(Stockholm) The world’s number one audio platform Spotify hit a new high of 515 million active users at the end of the first quarter, up 22% year on year, well above expectations, the group announced Swedish Tuesday.

Analysts expected a total number of 501.54 million active users. Recent advertising campaigns explain this success, claims Spotify.

But the group considerably widened its operating loss from January to March, posting a loss of 156 million euros linked in particular to restructuring costs and social charges, against a loss of 6 million euros in the first quarter of 2022.

The turnover of the Swedish flagship, driven by the increase in the number of subscribers, jumped 14% in the first quarter of this year, to 3 billion euros, nevertheless below the expectations of analysts who expected out of 3.4 billion.

The number of paying subscribers increased by 15% over the period, to 210 million, better than the 207 million expected by analysts, driven according to the group by good growth in all regions and particularly in Latin America.

“We had our best first quarter since our IPO in 2018, with nearly all of our performance metrics exceeding (our) expectations,” Spotify said.

The platform, based in Stockholm but listed in New York, has been occasionally profitable in some quarters. But it regularly shows losses, despite a dazzling growth in the number of its subscribers and a lead over its competitors, such as Apple Music or Amazon Music.

Historical leader in legal music streaming, Spotify has invested more than a billion euros in podcasting in recent years, becoming there too number one worldwide.

But the profitability has yet to be demonstrated, according to analysts, who are increasingly skeptical.

The development of the podcast has also been a source of controversy, including with American star Joe Rogan being accused of spreading misinformation on his shows.

The group, already regularly criticized by artists famous or not for the payment deemed insufficient for each “stream”, had been forced to take measures to calm the controversy.