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When Spotify began more than 10 years ago, it had a simple goal: to establish itself as a force in the music business by making millions of songs instantly available to listeners worldwide. But with its announcement on Wednesday that it had acquired two podcast companies, the streaming service sent a strong signal that it has broader ambitions. No longer does it aim to be a go-to destination for just music fans. It now sees itself as a provider of online audio, period. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
Connor Ball, the year-old bassist of the British pop band the Vamps, was in the shower when he realized something was up. The song he was listening to on Spotify, by the American singer Lauv, had suddenly stopped. Ball remembered thinking.
Spotify now has million paying users around the world, the company said on Monday. But the music-streaming giant stumbled slightly in its recent entry into India, and its profit margins narrowed partly because of an aggressive investment in podcasts. In its first-quarter earnings report , Spotify said it had million users around the world, up from million at the end of last year. Of those, million are paying subscribers, compared with 96 million at the end of Since it went public a little over a year ago, the company said, the number of subscribers has jumped 32 percent, from 75 million in the first quarter of In its most recent quarter, Spotify, which is based in Stockholm, had revenue of 1. That was a 33 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Unlike Spotify, which offers a free plan that includes advertising, Apple Music is available only by paid subscription. As the two companies compete for listeners around the world, India has been one of the most coveted new markets. The company said Monday that the figure had doubled since then.