Melon in South Korea.

BONUS PODCAST: Music Streaming Services Entering a Golden Era

Related Posts

Counterpoint research is a young and fast growing research firm covering analysis of the tech industry. Coverage areas are connected devices, digital consumer goods, software & applications and other adjacent topics. We provide syndicated research reports as well as tailored. Our seminars and workshops for companies and institutions are popular and available on demand. Consulting and customized work on the above topics is provided for high precision projects.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.