Spotify CFO Says Company Could Be Profitable “If We Wanted To”

Spotify logo
  • Save

Spotify Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Paul Vogel recently stated that his company could achieve profitability “if we wanted to.”

Vogel made the noteworthy remark – and other interesting comments – during the newest episode of the Spotify: For the Record podcast. This edition of the biweekly program also covered the leading music streaming platform’s massive deal with League of Legends developer Riot Games, as well as its performance in the Russian market.

After providing an update on Spotify employees’ remote-working productivity (which roughly matches pre-pandemic effectiveness, despite the arrangement’s relative challenges for some) and his thoughts on CEO Daniel Ek, Vogel spoke of the company’s ability to juggle short- and long-term goals.

“I think for us, it is that balance, right? It’s the balance of not trying to be overly promotional and really trying to just say, ‘Hey, look, we’re building a business for the long term and if you believe in the strategy and you believe in what we’re going to do and what we’re trying to create, then just stick with us because it’s going to be really successful. This company’s going to be a lot bigger and worth a lot more,’” said Vogel.

Vogel then touched on his view of Spotify’s relationship with the Big Three record labels, suggesting that the platform has much to offer the companies aside from its core streaming function, while emphasizing that he wishes to work with both signed and indie artists. After that, the conversation turned to the Stockholm-based entity’s plan to enjoy continued growth in the coming months and years.

“At the end of the day, there’s billions and billions of smartphones, and there’s no reason why every smartphone out there shouldn’t have a streaming-audio service. And our view is it should be Spotify,” said Vogel.

And a key element of the company’s vision for reaching these potential subscribers is reinvesting as opposed to prioritizing short-term profits, per Vogel. “We think there’s a huge opportunity for us to continue to expand. … And if we wanted to, we could obviously manage the business to show, you know, an income-statement profitability if we wanted to. But we wouldn’t be investing as aggressively in content, or R&D, all the stuff we’re doing around AI and machine learning.

“And so for us we think continuing to move the ball forward with our ability to grow users and subs, innovate on the product, add more content, you know, really, really is what’s gonna set us up for long-term success,” finished Vogel.

Since announcing in May that it would become the exclusive home of The Joe Rogan Experience, Spotify has seen its stock nearly double in value, with shares worth $279.36 apiece when the market closed today. And in addition to finalizing agreements for other high-profile podcasts, the platform has strived for greater profitability through expanded pay-for-promotion options, which have already factored into negotiations with the Big Three labels.

9 Responses

  1. Johnny

    What we can see now is that the price of a unit of art will continue to decline as technology progresses. This will be true for music, movies, artwork, photographs, fiction and non fiction books, or anything which can be digitized. As the art and content becomes less and less commercially and economically viable, it can support fewer artists. As this happens, talented artists will enter other pursuits and endeavors because everyone has to eat. Collectively, this will reduce the quality of the art available, because some people who would have gone on to produce great art will instead choose a vocation that allows them to be fed.

    The arts are dying. Technology is killing them.

    • Angelito

      That’s a defeatist attitude and wrong. Tech doesn’t kill art. People kill art. We see it generation after generation where they now place little to no value on any medium of art (except selfies).

  2. ben

    I’ve never used nor istalled Spotify or any streaming app on my devices.. and It’s not in my plans… I’d rather die then to be a part of this stupid ‘disruptive economy’.

    you guy’s at Sp-horrify, Uber, etc…etc.. and all CEOs CFO,s MOFO’S from this disruptive economy.. just GFY!

  3. Wake Up

    Music As We Know It Has No Value…

    The Genres Are Dead!

    Standing On Stage Fiddling Your Instrument Is Over!!!

    You Can’t Evolve Because The Music Monopoly Has Stunted Musicians
    Placed Entertainers In Our Stead!

    The Monopoly Made Billions

    Because It’s More Profitable For It Not To Report!

    It Also Behooves Them To Use Independent Artists

    Sign Up…Place Your Music… And Ignore It As The Tec Tyrants Run Away With It

    Hiding Numbers & Regions On The Back End

    Making A Fortune Without You Knowing

    Then You Get A Licencing Deal From A Spotify Artists

    It’s To Expensive For Them To Support Your Music Because They Want Every Drop Of Profit!

    They Hand It Off To One Of Their Artists Because They Make More Money That Way…

    It’s Profitable For Them To Look Like They Limp…

    Let’s Open That Black Account Book They Keep

    The Music Industry Knows What Your Doing

    They Need Money And They Will Massacre SpotALie To Get That Cash!

    This Article Is Propaganda For Spotify To Stop There Consumption!

    How Do I Know… Digital Music News Just Wrote An Article Stating Spotifys Profits Are Up Over All Music Revenues Are 1999 Levels!

    Just Look At ALL The Lawsuits!

    The Snake Will Be Eating Their Own Head Soon

    And We Get To Watch!!!

    Napster Was The Beginning

    Ask Yourselves…

    How Hard Is It To Stop Piracy?

    How Did The Movie Industry Get It Right And The Music Industry Didnt?

    Maybe Because They Didn’t Want To!

    Wake Up…
    This Is Not Music’s End Of Days It’s The Monopolys And Spotifys

    SpotALie Has The Only Profit at Present? And The Monoply Wants It…

    In The Mean While…

    Take Your Music Off These Streaming Sites!!!

    Grab Your Popcorn And Enjoy The Show!

    Hold Your New Music Releases For After The Crash…

    It’s Coming Soon

    Also Be Wary Of The Monopoly Signing Artists…

    Don’t Sign Your Self To A Dying Business

    The Entire Industry Over Leveraged

    We Will Be Free Soon Fam!

  4. Johnny

    The biggest problem in the music business is RADIO. They only play music from the big corporations because they make lots of money doing that. PAYOLA is dumbing down our industry because nobody cares about QUALITY MUSIC (which costs a lot of money to record) and they only care about MORE MONEY! And so the Record companies release the cheapest and worst music they can since they know that marketing and any old crap will make them money and why spend a lot of money on good music when the fans will buy the crap music? There will be no solution until the musicians decide to take back control of the music business. Until radio stations start playing great music again, and until the fans start paying for this music to be made. Until then it will continue to be the same old, wham bam thank you man disco and Rap crap with all the songs sounding the same!! Seems like they have been playing the same TEN SONGS over and over again on radio for the last twenty years!

  5. Sir Poopster

    Never forget that Daniel Ek came from Napstar, the company that was operating illegally stealing music.

    • Jerry

      That is incorrect. He didn’t work at Napster ever. He was inspired by Napster, though.