After a podcast hosted on Spotify spread untruths about COVID-19, the company has come under pressure. Some artists — with the most striking example of Neil Young — abandoned the service as a form of protest, and, almost at the same time, many users did too. That means rival platforms gained more customers, right? Yea, but not much.
Let it be known right now: in terms of number of users, Spotify is doing very well. To give you an idea, the company ended 2021 with 400 million active users.
The problem is that, in recent weeks, movements like #cancelspotify e #deletespotify gained strength on social networks, especially on Twitter. Users who adhere to these campaigns, so to speak, protest against Joe Rogan’s podcast, which published an episode at the end of the year that made false claims about COVID-19.
In the face of the repercussion of the matter, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek published a letter in which he promises to make the platform’s rules more transparent for content producers and display warnings in content about COVID-19 that lead to a hub of reliable information about the disease.
But nothing happened to Rogan. There are those who advocate that he be banned from Spotify or, at least, have the problematic episode removed from there.
This is the background for many users to decide to switch audio streaming platform. But what is the impact of this move for Spotify and competing services?
Rivals grew up? Have grown. But…
Some data revealed by the market intelligence company Sensor Tower when TechCrunch give clues. As Spotify and other platforms do not report user entry and exit numbers, the company used as a parameter an analysis of registered application installations from the App Store and Google Play Store.
Note in the table below that the number of Spotify downloads dropped from 6.6 million in the week of December 24, 2021 to 6 million in the week of January 24, 2022. This is a 10% decrease, about.
But notice that the other services also recorded losses in the period, with the exception of Tidal, which saw its number of downloads jump from 156 thousand to 168 thousand.
|App||December, 24||January 24||Variation|
|Amazon Music||988 thousand||750 thousand||-24,1%|
|Apple Music||437 thousand||412 thousand||-5,7%|
|Apple Podcasts||32 thousand||29 thousand||-9,4%|
|Spotify||6.6 million||6 million||-9,1%|
|YouTube Music||1.4 million||1.3 million||-7,1%|
|Tidal||156 thousand||168 thousand||7,7%|
However, if we compare the numbers for the week of January 17th with those of the week of the 24th of the same month — precisely the period in which the protests gained strength — we will see that Spotify maintained an average of 6 million downloads, but the other platforms grew. .
|App||January 17||January 24||Variation|
|Amazon Music||725 thousand||750 thousand||3,4%|
|Apple Music||399 thousand||412 thousand||3,3%|
|Apple Podcasts||29 thousand||29 thousand||0%|
|Spotify||6 million||6 million||0%|
|YouTube Music||1.2 million||1.3 million||8,3%|
|Tidal||129 thousand||168 thousand||30,2%|
But they grew marginally. YouTube saw an increase of 8.3%, while Amazon Music and Apple Music recorded 3.4% and 3.3%, respectively. Again, Tidal was the most notable case with a growth of 30%, but in absolute numbers, the platform is much less sought after than the others.
Of course, these numbers must be analyzed carefully. Without extensive research, it is not possible to say that the increases in downloads recorded by Spotify’s rivals are due to the latter’s abandonment.
What is clear is that, despite the movement being strong, in practice, the Spotify boycott has had little or no negative effect on the platform’s customer base.
On the other hand, this does not mean that there will be no consequences. It is possible that this situation will drive away new subscribers and, even for a short time, affect the value of Spotify shares. These problems could be exacerbated if more artists — particularly those with a wide reach — join the boycott.