During the pandemic, the Spotify music service grew at an above-average rate. A record has now been reached.

The music streaming market leader Spotify has passed the mark of 200 million subscribers. At the end of last quarter, the Swedish company had 205 million paying users. This added ten million subscription customers within three months. Overall, the number of users in the paid and free version rose to 489 million from 456 million at the end of September, as Spotify announced on Tuesday.

For the current quarter, Spotify expects a slower influx of users: the number of subscription customers is expected to increase by around two million and the total number of users will reach the 500 million mark.

In the past quarter, sales grew by 18 percent year-on-year to around 3.17 billion euros. Advertising revenue increased by 14 percent to EUR 449 million. In recent years, Spotify has invested heavily in the podcast business, among other things, in order to build another mainstay alongside subscription revenue. The bottom line is that Spotify posted a loss of 270 million euros after being in the red from 39 million euros a year earlier.

Spotify cuts jobs

Spotify announced last week that it would cut 6 percent of its jobs. As of December 31, the service had 10,151 employees – so the cuts should affect around 600 of them. Founder and boss Daniel Ek pointed out that the service had grown too quickly for his business during the pandemic boom.

Along with the job cuts, Spotify also announced that top executive Dawn Ostroff, who was considered the architect of the podcast offensive, is leaving the company. That sparked speculation about a course change in the business. The management changes had nothing to do with the podcast strategy, Ek said Tuesday. Spotify stock was up more than 8 percent at times in early US trading.