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In this newsletter:

Spotify revealed in its latest financial results that the company now stands at 205 million paid subscribers in Q4 2022, up 14% year over year.

Artists were recently denied class-action status in a termination rights lawsuit from early 2019 with Universal Music Group, when musician John Waite and other artists claimed that major labels refused to honor their termination rights.

Amazon counted $149.2 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2022, including a 23% jump in ad revenues year over year.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - February 3, 2023
Compiled by Heidi Seo

Spotify Hits 205 Million Paid Subscribers, Topping User Growth Targets for Q4 With Record Total Quarterly Gain

Spotify packed on 10 million Premium customers in the last three months of 2022 to stand at 205 million, topping its previous guidance. The growth of its paid subs, up 14% year over year, was “aided by promotional intake and household plans,” the company said. Overall, the streamer gained 33 million total monthly active users in the fourth quarter — a record high — to reach 489 million (free and paid), up 20% year over year. Amid signs of a flagging economy, Spotify posted €3.17 billion in revenue, up 18% from the year-earlier period and in-line with guidance.

Artists Denied Class-Action Status in UMG Termination Rights Lawsuit

A group of artists have been denied class-action status in a lawsuit focusing on termination rights and Universal Music Group. The case has been bubbling since early 2019, when musician John Waite and other artists sued UMG and (separately) Sony Music, claiming that the major labels had refused to honor their termination rights. The judge in the UMG case has ruled that it cannot be certified as a class action.

Amazon Beats Expectations in Q4 Earnings, Advertising Revenue Surges to $11.6B

Amazon beat Wall Street expectations in its fourth-quarter earnings report. The company had revenues of $149.2 billion in the quarter, compared to the $145.4 billion expected by the street. And it reported ad revenues of $11.6 billion in Q4, up 23% from a year earlier.

Apple Misses Earnings Expectations, But Sets Revenue Record For Services Business

Apple missed Wall Street’s earnings and revenue expectations for its first quarter, reporting earnings per share of $1.88 and revenue of $117.15 billion. Both income and revenue came in below the year-earlier totals of $2.10 and $123.9 billion. Still, Apple Services, which encompasses Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade and more, came in at $20.8 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, setting a new revenue record, up from $19.5 billion a year earlier. Apple now has more than 935 million paid subscriptions, up from more than 900 million paid subscriptions reported in the previous quarter.

SoundCloud Renews US Advertising Partnership with SIriusXM’s Sales Force

SXM Media, the sales group of Pandora parent SiriusXM, will continue to serve as the exclusive advertising representative for SoundCloud in the US into 2024. That’s the result of a new deal between the two parties, which renews an agreement first struck up between Pandora and SoundCloud in 2018. The extension enables advertisers and brands to continue purchasing SoundCloud’s US advertising inventory directly through SXM Media.

YouTube Reports Advertising Revenue Miss as Shorts Views Cross 50B a Day

YouTube, a day after formally launching its revenue-sharing program for YouTube Shorts creators, reported $7.96 billion in advertising revenue to close out the holiday season, falling short of Wall Street expectations of ad revenue crossing the $8 billion mark. The video giant’s fourth-quarter ad revenue is almost an 8 percent decline from the previous year, when YouTube ended 2021 with $8.63 billion in quarterly ad revenue.

Where Did All the Podcasts Go? - New Show Creation Down 80%

According to data compiled by Chartr, fewer podcasts were created in 2022 than the two years prior. The number of new shows created dropped 80% between 2020 and 2022. The core data is from Listen Notes, a podcast search engine. Edison Research also reported for 2022 that after years of steady growth, Americans who report listening to at least one podcast declined from 41% to 38%.

Random Ramblings

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