Federica Tremolada: “Spotify will make selective investments, adjust expenses and gain efficiency”

Federica Tremolada, Spotify’s General Director for Southern and Eastern Europe, faces the company’s challenges with the optimism of someone who feels the support and loyalty of users. For now, the world’s largest and most popular subscription streaming music service is close to 500 million subscribers spread across 180 markets. This dimension is decisive in helping emerging artists and making their music known to the world.

After presenting the annual accounts, could you point out the company’s challenges for the year?

We finished last year beating forecasts on nearly all of our key metrics in the fourth quarter. We reached a total of 205 million premium subscribers (3 million above forecasts) and added a record 33 million net monthly active users (10 million above forecasts). In terms of revenue and profitability, our total revenues also grew 18% year-over-year and gross margins also exceeded forecasts. Looking ahead, the macro environment has changed significantly in the last year, so we are focusing on adjusting our spending and becoming more efficient. As we continue to build the platform of the future and a great business, we will make selective investments in new opportunities with efficiency and prioritization in mind.

What business forecasts does Spotify handle in Spain?

Spain is a market in which we are growing in all audio verticals, from music to original and exclusive podcasts, and in future formats. In 2023 we expect strong growth in Spain and to achieve this we will continue to bet on further improving the user experience, with a strong focus on personalization, that is, content and experiences that adapt to the tastes, interests and affinities of each user. to help them discover new audio content.

Do you plan to raise prices in Spain in the current inflationary climate?

With over 100 million songs and 5 million podcasts, Spotify continues to innovate and invest to offer our listeners more value than ever before, including the best audio content and the best user experience. We offer a variety of subscription plans tailored to the needs of our users, and from time to time we update our prices to continue offering an unbeatable service.

How is the UCB billing service working on Android?

Since March, we’ve been collaborating with Google to design and build the first implementation of Google User Choice Billing for Spotify users. In November, we started the journey to add Google Play Billing as a payment option for Spotify subscribers in countries like Italy, Poland, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Mexico and Australia. We are proud to be part of a project that will build a healthier online ecosystem where innovation can thrive and real competition will flourish, ultimately benefiting creators, users and the business of Spotify.

What are the advantages of this alternative payment system for in-app purchases?

Spotify has been publicly advocating for cross-platform equity and expanding payment options for years. We believe that fair and open platforms enable better, frictionless consumer experiences that also allow developers to imagine, innovate, and thrive. In this way, we also offer the user the possibility of paying their fee in a more comfortable and intuitive way, referring them to two simple options: payment from Google Play or through our own billing system. Therefore, the main advantage is to offer the user the possibility to choose the billing system they want. With this, in addition, we managed to adapt to the needs of consumers.

“We expect strong growth in Spain with the commitment to customization”

Do you consider improving the music playback quality to rival Tidal in HiFi?

The landscape has evolved significantly in 2021, so we have spent a little more time evaluating how best to offer HiFi to our users. We understand that this is an important feature for our listeners and artists. We remain committed to bringing HiFi to users in the future.

What assessment do you make of Barça’s sponsorship? Have you perceived rejection among the fans of rival clubs, such as Real Madrid?

We are incredibly proud of our association with FC Barcelona and the stage it creates for artists to connect with soccer fans around the world. Since the beginning of our collaboration in July 2022, we have made artists visible on Spotify Camp Nou through the LED screens located next to the pitch. Specifically, we have featured more than 16 artists from more than 10 different markets. The stadium’s more than 90,000 spectators and millions of fans around the world have seen international artists like Drake, BLACKPINK, Fireboy DML, Aitch, Cat Burns, Ckay, Lauv, Shygirl and Megan Thee Stallion share the pitch with the Barca.

“We are incredibly proud of our association with Barcelona”

What is Spain’s contribution to the global Radar program, which supports emerging musicians?

Radar is our global program that has given voice and grown hundreds of emerging artists. In Spain, since its launch in 2020, the program has managed to give voice and growth in our country to more than 30 emerging artists, including Quevedo, Morad, María José Llergo and Jimena Amarillo. And last year, the global program Radar featured Quevedo, who had the largest growth in monthly listener volume since he joined the program, going from 8.5 million monthly listeners to more than 34 million monthly listeners. In Spain, the project starts this year with a total of four Spanish artists: Yarea, an artist who alternates between indie and Spanish pop; Queralt Lahoz, a promising flamenco artist with urban influences; Marta Santos, the young Sevillian popular for her characteristic flamenco pop; and Paula Koops, who is part of the new wave of Spanish pop with influences from the 2000s.

Podcasting has doubled its consumption in Spain in 2022, what are your forecasts for the future?

Podcasts have become one of the favorite entertainment options for many Spaniards and listeners from all over the world. In this way, we believe that in the coming years it will continue to be a growing format. In fact, news podcasts are the ones that have increased their consumption the most this year in Spain, with a total increase of 120%.

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