Spotify Technologies (SPOT) - Get Report shares traded lower Monday even after the online music streaming company posted stronger-than-expected first quarter revenues as premium subscribers topped 100 million amid an ongoing challenge from tech giant Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report
Spotfiy said revenues for the three months ending in March were pegged at €1.51 billion ($1.68 billion), up 32.5% from the same period last year and just ahead of the €1.47 billion consensus compiled by Refinitiv. The group also said it sees second quarter sales in the range of €1.51 to €1.71 billion, and as high as €6.8 billion for the full year, a growth rate of around 30%.
Spotify said monthly active users on its music platform rose 26% from last year to 217 million, while the total number of subscribers to its premium service rose 32% and topped the 100 million mark for the first time.
"We announced a significant step forward in our ongoing partnership with Samsung during Q1 whereby the Spotify app will be preloaded on millions of new devices globally," the company said. "New users in the US who purchase Samsung's flagship Galaxy S10 device with the Spotify app preloaded also will have access to a special six month free trial offer for Spotify Premium."
Spotify shares were marked 0.43% lower following the earnings release to change hands at $137.65 each, a move that would trim the stock's year-to-date gain to around 26%.
Earlier this month, media reports suggested Apple Music's monthly growth rate of 3% has allowed it to overtake Spotify for paid subscribers in the key U.S. market, even though the Stockholm, Sweden-based group continues to hold a commanding lead globally.
Apple, for its part, argued last month that its helped customers download more than 300 million Spotify apps as it hit back at a complaint from the streaming music service alleging unfair competitive practices.
Spotify has complained to the EU antitrust regulators earlier that Apple favored its own music service, to the detriment of rivals, thanks in part to fees it charges other app makers to selling content on its platform and Apple's restrictions on linking to external pages where price promotions can be found.
"After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem - including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store's customers - without making any contributions to that marketplace," Apple said Friday. "At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it - even going so far as to take these creators to court."