Spotify Technology's fourth-quarter revenue forecast fell short of predictions, extending a rough stretch for the world’s biggest paid music service.
The company expects revenue of 1.35 billion euros ($1.54 billion) to 1.55 billion euros.
Third-quarter operating margin shrank to a negative 0.5 percent from negative 7.1 percent in recent quarters. The company reported an operating loss of 6 million euros after previously guiding investors to expect losses between 10-90 million euros.
Spotify also tightened its expectations for full-year 2018 monthly active listeners to between 199 million to 206 million users.
Though third-quarter, Spotify's subscriber growth was roughly as expected. The company has 191M monthly active users - including free, advertising-supported listeners - an 28% YoY increase. The company said it had 87M monthly subscribers, up 40% YoY. The company said that its streaming service is available in 65 markets and that it has paid to right holders EUR 10B in revenues, as of 8/31/2018.
Spotify relies on striking licensing agreements with major record labels, which account for the vast majority of music streams on its service. The company is entering into re-negotiations with the labels during 2019.
Investors are looking for a payoff from Spotify’s push into alternate forms of audio, including podcasts, which is meant to reduce its reliance on music. It has also been offering artists ways to release songs without a record label, boosting the cut for both the musician and Spotify.