Finance Forex

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Tells Cramer What’s Behind Company’s Podcast Acquisitions

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TheStreet’s Jim Cramer, an avid user of Spotify Technology S.A. (SPOT) , spoke with company founder and CEO Daniel Ek Wednesday about the music streaming service’s latest quarterly report and its announcement that it is acquiring two podcast companies, Gimlet Media Inc. and Anchor, for an unspecified amount of money.

Ek said that Spotify has become the second largest podcast platform in just two years and that it would continue to invest in the space.  

“It is really about expanding our mission from just being about music to being about all of audio and being the world’s leading audio platform,” Ek told Cramer on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on Wednesday. “And what we are seeing is…our users [that] are listening to podcasts are listening to the platform almost twice as much.”

Ek said Spotify would be ramping up its spending on original content in general in order to increase engagement, and was asked about the impact of such spending on profit margins, which the company has previously said would eventually get into the 30% to 35% range.  

“We’re staying steady with our long-term margin goal,” Ek said. “We never said that it would be a linear path to get there. But I think looking at it in our fourth quarter results you can see that the margin is going up.”

The company’s fourth quarter earnings results on Wednesday morning weren’t met with much optimism overall, however, sending Spotify’s stock down roughly 4%.

Spotify was profitable in the fourth quarter with operating income, net income and free cash flow being positive for the first time in the company’s history. The company reported earnings of €442 million euro ($503.4 million), €0.36 a share, which topped analysts’ estimates of a loss of €0.16 a share.

The bad news, however, was that while revenue jumped 30% to €1.495 billion, Wall Street was looking for revenue of €1.501 billion.

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