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Synthetic Salvation – On Genomics, Mind Uploads, & The Quest For Immortality

Synthetic Salvation – On Genomics, Mind Uploads, & The Quest For Immortality

Submitted by Joe Allen’s substack, Singularity Weekly.

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Synthetic Salvation - On Genomics, Mind Uploads, & The Quest For Immortality

Submitted by Joe Allen's substack, Singularity Weekly.

Our elites want to live forever. The rest of us will make for rich compost

Fear of death is intrinsic to human life. As our years accumulate, we watch friends and family drop off, one by one, disappearing from our presence and lingering only in memories.

Barring some miracle, divine or otherwise, we’re all soon to follow, down to the sweetest baby ever born.

Unfazed by this horror, the faithful are emboldened by belief in resurrection or reincarnation—a direct participation in the eternal. For religious people, the body is just a vehicle for a transcendent soul. The mystery of death is a rite of passage.

For the materialist, there is only this world, beyond which the dying meet total annihilation. The brain dissolves into black nothingness. Consciousness stops with the Big Zero at the end of our lives. And for all sentient beings, and all memory of our existence, there awaits the Big Zero at the end of the universe.

The cosmos is nothing but atoms and the void. To make matters worse, the atoms are slowly freezing to death.

Wallowing in this trance of sorrow, our elites, and most anybody else, would pay anything to live forever—or just a little longer. Held in thrall by old age, disease, and death, they put faith in biomedical protection racketeers who swear they can keep the Reaper at bay.

Today, it’s the vaxx-addicts and maskholes.

Tomorrow, it’ll be needle-pocked mutants with blinking devices stuck all over them, who pray to AI for a place in the cloud.

Transhumanism offers synthetic salvation through three basic methods—bio longevity, bionic continuity, and digital immortality.

Genomics will stop aging on the cellular level. Bionics will keep the body running with replacement parts. Once artificial intelligence is sufficiently advanced, mind uploads will allow eternal communion with the digital deities whom techies are busy creating.

“I think that there’s a good probability,” the human-reptile hybrid, Jared Kushner, recently said, “that my generation is—hopefully with the advances in science—either the first generation to live forever, or the last generation that’s gonna die.”

A more likely scenario? This is the first generation to merge with machines, and the last generation to regret it.

Kushner is not alone. Many of our credulous elites, from Wall Street to the World Economic Forum, have been ensnared by a techno-religion. Its unfrocked priests are the scientists and futurists who push radical gene therapies, brain-computer interfaces, and various life-logging gadgets. As the actual technology becomes more and more sophisticated, you can be sure every atheist and his lapsed uncle will fall prey to this cosmic scam.

And for those who can’t afford it? Well, you know, there’s only so much room on the lifeboat.

Bio Longevity

In order to cheat death, at least for awhile, the first method is to preserve the body at the cellular level. One proposed line of attack is to correct defective genes and defuse the cell’s innate self-destruct programs. With the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 complex in 2012, geneticists now have the power to more easily knock out faulty genes, and even insert new, superior genetic codes.

Joe Biden’s recent executive order, the National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, has slated $2 billion for these “high-risk, high reward” projects to “write circuitry for cells and predictably program biology in the same way in which we write software and program computers.”

There are also less invasive procedures, to be used in conjunction with gene-editing, such as munching vitamins morning, noon, and night, or gaining self-knowledge through Internet of Bodies surveillance devices—wearable trackers which feed every biometric data point into an artificial intelligence system, putting flesh on the bones of your “digital twin.” In theory, the resulting simulation could be used as a reference for targeted gene-editing.

“By preventing 90 percent of medical problems,” Ray Kurzweil wrote in The Singularity is Near, “life expectancy grows to over five hundred years. At 99 percent, we’d be over one thousand years. We can expect that the full realization of the biotechnology and nanotechnology revolutions will enable us to eliminate virtually all medical causes of death.”

Inspired by this sort of statistical fantasy, Big Tech oligarchs are pouring billions into various life extension laboratories:

  • SENS Research Foundation – Co-founded by the transhumanist Aubrey de Grey in 2009, this organization seeks to halt and reverse aging. “No matter what caused a given unit of damage in the first place,” they assure us, “the same regenerative therapeutics can be used to repair it.”

  • Altos Labs – Founded by Jeff Bezos and the corporate transhumanist Yuri Milner in 2021, this is a “new biotechnology company focused on cellular rejuvenation programming to restore cell health and resilience, with the goal of reversing disease to transform medicine.”

  • Calico Labs  – Acquired by Google in 2015 at the behest of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, this company is focused on “the convergence of biology and technology, coupled with a long-term perspective and funding” with high hopes of “curing death.”

  • Methuselah Foundation – Bankrolled by Peter Thiel (along with many other immortality start-ups), this foundation is on a mission to “make 90 the new 50 by 2030.”

And the list goes on and on. By all appearances, billionaires fear death as if hell awaits, and they’ll pay any amount to avoid it. If you’re lucky, you too might add a few years to your life through trickle-down immortality.

Should these gene-therapies and 3D-printed organs fail to keep your carcass shambling along, there are always cryonic doctors who’ll freeze you right before you die, then thaw you out once these transhumanists finally get their shit together.

Alcor Life Extension Foundation, for example, charges $80,000 to freeze your head, and $200,000 for the full body treatment. It’s a small price to pay for a shot at immortality.

Bionic Continuity

The second method is to replace failing tissues and organs with mechanical parts. We do this already with pacemakers, prosthetic limbs, cochlear implants, dental implants, deep brain stimulation devices, and flag-raising penile implants. In a real sense, the entire plastic surgery industry—from hair transplants to rubber duck lips to silicone boobs—is a means to stave off our inevitable dissolution, if only on a superficial level.

Transhumanists foresee a day, just over the horizon, when more advanced prosthetics will offer superior functionality—including brain function. We’ll have Swiss Army knives for fingers and versatile artificial genitals, sort of like today’s transgenders, but presumably way better. Any prospective immortal had better hope so.

This cyborg dream was fleshed out in the early 20th century by the Marxist thinker J.D. Bernal. “Already we know the essential electrical nature of nerve impulses,” he wrote in 1929, “it is a matter of delicate surgery to attach nerves permanently to apparatus which will either send messages to the nerves or receive them. And the brain thus connected up continues an existence, purely mental and with very different delights from those of the body, but now perhaps preferable to complete extinction.”

Bernal compared this bionic transformation to the metamorphosis of a butterfly, albeit one with hideous wings. “Apart from such mental development as his increased faculties will demand from him,” he speculated, “he will be physically plastic in a way quite transcending the capacities of untransformed humanity.”

Screenshot: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

As we hurtle toward this nightmare in the 21st century, futurists claim it’ll soon be possible to model the entire human brain—down to the last electrochemical thought pattern—using artificial intelligence. The transhumanist guru Ray Kurzweil predicts this will be accomplished by 2029. (It’s unclear if that will be early in the year, or just in time for Christmas.)

Following an AI-created digital template, doctors will replace our dying neurons with artificial neurons. Bit by bit, our meat brains will be transformed into a latticework of lightning fast transistors. It’s an upgraded mind-brain that could last forever—so be sure to get a warranty.

Would this mechanical monster still be you, though? The idea is that a pattern is a pattern, and the human “soul” is just a pattern of information. It doesn’t matter what the medium may be. Think of it this way—if you replaced every thread in a sweater, strand by strand, with artificial wool, it would still feel like the same old sweater. Maybe even better.

In a similar manner, many believe your personal consciousness will survive the transition from gray matter to circuitry. This mind-machine merger would be like looking out at the world through your smartphone—forever. You’d hardly notice the difference.

“If you think about replacing the neurons one at a time by prosthetic neurons made of silicon,” explains the philosopher of consciousness and NYU-employed transhumanist, David Chalmers:

Just say I replace ten percent of my brain with silicon chips…do it one at a time, and keep going and keep going…and they interconnect with the other ones in a perfect way. … I think as long as you do it gradually, and replace the neurons one by one, then it’s gonna be like getting prosthetic limbs or [an] artificial heart.

You’re gonna be replacing parts of me, but I’m gonna be present throughout, and I think I could even stay conscious.

Of course, these artificial neurons haven’t been developed yet—not even close—but they will be one day. You’ll see. Have a little faith. Scientists are working hard. It’s a solid investment.

Digital Immortality

The third method to attain quasi-eternal life is basically the digital side of bionic continuity. Rather than, or in addition to, replacing neurons with artificial neurons, the mind will be gradually uploaded to a computer, where the patterns of one’s personality can be entombed in perpetuity.

Transhumanists delight in pointing out we’re already doing this. Everyone from toddlers to creaky old codgers is feeding their inner self into Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, third-party data vultures, and any intelligence agencies with backdoor access to these companies. Perhaps one day they’ll sell our digital twins back to us so we can inhabit our virtual wraiths.

“Currently, when our human hardware crashes,” Ray Kurzweil wrote, “the software of our lives—our personal ‘mind file’—dies with it. However, this will not continue to be the case when we have the means to store and restore the thousands of trillions of bytes of information represented in the pattern that we call our brains.”

Kurzweil believes injectable nanobots are the key to this uploading process. These microscopic robots will travel through the brain, mapping every neuron and synapse, creating a perfect facsimile of the “soul” in a computer. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

As with most transhumanists, Kurzweil was deeply influenced by the Carnegie Mellon roboticist Hans Moravec, who in 1988 described a gruesome uploading procedure now known as the “Moravec Transfer.” Basically, the patient commits suicide by having his or her brain scraped off, like whittling an onion, with each skin copied in silico:

You are fully conscious. The robot surgeon opens your brain case and places a hand on the brain’s surface. This unusual hand bristles with microscopic machinery, and a cable connects it to the mobile computer at your side. …

The surgeon’s hand sinks a fraction of a millimeter deeper into your brain, instantly compensating its measurements and signals for the changed position. The process is repeated for the next layer, and soon a second simulation resides in the computer, communicating with the first and with the remaining original brain tissue.

Layer after layer the brain is simulated, then excavated. Eventually your skull is empty…your mind has been removed from the brain and transferred to a machine.

Some would call this biohorror, but transhumanists revere the “Moravec Transfer” as a pioneering vision of synthetic salvation.

Screenshot: “The Lawnmower Man” (1992)

One of Kurzweil’s distinguished disciples, the transgender tech innovator Martine Rothblatt, proposes a kinder, gentler man-machine merger by way of mind-cloning.

“This blessing of emotional and intellectual continuity or immortality,” she (he? whatever) wrote in Virtually Human, “is being made possible through the development of digital clones, or mindclones: software versions of our minds, software-based alter egos, doppelgängers, mental twins.”

In other words, with sufficiently detailed surveillance, our personal data can be processed through artificial intelligence to create a new, more durable “soul” in silico.

“When the body of a person with a mindclone dies,” Rothblatt goes on, “the mindclone will not feel that they have personally died, although the body will be missed in the same ways amputees miss their limbs but acclimate when given an artificial replacement. … The mindclone is to the consciousness and spirit as the prosthetic is to an arm that has lost its hand.”

Having been baptized in electromagnetic waves, you will become your digital ghost, floating forever among the AI angels.

The metaphysics of this process make no sense, but then, why should the transhuman techno-cult be any more realistic than traditional cults? Their delusions would be funny if they weren’t constantly intruding upon our lives through ubiquitous screens and surveillance devices, and blasted into our brains with wall-to-wall propaganda.

“If anything,” Rothblatt conceded in a TED interview, “I’m perhaps a bit of a communicator of activities that are being undertaken by the greatest companies in China, Japan, India, the U.S., Europe.”

You have to wonder if we’ll have social credit scores in heaven.

So You Want To Live Forever—Good Luck With That

Humanity is composed of three primary elements—the spiritual, the biological, and the technological. At best, we are eternal souls enshrined in bodies, with exceedingly powerful tools in our hands. At worst, we’re bumbling monkeys in the Machine.

As the materialist worldview erodes our spiritual consciousness, we’re left with nothing but mortal bodies. When God is dead, technology is exalted as the highest power, holding out the promise of free WiFi and synthetic salvation.

The delusion of physical immortality, whether bodily or digital—or both—is capturing our elites’ imaginations. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to figure out that if they actually managed to live forever, and the planet has finite space and resources, some number of us will have to become compost for their biomechanical gardens.

Personally, I don’t mind the idea of being turned into mulch. That’s the fate of every man and woman ever born. What is eternal will endure.

My fear, writhing deep in my paranoid brain stem, is that our technocratic rulers, sweating over flawed calculations, are willing to huck us into the mulchers long before our time.

God will not be mocked. Nor will Mother Nature. I’m certain that, in the course of time, every billionaire cyborg and half-retarded upload will shuffle off this mortal coil. Unfortunately, I also suspect they’d happily push the rest of us offstage while they do their apocalyptic jig.

*  *  *

Joe Allen is the tech editor for War Room: Pandemic and host of Singularity Weekly on Substack. Follow him at @JOEBOTxyz on Gettr or Twitter.

Tyler Durden Mon, 09/26/2022 - 17:40

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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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