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Swedish company Spotify aims for a billion users by 2030

Audio streaming platform Spotify said on Wednesday it aims to have one billion users by 2030, as well as an annual revenue of $100 billion within ten years.

Swedish company Spotify aims for a billion users by 2030

Co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek, speaking at an investor day event in New York, said the ambitious goal could be achieved in part through an expansion of Spotify’s portfolio of podcasts and audiobooks, while making the platform a one-stop shop for content creators.

“As the world’s creator platform, we will provide the infrastructure and resources that will enable 50 million artists and creators to grow and manage their own businesses, monetize their work, and effectively promote it,” said Ek.

The Sweden-based, New York-listed company reported 9.6 billion euros ($10.9 billion) in revenue for 2021, meaning it would need a nearly tenfold increase to hit the mark set out on Wednesday by Ek.

It also had 422 million users at the end of the first quarter of 2022, making it by far the world’s most frequented audio platform.

While in recent quarters the company’s gross margin (revenue minus costs directly related to its work) has hovered at around 26 percent, Ek said his goal was to reach 40 percent, also within ten years.

Spotify is also aiming for an operating margin (sales minus all costs before interest and taxes) of 20 percent, a figure implying the company would have become clearly profitable, which is not the case today.

In recent quarters, the online audio platform — now present in 183 countries and territories — has fluctuated between a modestly positive and slightly negative operating margin.

Spotify has invested more than $1 billion in acquiring notable podcasters as well as building a fully integrated podcast platform, from production to advertising management, to make it the world leader in the sector.

Last year, Spotify also bought the major audio book producer and distributor Findaway.

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SAS

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

More than 3,700 flights where cancelled and 380,000 passengers where affected by the 15-day strike which hit Scandinavia's SAS airline last month, the company has revealed.

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

“We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected by the July strike,” Anko van der Werff, the company’s chief executive, said in a press release. “We are happy operations returned to normality again allowing us to start regaining our customers’ trust.”

According to the release, 1.3 million passengers travelled with the airline in July, which was still a 23 percent increase on the same month last year, when Covid-19 restrictions were still reducing tourism levels.

“In comparison with last month, the total number of passengers decreased with 32 percent and capacity was decreased by 23 percent, which was a result from the 15-day pilot strike,” the release read. 

Pilot unions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, went on strike for 15 days last month over pay, conditions, and the company’s refusal to rehire pilots laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic on the same terms as before. 

The strike, which cost the airline between €9m and €12m a day, was ended on July 19th, after which it took several days to get flights back to normal

Van der Werff said company said it would now continue putting in place its restructuring plan, SAS FORWARD, and push ahead with restructuring in the US, where the company has filed for Chapter 11. 

He said these would both “accelerate the transformation process that will lead to a financially stable airline, that will be able to deliver the service our customers are expecting”. 

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