Spotify Q3’23 results: growth & profitability

Today Spotify released Q3’23 financial results. The company reached 574 million MAU and 226 million subscribers in Q3 and expects to pass 600 million (!) MAU in Q4. Combined with 13 % lower operational costs y-o-y Spotify ended up with an operating profit and operational cashflow was back to the ca €200 million per quarter it had before Q4’22..

In Q3 Spotify had 9,241 employees (FTEs or full-time equivalents), down from 9 % from Q4’23 when it had 10,151 and roughly in-line with announced layoffs.

With gross profit of €885 million in Q3, that gives about €383,000 in annualized gross profit per employee. At that level it makes sense that Spotify is expecting to be profitable going forward as that is basically the $400,000 in revenue per employee that can be used as rule of thumb for profitability for a SaaS company.

Sam Altman interviews Vinod Khosla

The interview is a few years old, but covers several evergreen topics, including what is required for an investor to give good advice to founders and how to attract brilliant early employees (great other team members + be generous with equity).

Also a reminder that Sun Microsystems created a ‘startup mafia’ long before PayPal.