Spotify outlook weakens amid pandemic uncertainty

Shares of Spotify took a fall Wednesday as the company cast doubt on how much longer it will be able to benefit from a spike in usage caused by people stuck inside during a global health crisis.

The streaming music and podcast company has seen a sharp rise in paid subscribers at a time when people can't go out and socialize.

Monthly active users rose to 345 million in the fourth quarter, leading to better-than-expected sales number.

Premium subscribers, who account for most of that gain, jumped 24 percent during the last three months of 2020.

But Spotify expressed concern that it may not be able to keep on signing up new subscribers at that pace - forecasting sales and paid subscriber numbers for the current quarter that were below analysts projections.

Spotify is counting on new paying subscribers to help offset the cost of its big expansion into podcasts. It has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to buy podcast companies, and to snag some big names include Michelle Obama and Price Harry and Meghan.

Shares of Spotify were down 8 percent.