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Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Spotify on Wednesday reported strong Q1 revenue growth, fueled by positive subscriber additions and strong ad sales, as well as lowered headwinds from foreign exchange rates.

The big picture: The Swedish tech giant noted that increased subscriber growth and user engagement can be attributed in part to the better-than-expected performance of "The Joe Rogan Experience," a podcast it acquired exclusively for over $100 million.

  • Spotify came under fire Tuesday for anti-vaccination comments made by Joe Rogan, the host of the podcast. Rogan has long been considered one of the top podcasters in the world, but his brash personality has at times caused Spotify content moderation headaches.

By the numbers:

  • Revenue increased 16% year-over-year to €2.147 billion for the quarter ending on March 31, exceeding analyst expectations.
  • User growth: Spotify added 11 million monthly active users (DAUs), bringing its total active user based to 356 million globally.
  • Subscriber growth: The company added 4 million subscribers to its premium plan, bringing its paid subscriber count to over 158 million globally.

The big picture: Podcasting continues to be a point of growth for the company, although Spotify concedes that the revenue it's making from podcasts — while strong — is being offset by slightly higher costs, weighing on its gross margins.

  • Spotify says that by Q1's end, it had 2.6 million podcasts on the platform, up from more than 2.2 million podcasts by the end of Q4 2020 and 700,000 in Q4 2019.
  • On Tuesday, Spotify launched a new subscription podcast platform that gives creators the ability to create podcasts exclusively for paid subscribers on and off Spotify.

What's next: The company says it expects to hit at least 402 million monthly active users and at least 172 million premium subscribers by year's end.

Go deeper

Uber beats Q2 expectations and turns a rare profit

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Uber posted an unexpected profit for the second quarter, and beat analyst expectations with revenue of $3.9 billion and earnings per share of $0.58.

Why it matters: Uber benefited from unrealized gains of $1.4 billion and $471 million from its stakes in Didi and Aurora, respectively—just two of the ride-hailing company's portfolio of such investments.

Aug 4, 2021 - Health

CVS, Walgreens see uptick of people getting COVID vaccines

CVS has administered 30 million COVID-19 shots as of June 30. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Demand for COVID-19 vaccines has increased at Walgreens and CVS stores in the past month after slow uptake in May and June.

Why it matters: Vaccinations are vital to slow the spread of the Delta variant, and the amount of rising coronavirus cases appears to be nudging some unvaccinated people into a pharmacy.

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.