clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Here’s what to expect from Spotify’s first-ever earnings report

The streaming music company releases its Q1 numbers this afternoon.

Spotify Investor Day
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek
Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Spotify
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Last month, Spotify went public. Today, the music streaming company releases its first-ever earnings report.

Spoiler: The company gave us a preview of this afternoon’s numbers a few weeks ago — just as its first quarter was coming to a close. So it’s very unlikely that Spotify is going to miss its goals, which include paid subscriber totals of 73 million to 76 million, and gross margins of up to 24 percent.

To be clear: It is possible to miss your first earnings numbers as a public company — ask Snap, which tanked after it blew its first report last year.

To be fair, some of Snap’s problems seemed to be about Wall Street’s confusion about its comp plans, not its actual performance. Still, if you are Spotify, it’s a good example of what not to do.*

In the absence of surprising results, today’s report and subsequent earnings call will provide investors a first chance to measure Spotify’s Daniel Ek as the CEO of a public company.

How much of the call will Ek handle himself? How much will he hand over to Barry McCarthy, his CFO, who turned in a star performance during the company’s investor day in March, and whose Netflix pedigree is an important part of Spotify’s pitch?

The good news for Spotify is that some investors already seem convinced that the company is on the right path as it competes with Apple, Google and Amazon for consumers’ ears and subscriptions. Shares have bounced up 10 percent since the first day it went public. Let’s see what happens today.

* Don’t do this, either.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.