Spotify Looks to Audiobooks, Ticket Sales In Next Steps for Business – The Srdtf News

Spotify Looks to Audiobooks, Ticket Sales In Next Steps for Business – The Hollywood Reporter

Spotify Chief Financial Officer Paul Vogel touted the company’s early ticketing efforts as one way of boosting monetization at the music streaming and podcast company. 

The company has recently been experimenting with selling tickets to listeners, with the launch of a ticket selling website on Aug. 10 for select artists. Speaking at the Evercore ISI Technology Conference Wednesday, Vogel said the early efforts have been a hit with artists and have also helped increase listening hours for that artist on Spotify. 

“The artists have been thrilled with the pre-sales that we’ve had and our ability to target and sell tickets to their super fans and get that audience engaged,” Vogel said. “What we’ve also seen is when people buy tickets through Spotify, they actually then tend to listen to more of that artist on Spotify as well.” 

While Vogel spoke to the tests as a way of boosting average revenue per user for the platform, he did not share how much money Spotify is making from ticket selling. The company recently defended its business case, as investors continue to question Spotify’s gross margins amid continued investment in podcasting and other areas. 

At Spotify’s investor day in June, the company said it expects its podcasting business to turn a profit in one to two years, with 2022 as the peak drag on margins. On Wednesday, Vogel reiterated that view and the view of the podcasting business as a means of helping user retention and engagement. 

The next test in that arena will be in the audiobooks business, which Vogel said the company will start testing and trialing “very soon.”

“It’s going to come out reasonably soon, but I would say don’t expect that to be the last change or improvement we make on the audiobooks offering,” he said. 

In July, Spotify revealed that in its second quarter, the company grew paying subscribers, surpassing its own estimates, and continued to grow advertising revenue even as other digital companies have seen a slowdown. 

Vogel said the company had seen the last few weeks of the second quarter as weaker for advertising than the majority of the quarter, but had not seen “anything material” in terms of changes related to the recession in the second quarter. In the third quarter, the company has continued to see that “up and down trend,” but Vogel said executives feel the business is “very resilient.”

That resilience comes from the relatively low price point, as well as the stable number of competitors and users’ tendency to stay with one music service. 

It also comes after the company said it will slow down its hiring pace by 25 percent amid “increasing uncertainty” in the global economy.

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