Spotify Climbs as RBC Raises Price Target

Spotify is 'extremely well positioned to succeed' in podcasts, RBC's Mark Mahaney wrote.
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Spotify  (SPOT) - Get Report shares were climbing Friday after an analyst with RBC Capital Markets increased his price target for the streaming company to $320 from $192.

Shares Stockholm-based Spotify at last check were up 4.4% to $270.25.

Analyst Mark Mahaney, who reiterated his outperform rating, said his U.S. online music survey found that Alphabet's  (GOOGL) - Get Report YouTube and Spotify are the two most popular sources of music in the U.S. today, having both been selected by 34% of survey respondents as one of their most commonly used music streaming services.

In addition, Mahaney wrote that Spotify dominates U.S. paid streaming services, " leaving the field behind." This was the first year that paid music streaming surpassed free ad-supported music streaming in popularity.

The analyst also discussed the growing popularity of podcasts, with 55% of survey respondents having listened to a podcast and 37% listening to them monthly, "with penetration growing in every age cohort."

"Among all respondents who listen to music, 49% indicated they listen to podcasts, an 8pt increase from our 2019 survey results," Mahaney wrote.

The coronavirus outbreak has also increased the appeal of podcasts as more people have been staying home to comply with self-quarantine and social distancing requirements. 

"Given the nature of streaming consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with Spotify’s continuous increase of podcast-user interface, we believe that such product changes are likely to increase podcast penetration in the future and will be tracking these trends closely," Mahaney wrote.

Spotify has recently made a series of podcast deals, including a multiyear partnership with AT&T's  (T) - Get Report Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, the acquisition of Bill Simmons' podcast network The Ringer, an agreement with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama and an exclusive arrangement with Joe Rogan, host of "The Joe Rogan Experience," who will take his extremely popular show to Spotify on Sept. 1.

"We see consistent evidence that Podcasting is a multi-$Billion market experiencing a sustained secular growth, and SPOT is extremely well positioned to succeed in this market," Mahaney said.

The analyst said he expected podcasting to potentially add $560 million in revenue for Spotify by 2022.

Spotify shares are up 83% year to date.

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