Spotify turns to audiobooks and ticket sales in next steps for business – The Hollywood Reporter

Spotify chief financial officer Paul Vogel has touted the company’s early ticketing efforts as a way to boost the music streaming and podcast company’s monetization.

The company recently experimented with selling tickets to listeners, launching a ticket sales website on August 10 for select artists. Speaking at Evercore’s ISI Technology Conference on Wednesday, Vogel said the early efforts had been a hit with artists and had also helped boost that artist’s listening hours on Spotify.

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

While Vogel talked about testing as a way to increase the platform’s average revenue per user, he didn’t share how much money Spotify makes from ticket sales. 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 within the next one to two years, with 2022 as its peak on margins. On Wednesday, Vogel reiterated that view and the podcasting business’s point of view as a way to help with user retention and engagement.

The next test in this area will be in the audiobook sector, which Vogel said the company will start testing and testing “very soon.”

“It’s coming out pretty soon, but I would say don’t expect that to be the last change or improvement we make to the audiobook offering,” he said.

In July, Spotify revealed that in its second quarter the company increased paid subscribers, beating its own estimates, and continued to grow advertising revenue even as other digital companies experienced a slowdown. .

Vogel said the company saw the final weeks of the second quarter as weaker for advertising than the majority of the quarter, but saw “nothing material” in terms of recession-related changes in the second quarter. In the third quarter, the company continued to see this “up and down trend,” but Vogel said executives believe the business is “very resilient.”

This resilience comes from the relatively low price, as well as the stable number of competitors and the tendency of users to stick with one music service.

It also comes after the company said it would slow its pace of hiring by 25% amid “growing uncertainty” in the global economy.