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Peter Schiff: Washington Goes Full Orwellian

Peter Schiff: Washington Goes Full Orwellian

Via SchiffGold.com,

An audacious communications campaign from Democrats in Washington is currently…

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Peter Schiff: Washington Goes Full Orwellian

Via SchiffGold.com,

An audacious communications campaign from Democrats in Washington is currently underway that is attempting to convince the public that:

As strange as these claims sound to anyone with even the most casual grasp of reality, it is a testament to the post-factual world we now occupy that the Biden Administration is able to attempt, let alone succeed in, putting out such monumental fantasies.

The campaign began late in July when the Biden team attempted to redefine the word “recession.” While the left has always tried to redefine words (think “racism” or “gender”), it has never attempted it so spontaneously with such a technical definition. Typically, they let new definitions germinate in academia or policy think tanks before trotting them out for public consumption. That was the playbook that helped change the meaning of the word “inflation” (from its original understanding as an expansion of the money supply, to its current definition tied solely to rising prices). But the inflation campaign unfolded over decades and did not require the public to completely surrender its critical capacities.

I’ve been publicly commenting and writing about the economy for almost 30 years (and talking about it for essentially my entire six decades on the planet). Over that time, the technical definition of “recession” has never been in dispute. Of course, I’ve had many arguments over what caused any given recession, why recessions may be necessary to purge an economy from excesses and malinvestments caused by artificially low interest rates, what government responses should be to recessions, or why things were better or worse than a particular political party claimed them to be. But in that time, I never encountered anyone who quibbled with the accepted technical definition of “recession” as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. What would be the point? Recessions affected both political parties. Why change a definition when the original definition may suit you down the road?

But that’s what the Biden Administration did when they claimed that the Second Quarter GDP Report, which showed a .9% annualized decline in GDP, following a 1.6% annualized decline in the First Quarter (Bureau of Economic Analysis), did not mean we were in a recession.

What? That’s been the textbook definition for…like forever. If Biden wanted to put a happy spin on the data, which is what sitting Presidents do, he could have said, “while technically it’s a recession, the current period shows many signs of strength that are not typical in recessions, leading us to believe we are in much better shape than the GDP headlines suggest, and that the recession will be shallow and over quickly.” I would have disagreed with that, but it’s fair game. But his approach wasn’t just to move the goalposts, it was to take them down entirely.

What’s even worse is that the very next day after the Biden Administration first floated its idea that “two negative quarters are not a recession,” the point was repeated by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at his FOMC press conference on July 27. If nothing else, this proves just how ridiculous claims of “Fed independence” have been over the years. Economists like to claim that the Fed acts independent of political control.  Would they have us believe the Fed spontaneously changed its definition of recession precisely after the administration did? Clearly, the Fed is taking its marching orders from the White House.

The sad part is that outside the typical sources of right-of-center news, the media just ran with the new definition. My favorite was the Associated Press headline that ran after the GDP numbers were announced, “U.S. Economy Shrinks for a Second Quarter, Raising Recession Fear.” (7/28/22) Up until two seconds ago that would have been reported as the official start of a recession, not something that would simply “raise fears,” of a future eventuality. This redefinition of terms would have been impossible when journalistic standards were higher and institutional memory more entrenched.

In George Orwell’s 1984, the totalitarian State of Oceania, where the action takes place, is always at war with another empire. Sometimes against Eurasia, and sometimes against Eastasia. But when the antagonists switched positions, as they often did, it served the government’s interest that the public forget that any other enemy ever existed. It required citizens to say, “We have always been at war with Eurasia,” even if that war just started yesterday. In the same vein, a recession has never been defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth!

Following up on this easy rhetorical victory, the Biden team decided to keep the ball rolling by claiming that there was “zero inflation in America in July.” That may come as a surprise to a select group of Americans, say those who have shopped at stores in the past month, but the claim went largely uncriticized in the press.

To tell this whopper, Biden had to talk only about month-over-month inflation, and ignore the year-over-year data, which still shows a hefty 8.5% inflation rate in July (down slightly from the prior month). (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) In all my years following economic news, I can say with extreme certainty that I never saw anyone hold up a month-over-month number as proof of anything. So yes, gas prices came down in July, possibly as a result of the release of millions of barrels of oil in the U.S. Strategic Reserve (though food, rent, and service prices continued their relentless rise). But oil prices could very well be up in September. Should we expect Biden to place great weight on that eventuality as well?  Don’t hold your breath. In reality, after so many months of blistering price increases, a cooler month should be expected. The trend lines remain unbroken.

This “zero inflation” claim, repeated by Administration spokespeople dozens of times, is the kind of huge lie that would have elicited waves of head-smacking coverage during the Trump Administration. But Biden is getting a pass, he’s even being congratulated for his rhetorical boldness and courage in standing up to the “right-wing spin machine.”

But the best piece of doublethink comes with the Democratic Party’s passage of the 2022 “Inflation Reduction Act.” In the long history of misnamed pieces of legislation, this title might be the most egregious. Nothing in the gargantuan Bill was conceived with the aim of reducing inflation and nothing in the Bill will actually accomplish that goal. In truth, many of the plan’s provisions will make inflation even worse.

On some level, you must admire the audacity. The Democrats took a bunch of terrible ideas that they couldn’t pass in the Build Back Better Bill (either in the original $3 trillion version or the slimmed down $1.3 trillion version) and jammed it into a new package which they rebranded the Inflation Reduction Act. It didn’t bother them that all the elements of the Bill were conceived before inflation was considered a major national priority and were not designed with inflation reduction in mind. They know that inflation is a high priority to voters, so they want to look like they are doing something about it.

The Bill, which will pass both Congressional houses without a single Republican vote, proposes $764 billion of new revenue (including new taxes and greater enforcement of existing tax law, and savings resulting from lower prescription drug prices paid by Medicare) and $517 billion in new spending, with the difference going toward Federal deficit reduction.  Unfortunately, the variety of healthcare, environmental and social welfare spending, combined with new taxes and beefed-up IRS enforcement, will hamstring the country’s economic vitality, and tend to increase both budget deficits and inflation. And as a result, the plan will do far more harm than good. Let’s look at the contents:

The Bill looks to raise revenue by:

$265 Billion – Allowing Medicare more leverage in negotiating lower drug prices paid to pharmaceutical companies. This is the government’s primary example of the Bill’s anti-inflationary bona fides as it intends to lower costs for consumers. But this type of price control has a very poor track record in fighting inflation. The government will mandate lower prices, which may limit supply of current drugs and discourage the research and development of new drugs. The savings will likely be far smaller than the government expects.

$222 Billion – Minimum 15% corporate tax for companies with more than $1 billion in annual income. As with all such provisions, this policy does not take into account how corporations will alter their structures and practices to avoid the tax. As a result, the take will be lower than the government expects. Also, companies will deal with higher tax and accounting burdens by reducing output, raising prices, and cutting salaries. This is not anti-inflationary. Worse, money that is paid in taxes is not available to finance capital investment. The result will be a reduction in supply, putting greater upward pressure on prices.

$204 Billion – Increased tax revenue through greater enforcement. – This is the most controversial aspect of the Bill. This nightmarish provision more than doubles the size of the Internal Revenue Service and adds 87,000 new agents specifically to increase the number of taxpayer audits. While the Biden administration is pretending that the agents will only go after the ultra-wealthy and the large corporations (who are limited in number and who can afford to hire accountants and lawyers), in truth the typical target will likely be small businesses and members of the burgeoning “gig” economy. The added fear of IRS scrutiny will cause these business owners to spend more time and money on accounting and legal fees, devote less time and money into growing their businesses, and invest less in increasing capacity.  All of this will cut into output and profits, thereby putting upward pressure on prices and downward pressure on wages. This will not help curb inflation.

$74 billion – Imposition of a 1% excise tax on stock share buybacks. This provision is likely the least destructive of the revenue provisions, but it will do nothing to lower inflation. However, any money a corporation pays in taxes is money it no longer has for capital investment. So, this reduces supply, the opposite of what is needed to fight inflation.

The Bill will spend new money on:

$369 Billion – Energy Security and Climate Change – This is the boondoggle portion of the Bill where the government will shower funding on a variety of Democrats’ Climate Change pet projects. My feeling is that most of these investments will be on inefficient energy sources that the public doesn’t want, and which are unable to meet our energy needs. While the Bill does have a few provisions that will encourage domestic fossil fuel production, most of these programs will mandate the use of more expensive and less efficient energy. Misallocation of resources will make inflation worse by limiting the supply of energy and increasing its cost.

$64 Billion – A three-year extension on subsidies for Affordable Care Act health insurance premiums. Originally offered through the 2021 Covid-inspired American Rescue Plan, this extension is just another step backwards toward a permanent entitlement of subsidized health care. This will do nothing to actually lower the cost of health care, but simply change who gets the bill. It is not anti-inflationary. If anything, it will have the opposite effect, as the more involved government gets into any industry, the less efficient it becomes, and increasing the cost of its goods or services.

$80 billion on IRS Funding – This is the spending that will supposedly enable the government to collect $200 billion in revenue, so the net benefit to the Treasury is $120 billion. But the government will be spending real money to go after hoped-for money. The resulting numbers may be far less equitable for the government and provide massive anxiety to taxpayers.

So, there you have it, the government apparently takes inflation head-on. Except that it doesn’t. The best way to fight inflation is to reduce government spending, thereby leaving more investment capital in the private sector, and to reduce regulations, allowing businesses to increase the supply of goods and services so that prices can fall.

Instead, we are currently in an environment where government policies are artificially suppressing labor force participation and piling new taxes and regulation on businesses, all the while keeping the floodgates of fiscal stimulus wide open. This is a recipe for higher, not lower, prices.

It is not accidental that earlier this month the Labor Department reported that worker productivity fell 2.5% from a year earlier, the largest yearly decline since 1948. At the same time, despite deceptively low rates of unemployment, the actual number of people in the labor force continues to shrink. These trends come as a direct result of misguided government policies and regulations that disincentivize work and increase the burdens on business. A shrinking and less productive labor force does not lead to the expansion of the supply of goods and services needed to bring down inflation. The provisions in the Bill will add to these inflationary problems.

Also, the continuation of deficit spending far more than pre-pandemic levels means the Fed will come under increased political pressure to monetize the shortfall. That pressure will become particularly intense once the recession we are pretending does not exist gets much worse. Since quantitative easing is just a euphemism for inflation, a bill to increase deficit spending is a bill to increase inflation.

Given the drift of the data and of government messages, I wouldn’t be surprised if we are soon told that any “quantitative” attempt to measure inflation is misguided, and that the phenomenon can only be understood in qualitative subjective terms. How we feel about the products and services we are buying means far more than what we are actually paying. Just wait, it’s going to happen.

*  *  *

To order your copy of Peter Schiff’s latest book, The Real Crash (Fully Revised and Updated): America’s Coming Bankruptcy – How to Save Yourself and Your Country, click here. For an in-depth analysis of this and other investment topics, subscribe to Peter Schiff’s Global Investor newsletter. CLICK HERE for your free subscription.

Tyler Durden Thu, 08/25/2022 - 16:20

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Scientists reveal encouraging findings in first-in-human clinical trial evaluating HIV vaccine approach

NEW YORK and LA JOLLA, CA—While scientists have struggled in the past to create an effective vaccine against HIV, a novel vaccine design strategy being…

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NEW YORK and LA JOLLA, CA—While scientists have struggled in the past to create an effective vaccine against HIV, a novel vaccine design strategy being pursued by researchers at Scripps Research, IAVI, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (Fred Hutch) and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center (VRC) shows new promise, according to data from a first-in-human clinical trial.

Credit: CHRISTOPHER COTTRELL, CREATED WITH BIORENDER.COM

NEW YORK and LA JOLLA, CA—While scientists have struggled in the past to create an effective vaccine against HIV, a novel vaccine design strategy being pursued by researchers at Scripps Research, IAVI, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (Fred Hutch) and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center (VRC) shows new promise, according to data from a first-in-human clinical trial.

In a paper published in Science on December 2, 2022, the scientists reveal critical new insights into their novel vaccine strategy, which involves a stepwise approach to producing antibodies capable of targeting a wide range of HIV variants. 

“The data we are publishing in Science demonstrates for the first time that one can design a vaccine that elicits made-to-order antibodies in humans. We specified in advance certain molecular properties of the antibodies that we wanted to elicit, and the results of this trial show that our vaccine antigen consistently induced precisely those types of antibodies,” says co-senior author William Schief, PhD, a professor and immunologist at Scripps Research and executive director of vaccine design at IAVI’s Neutralizing Antibody Center, whose laboratory developed the vaccine antigen. “We believe this vaccine design strategy will be essential to make an HIV vaccine and may help the field create vaccines for other difficult pathogens.”

The Phase 1 trial, known as IAVI G001, tested the first stage in a multi-stage HIV vaccine regimen the researchers are developing. The trial results show that the vaccine had a favorable safety profile and induced the targeted response in 97% of people who were vaccinated. Importantly, the Science study also provides a detailed immunological analysis of the vaccine responses.

“HIV represents an area of dire unmet need across the world, which is what makes the findings from our Phase 1 clinical trial so encouraging,” says Mark Feinberg, MD, PhD, president and CEO of IAVI. “Through the close-knit collaboration of many different scientists, disciplines and institutions, we are that much closer to designing an effective vaccine that could help end the HIV pandemic.”  

Priming the Immune System

Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) are a rare type of antibody that can fight and protect against many different variants of a virus—including HIV. This is why scientists have tried to develop an HIV vaccine that induces bnAbs, but thus far without success.   

The researchers in the study are using a strategy known as ‘germline targeting’ to eventually produce bnAbs that can protect against HIV. The first step of germline targeting involves stimulating the rare immune cells—known as bnAb-precursor B cells—that can eventually evolve into the cells that produce the bnAbs needed to block the virus. To accomplish this first step, the researchers designed a customized molecule—known as an immunogen—that would “prime” the immune system and elicit responses from these rare bnAb-precursor cells.

The overarching goal of the IAVI G001 trial was to determine if the vaccine had an acceptable safety profile and could induce responses from these bnAb-precursor B cells.

“Through extensive safety and tolerability monitoring during the trial, we showed the vaccine had a favorable safety profile, while still inducing the necessary target cells,” says study author Dagna Laufer, MD, vice president and head of clinical development at IAVI. “This represents a large step forward in developing an HIV vaccine that is both safe and effective.”

To determine if the targeted bnAb-precursor B cells were induced, the researchers carried out a sophisticated analytical process.

“The workflow of multidimensional immunological analyses has taken clinical trial evaluation to the next level,” says co-senior author Adrian B. McDermott, PhD, former chief of the Vaccine Immunology Program at the NIAID VRC. “In evaluating these important immunological factors, we helped show why the vaccine antigen was able to induce the targeted response in 97% of vaccine recipients.” 

IAVI G001 was sponsored by IAVI and took place at two sites: George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C., and Fred Hutch in Seattle, enrolling 48 healthy adult volunteers. Participants received either a placebo or two doses of the vaccine antigen, eOD-GT8 60mer, along with an adjuvant developed by the pharmaceutical company GSK. Julie McElrath, MD, PhD, co-senior author, senior vice president and director of Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, and David Diemert, MD, professor of medicine at GWU School of Medicine and Health Sciences, were lead investigators at the trial sites.

A Deeper Immunological Dive

The study also carefully examined the properties of the antibodies and B cells induced by the vaccine antigen, in what Schief likens to “looking under the car hood” to understand how the immune system operated in response to the vaccine. One analysis showed that the vaccine antigen first stimulated an average of 30 to 65 different bnAb precursors per person vaccinated, and then caused those cells to multiply. This helped explain why the vaccine induced the desired response in almost all participants.

Other analyses delved into the specific mutations the bnAb-precursor B cells acquired over time and how tightly they bound to the vaccine antigen. These investigations showed that that after each dose of the vaccine, the bnAb-precursor B cells gained affinity and continued along favorable maturation pathways.

One concern for this type of vaccine approach is the notion of “competitors”—in other words, the B cells induced by the vaccine antigen that are not bnAb precursors. The researchers extensively studied the “competitor” responses, and the results were very encouraging. Although the majority of the B cells triggered by vaccination were, in fact, “competitors”, these undesired B cells could not match the binding strength of the desired bnAb precursors and did not seem to impede maturation of the bnAb-precursor responses.

“These findings were very encouraging, as they indicated that immunogen design principles we used could be applied to many different epitopes, whether for HIV or even other pathogens,” adds Schief.

With these promising data in hand spanning both safety and immune responses, the researchers will continue to iterate and design boosting immunogens that could eventually induce the desired bnAbs and provide protection against the virus. These findings also come shortly after two additional studies in Immunity published in September 2022, which helped validate the germline-targeting approach for vaccinating against HIV.

“Working together with IAVI, Scripps Research, the VRC, GWU, additional investigators at Fred Hutch and many others, this trial and additional analyses will help inform design of the remaining stages of a candidate HIV vaccine regimen—while also enabling others in the field to develop vaccine strategies for additional viruses,” says McElrath of Fred Hutch.

IAVI, Scripps Research, NIAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are partnering with the biotechnology company Moderna to develop and test mRNA delivery of these HIV vaccine antigens. Two Phase I clinical trials are underway that build on IAVI G001, one (IAVI G002) at four sites in the U.S. and another (IAVI G003) at the Center for Family Health Research in Kigali, Rwanda, and The Aurum Institute in Tembisa, South Africa. Both are testing mRNA delivery of the eOD-GT8 60mer that was evaluated as recombinant protein in IAVI G001, and the U.S. trial includes a boost antigen designed by the Schief lab and delivered with Moderna mRNA technology. A third trial (HVTN302), at ten sites in the U.S., is testing mRNA delivery of three different stabilized HIV trimers designed in the Schief laboratory that are candidates for late-stage boosters in multi-stage vaccines aiming to induce bnAbs. Using mRNA technology could significantly accelerate the pace of HIV vaccine development as it allows for faster production of clinical trial material.

This work was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery; the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center; NIAID; Scripps Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery and Scripps Consortium for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development; and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard. Other collaborating organizations include Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Karolinska Institutet, and La Jolla Institute. 

Research at the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center that contributed to the development of the vaccine antigen eOD-GT8 60mer was also made possible by the government of the Netherlands through the Minister of Foreign Trade & Development Cooperation and through the generous support of the American people through PEPFAR through USAID. The contents are the responsibility of IAVI and Scripps Research and do not necessarily reflect the views of PEPFAR, USAID, or the United States government.

About IAVI

IAVI is a nonprofit scientific research organization dedicated to addressing urgent, unmet global health challenges including HIV and tuberculosis. Its mission is to translate scientific discoveries into affordable, globally accessible public health solutions. Read more at iavi.org.

About Scripps Research

Scripps Research is an independent, nonprofit biomedical institute ranked the most influential in the world for its impact on innovation by Nature Index. We are advancing human health through profound discoveries that address pressing medical concerns around the globe. Our drug discovery and development division, Calibr, works hand-in-hand with scientists across disciplines to bring new medicines to patients as quickly and efficiently as possible, while teams at Scripps Research Translational Institute harness genomics, digital medicine and cutting-edge informatics to understand individual health and render more effective healthcare. Scripps Research also trains the next generation of leading scientists at our Skaggs Graduate School, consistently named among the top 10 US programs for chemistry and biological sciences. Learn more at www.scripps.edu.


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40+ Spotify statistics 2022: SPOT stock, revenue and performance

Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) is the leading on-demand music streaming company today, with more than 1 billion app downloads on Google Play alone….

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Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) is the leading on-demand music streaming company today, with more than 1 billion app downloads on Google Play alone. The Sweden-based company was founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, and has seen remarkable growth in the past few years as it expands across the globe.

Although it dominates the music streaming industry, Spotify faces tough competition when it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining users. The Sweden-based company’s top global competitors include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL)’s Google, all of which are leveraging their extensive reach and financial muscle to carve a bigger chunk of the market from Spotify.

However, 40+ Spotify statistics suggest further growth and potential for greater revenue and market performance could see the company continue to dominate the industry.

Find out more in this article, starting with our pick of the top Spotify facts and statistics 2022 below.

Spotify facts and stats – Editor’s pick

  • Spotify is the number one music streaming site, with more than 1 billion app downloads on Google Play.
  • There were 456 million monthly active users on Spotify as of September 2022, with growth expected to push MAUs to over 479 million by the end of 2022.
  • SPOT stock went live on the New York Stock Exchange on 3 April 2018 via a Direct Listing. The IPO share price of $165.90 valued the company at $29.5 billion
  • Companiesmarketcap currently ranks Spotify as the 1,050th most valuable company in the world with a market cap just above $15 billion as of December 2022.
  • The Spotify stock hit an all-time high of $364.5 per share in February 2021, and an all-time low of $69.28 in November 2022.
  • Spotify makes about 4.52 euros, or $4.71 from each premium account user in 2022, up from an average of €4.25 ($4.43) in 2021.

Spotify company overview, facts and trends

1. Spotify Technologies SA was founded in 2006

Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon founded Spotify in 2006 in Sweden. Despite the early threat to the business from established names such as Apple and Amazon, the music streaming company has grown to command nearly a third of the market share as of 2022.

2. Spotify is available in more than 180 countries

Expansion efforts, including across more than 80 new markets in early 2020 has seen Spotify reach users in 184 countries.

3. Over 9,800 people are employed by Spotify as of 2022

Spotify employees’ total count shot up by over 81% in 2021 to reach 6,617 and then grew to over 8,000 by March 2022. As of 30 September 2022, the company’s employee number worldwide was 9,808, despite plans to slow down on hiring by 25% as revealed in June.

4. Spotify has a leading 31% market share in music streaming

Spotify is the #1 music app on App Store and takes up 31% of the music and video streaming market worldwide. The app leads Apple Music (15%), Amazon Music (13%), Tencent Music (13%), and YouTube Music (8%). The Spotify: Music, Podcasts, Lit app first released in May 2014 has seen over a billion downloads on Google Play.

5. There are more than 82 million tracks on Spotify

As the number one music streaming app in the world, Spotify has seen the number of songs uploaded increase rapidly over the last few years. As of November 2022, there were more than 82 million tracks on the platform.

6. An average of 1.8 million songs are uploaded on Spotify every month

Over 1,800,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify every month, with an average of 60,000 sent to the streaming giant every single day.

7. There are over 4 billion playlists on Spotify

Spotify has over 4 billion playlists, variously curated to suit user preferences based on factors like age, gender, and theme. Spotify offers all types of songs, making it suitable for all kinds of users.

8. There are over 4.7 million podcasts on Spotify

There were more than 4.7 million podcasts on the Spotify podcast in 2022, with the increasing monthly active users and popularity of podcasting seeing a double-digit jump in creators.

9. Spotify has raised $2.1 billion over 18 rounds

Spotify closed its latest funding round on 25 February, with the Sweden-based company’s total funding rising to $2.1 billion over 18 financing rounds.

10. Spotify has acquired 27 companies/platforms

The last few years have seen Spotify consolidate its presence in the music streaming market with critical acquisitions. So far, the company has completed deals for 24 different companies and platforms within the industry, including Anchor FM for $166.3 million, Gimlet Media for $201.3 million, Megaphone for $238.44 million and Whooshkaa for $235 million. The latest acquisition was Kinzen, which was completed on 5 October 2022.

11. FC Barcelona agreed a €280 million deal with Spotify in 2022

Spanish soccer giants FC Barcelona signed a €280 ($309) million sponsorship deal with Spotify. The multi-year deal saw Spotify become FC Barcelona’s main shirt sponsor and gave the audio streaming giant the naming rights for the legendary Camp Nou stadium.

Spotify stock market statistics

12. Spotify’s stock debut in April 2018 was the first ever Direct Listing on the NYSE

Spotify Technology SA made its stock market debut via a direct listing. The company’s shares were listed for trading on the New York Stock Exchange on 3 April, 2018 at the share price of $ $165.90 for a valuation of $29.5 billion. Following Spotify’s successful IPO in 2018, Slack went public via Direct Listing in 2019. ZipRecruiter Inc. (NYSE: ZIP) and Roblox Corporation (NYSE: RBLX) also took the same approach.

13. Spotify has a market cap of $15.2 billion

As of 27 December 2022, Spotify has a market capitalization of $15.2 billion, which ranks the company as the world’s 1050th largest by market cap according to Companiesmarketcap.  The Sweden-based company’s market cap was around $23 billion in March 2022 with Spotify ranked the world’s 759th most valuable company by market cap.

14. 30 million shares were traded on Spotify’s first trading session

A highly anticipated SPOT stock debut saw nearly 30 million shares change hands during Spotify’s first trading session. At the time, around 178 million, or about 91% of Spotify shares were tradable on the first day, a greater percentage than what’s seen during typical traditional IPOs.

15. Spotify has 192,948,032 shares outstanding as of 2022

As per Spotify’s latest financial reports, the total shares outstanding as of December 2022 was 193,077,334. The company’s total shares outstanding was put at 192,948,032 by the end of 2022.

16. The Spotify stock price rose to an all-time high of $364.5 in 2021 

On February 19, 2021, Spotify stock price rose to an all-time high of $364.5 amid a bull market that also saw the S&P 500 rise to an all-time high. However, the bear market of 2022 has decimated stocks, and one can now buy Spotify shares at around $78 as of December 2022.

17. Spotify’s stock price has declined 68% year-to-date

After a brutal bear market for stocks, the SPOT price has declined nearly 68% as of 27 December 2022.  At current prices, Spotify shares are more than 46% down since its IPO in April 2018.

18. The Spotify stock touched the all-time low of $69.28 on 4 November 2022

The SPOT share price closed at $71.05 on 4 November 2022, after briefly falling to a 52-week low of $69.28 in intraday action. Despite this, a bear rally for the stock market in November helped push the Spotify stock price to highs of $85.11 on 15 November. The stock’s price is however more than 46% down on its debut closing price in April 2018.

Spotify revenue statistics

Spotify offers its service across two models: a premium membership where subscribers pay a fee to access uninterrupted content and an ad-supported model where content is punctuated with ads or commercials. Advertiser’s pay to reach users, more like on traditional radio. The largest percentage of Spotify’s revenue is from premium subscriptions.

19. Spotify’s generated more than $11 billion in revenue in 2021

Spotify generated 9.668 billion euros ($11.23 billion) in revenue in 2021, up from 7.880 billion euros ($9.15 billion) in 2020 and 6.764 billion euros ($7.56 billion) in 2019. According to the company’s latest financial documents, the company’s revenue for the nine months ending September 30, 2022 was 8.561 billion euros (about $8.92 billion), while trailing twelve month revenue stood at $11.99 billion (as of 27 December 2022).

20. Spotify generated $3.16 billion in Q3 2022

In Q3 2022, Spotify generated just over 3 billion euros (approximately $3.16), compared to 2.5 billion euros ($2.6 billion) during the same quarter in 2021. In this, premium revenue accounted for 2.7 billion euros while Ad-supported revenue made up 385 million euros. The largest segment in the ads revenue section was Podcasting.

21. 88% of Spotify revenue is from premium subscription

Most of Spotify’s revenue comes from its premium subscribers, with the latest financial records showing premium revenue accounted for 88% of total revenue as of September 30, 2022. Premium revenue increased 22% or by €1.36 billion (roughly $1.43 billion) in the nine months ending September 30, 2022. Total premium revenue by end of Q3 was 7.534 billion euros (about $7.85 billion) compared to 6.165 billion euros ($6.42 billion) in the nine months to the corresponding quarter a year ago. 

22. Spotify generated $1.26 billion from ads in 2021

In 2021, ad-supported users helped generate €1.208 billion ($1.26 billion) for Spotify, up from €745 million ($775 million) in 2020.

23. More than 38% of Spotify’s 2021 revenue was generated in the US

According to Spotify financial records for 2021, the company generated €3.692 billion (over $3.8 billion) in the United States. With Spotify revenue in 2021 at €9.668 billion, the US market accounted for over 38% of total revenue.

24. Spotify has averaged €200 million in positive Free Cash Flow for the past three years

Although the range of Free Cash Flow fluctuates from quarter to quarter, Spotify has averaged more than €200 million ($208 million) of positive Free Cash Flow on a trailing twelve month period since 2019.

25. Spotify made €4.52 from each Premium user in 2022

Spotify’s average revenue per user (ARPU) in Q3 was €4.63 ($4.82), an amount the company made from each premium account. According to the company, premium ARPU over the nine months ending September 30, 2022 was €4.52 ($4.71), up from €4.25 ($4.43) in 2021.

Spotify user statistics

26. Spotify has more than 195 million premium subscribers worldwide

Spotify makes most of its money from its premium subscribers and as of Q3 2022, the platform’s premium user base had increased to 195 million premium. The total premium user number increased by 1 million more than projected, illustrating the potential for further growth – particularly in LATAM.

27. Spotify had 456 million monthly active users (MAUs) as of October 2022

Monthly active users (MAUs) is a key performance indicator for Spotify and is the total count of the audience who engage with the service over the month.  MAUs include both Ad-supported users and premium subscribers who access content for more than zero milliseconds in the indicated thirty days. As of September 30, there were 456 million monthly active users on Spotify, with the figure representing a 20% Y/Y growth from 381 million in Q3 2021.

28. Spotify added a record 23 million monthly active users in Q3 2022, despite exiting Russia earlier in the year

23 million more users accessed Spotify in the three months ending September 30, 2022, the largest quarterly increase over the quarter in Spotify’s history. This came even with the company’s exit from Russia following sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

29. Spotify’s monthly active users were projected to hit 479 million by end of 2022

As well as Q3 2022, Spotify projected a net growth of 23 million in its monthly active users in Q4 2022. That forecast put the total MAUs at 479 million at the end of December 31, 2022.

30. 273 million of Spotify users are ad-supported

Spotify’s ad-supported user base grew by 24% in 2022 to 273 million, up from 220 million in 2021. Therefore, Spotify added 50 million more ad-supported users in the past year.

31. Spotify’s premium users are expected to grow by 7 million to 202 million by end of 2022

While Spotify reported 195 premium subscribers in its Q3 financial report, the company expects the number to grow another 7 million to 202 million by the end of 2022. Comparably, premium users grew 13% year-on-year in Q3 2022 to 195 million, up from 172 million.

32. An average of 15 million people access Spotify every day

Spotify records an average of 15 million users every day, with 44% of users using the streaming service at least once every day. Across regions, North America leads, with second-highest average daily usage in Europe.

33. Spotify users streamed 110 billion hours of content in 2021 despite COVID-19 disruption

The COVID-19 pandemic disruption did not impact Spotify users shown in the company’s financial records filed in earlier 2022. As of 31 December 2021, both premium and ad-supported users had streamed over 110 billion hours of content, up 20% on total hours streamed in 2020.

34. 56% of Spotify users are male

A slight majority of Spotify users are male, with data showing males account for 56% of users. As of December 2022, females accounted for 44% of the user base.

35. Europe accounts for 33% of Spotify’s monthly active listeners

Europe has 136 million Spotify monthly active users, accounting for 33% of MAUs globally. North America, in this case the United States and Canada, has the second-highest number of monthly active users at 23% share while Latin America and the rest of the world account for 21% and 22% respectively.

36. About 39% of Spotify’s premium users are from Europe

Like the monthly active users, Europe accounts for the highest percentage of premium subscribers. According to the latest details, 39% of premium users were from Europe. North America consisted of 28%, Latin America comprised 21% and the rest of the world accounted for 12%.

37. Millennials account for 29% of Spotify users

While people from all ages use Spotify, data shows that the biggest chunk is millennials. According to the latest statistics, 29% of the platform’s users are within the 25-34 year age bracket while 26% fall in the 18-24 years age group.

Spotify artist facts and stats

38. The Spotify app supports more than 11 million artists

Popularity has seen most of the world’s most celebrated music artists put their songs on Spotify. Currently, the platform has an estimated 11 million artists worldwide.

39. Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” has hit 3.3 billion streams, currently the most streamed song on Spotify 

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” hit has been streamed more than 3.3 billion times as of December 2022, ranking as the all-time most streamed track on Spotify. Ed Sheeran is also currently the most followed artist on Spotify at over 105 million users and tops the list of most followed artists on Spotify ahead of Ariana Grande (over 85 million), Billie Eilish (72 million) Drake (69 million) and Justin Bieber (67 million).

40. Spotify paid over $7 billion in royalties to artists in 2021

The music streaming giant paid a staggering $7 billion to artists in 2021, the most a music streaming platform has ever paid in a single year. According to Spotify, every song that plays on the platform earns its rightsholder royalties – be it from the premium or ad-supported service. As of the end of 2021, Spotify had paid more than 28.7 billion euros ($30 billion) in royalties since its launch.

41. Artists earn $0.003-$0.005 per stream on Spotify

The pay per stream on Spotify was between $0.003 and $0.005 per stream, with artists earning an average of $3.00 to $5.40 per 1000 streams.

42. More than 1,000 artists earned $1M or more from Spotify royalties in 2021

The number of artists who earned money from royalties on Spotify grew in 2021, with more than 1000 pocketing over $1 million in 2021. The number who earned more than $10,000 also grew to 50,000 artists in that bumper year.

Spotify statistics: Conclusion

Spotify’s music streaming service currently ranks ahead of Apple, Amazon and Tencent – all services from global companies. Despite the competition, Spotify has seen its  user base grow significantly over the past year. Monthly active users surpassed 456 million and premium subscribers hit 195 million in Q3, 2022, while revenue rose to over 3 billion euros in the same quarter for a 21% year-on-year growth.

In the market, the Spotify stock has traded lower amid the 2022 bear market. As of 2nd December, the Spotify stock is trading around $79.45, which puts its price nearly 68% down year-to-date. However, the SPOT share price climbed more than 5% in November and is likely to be attractive to investors going into 2023 given Spotify’s growth outlook.

The post 40+ Spotify statistics 2022: SPOT stock, revenue and performance appeared first on Invezz.

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Chevron will still be drilling in 2050: CEO Mike Wirth

Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) will most certainly be drilling about thirty years from now, says CEO Mike Wirth – in contrast with President Biden who…

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Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) will most certainly be drilling about thirty years from now, says CEO Mike Wirth – in contrast with President Biden who recently reiterated that the U.S. will pull out of drilling.

Chevron is continuing to invest

The oil and gas behemoth plans on spending $15 billion to $17 billion a year to meet the growing demand. Speaking with folks at CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, the chief executive noted:

We’re growing production because world’s growing in terms of demand. We have to look well into the future and invest to meet that demand. We’re up this year 15% in Permian versus same period last year and continuing to invest.

While that’s well-below what the multinational was spending before the COVID pandemic, the output, CEO Wirth added, remains the same as Chevron is now more capital-efficient.

For the year, Chevron shares are up more than 50% at writing.

CEO Wirth’s view of the future

It is noteworthy here that Chevron refused to cave in the face of pressure in recent years to lower production and that’s contributing to the ability of the U.S. today to help its allies fight the Russia-driven energy crisis.

Moving forward as well, CEO Mike Wirth sees future in a blend of clean energy and hydrocarbons.

Affordable energy is essential for economic prosperity, reliable energy for national security, and environmental protection is essential for a sustainable planet. We have to balance all three. If you over index one, you can create vulnerabilities.

In related oil news, OPEC+ is expected to reveal plans of further cutting production on Sunday.

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