back to article Spotify springs bloody leak as losses grow to $197m – report

Spotify's net losses jumped significantly in 2014 to $197m from $68m a year earlier, it has been reported. The Stockholm, Sweden-based music streaming service blamed hole in finances on international expansion, recruiting more staff and product development. According to the New York Times, which cited documents filed in …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    40% headcount increase!?

    Given that their namesake product has been mature for years, either (a) elaborate new product coming or (b) they've crossed the management event horizon and will now continue to suck in staff until either financial or gravitational collapse ensues...

    1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: 40% headcount increase!?

      Subordinates multiply at a fixed rate regardless of output.

      Professor Parkinson

      1. Tim99 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: 40% headcount increase!?

        Subordinates multiply at a fixed rate regardless of output.

        Professor Parkinson

        Unless something else is going on here as well, it is unlikely to be Parkinson's Law - The formula for which generally only gives 5-7% staff increases per year. Oh dear, maybe the extra staff are lawyers?

    2. rtb61

      Re: 40% headcount increase!?

      More like inflate executive salaries until golden parachute status achieved and kaboom, bankruptcy for the investors and staff and a wealthy retirement for the executive team. How many times does this exact same scenario have to play out before people realise what is going on with the snakes in suits as the run company after company into the ground whilst they stroll of with millions of dollars in stupidly inflated salaries.

      That seems to be the sole purpose and function of the modern executive team, continually inflate their salaries, for as long as the company can take it. I wonder, excluding executive salaries are they still losing money or are they generating a profit.

    3. David 164 Bronze badge

      Re: 40% headcount increase!?

      Given that they have a big announcement coming up my guess would be a new product. Also they could have expanded their staff into area like ads sales team and not new developers.

  2. thomas k.

    better get that video service up

    Then the money will start rolling in, just ask Google.

    1. Cliff

      Re: better get that video service up

      I haven't seen figures for youtube as a subdivision for ages, but I know a few years back it was half a billion bucks a year subsidy. I wonder if it's better or worse now (assuming you don't confuse things with internal accounting handwaving)? Better-more adverts, worse-more hours of stuff spinning every day, removal of more copyrighted works.

      Perhaps we should just write this whole internet thing off as a failed experiment ;-)

    2. montyburns56

      Re: better get that video service up

      "Then the money will start rolling in, just ask Google."

      At least until those piano playing cats remove their art from their video service

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    No wonder they are afraid of Apple

    Their investors will be getting itchy feet.

    Apple to buy Spotify? Nah. They don't need them, they bought Beats.

    What surprises me is that Spotify didn't see Apple muscling in on their play when the Beats deal went through. They have had enough notice of the as yet unannounced Apple service.

    A few too many PHB's in Spotify perhaps?

  4. Cliff

    Something is seriously screwed

    So the artists aren't making money, spotify aren't making money, investors aren't making money, why not just pull the plug on the whole venture and surely then everybody will be happy again?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Something is seriously screwed

      One possibility is that artists are making money, just not as much as they want to. What would the losses be in a music subscription service in which artists and record companies got what they consider fair recompense?

      1. Dan Watson

        Re: Something is seriously screwed

        I wouldn't call 0.01p (in the UK) per stream making money.

        When you consider you only need to sell 15k copies to get to no.1 in the charts the chances of getting enough streams to make a living, let alone a packet, are tiny.

        The only thing I can think of is the artists are paid that little but a lot more is paid to the labels, cutting out the artists but also cutting into Spotify's profits.

    2. Frank Bough

      Re: Something is seriously screwed

      ...but the kids love it!

    3. Wilco

      Re: Something is seriously screwed

      I won't - I love Spotify. Possibly even enough to give them a bit more more than GBP10/month.

  5. ecofeco Silver badge

    Must be fucking nice

    Where can I get job where I live well and lose millions of dollars?!

    Fucking wankers!

    I'm working on project with a partner making a little utility that keeps your bookmarks safe from prying eyes while synchronizing them across all the various browsers and I can't even raise one damn dollar for it.

    You know, something useful. Maybe that's my mistake right there.

    1. dkjd

      Re: Must be fucking nice

      Become a banker

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Must be fucking nice

        HA! Right?

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Must be fucking nice

        "Become a banker"

        Politician may be easier. You get £60,000 per annum (excluding expenses), and if you're like Ed Balls and get sacked, you get £80,000 redundancy.

        Yes, you get redundancy when people think you're crap at your job and vote for someone better.

        1. Truffle

          Re: Must be fucking nice

          Not a fan of Ed Balls at all, but he doesn't get £80k redundancy. Suggest you don't read the Daily Mail.

          He gets 1 month pay for each year he's been an MP upto 6 years, thats his redundancy. Otherwise he is entitled to upto £56k in expenses to shut down his offices, lay off staff, etc.

    2. The Mighty Spang

      Re: Must be fucking nice

      i aspire to be jeff bezos. creator of a company that has never turned a profit in 20 years, yet however is worth 40 billion dollars.

      so far i've got the creator of a company that has never turned a profit worked out pretty well, its the rest i'm having a problem with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Must be fucking nice

        > so far i've got the creator of a company that has never turned a profit worked out pretty well

        Well, it's a start... :-)

    3. jeffdyer

      Re: Must be fucking nice

      Don't want to be a kill joy but that's a practically unachieveable solution searching for a non existent problem. It would have to support every single browser on every single platform, and all future variants.

      I doubt that anyone would pay money for that anyway. The number of times anyone would be so desperate to get to a bookmark so badly that they would pay money to do it must be slim indeed.

      I'd love to be proved wrong however. Have you tried kickstarter etc.? That would give you some pretty direct feedback as to the perceived usefulness of it?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Must be fucking nice

      > I'm working on project with a partner [....] and I can't even raise one damn dollar for it.

      I do feel your pain, having been there before (a few times, actually).

      And yes, the thing *is* screwed up--making the right sounds is more important than the actual substance of your idea. I am of the opinion that the whole VC thing these days is full of late-comers who missed the boat in the 90s and early 00s (post-bubble) and are playing catch-up while resorting to unhealthy amounts of speculation in the process.

      With that said, I fail to see how those who manage to convince investors to give them money are wankers. It is the likes of you and me, my dear chap, who are the real wankers here.

      ... at least we are wankers who try, mind.

  6. batfastad

    Paid subscribers?

    I wonder how many of paid subscribers only signed up because of the 99p for 3 month deal just before Christmas. I did and guess what, I let it rot. It's a good service but I just didn't use it enough to justify a tenner a month. A fiver? Perhaps. But as it goes the free version is more than adequate for the limited amount of time I listen to any of the music that is offered by Spotify.

  7. Sarah Balfour

    There's a reason I let my Spotify sub lapse…

    …but, when I endeavour to explain it, no fucker understands, so I don't.

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