In brief: Spotify on Wednesday said its monthly active user count reached 299 million in the most recent quarter ending June 30. That's an increase of 29 percent year-over-year and brings the streaming giant just shy of that 300 million MAU milestone.

Taking a closer look, we see that Spotify finished the second quarter with 138 million premium (paying) subscribers, up 27 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The company said its Family Plan continues to be a big driver of performance and further plugged the expansion of its new Premium Duo subscription offering for couples.

Spotify confirmed that it observed what it called "Covid-related softness" in several countries across emerging regions early in the quarter, resulting in increased churn and an increase in payment failures from Premium users. This rebounded significantly in June, the company said, and the improved momentum is now expected to carry over into Q3.

Spotify has committed to growing its podcasting unit over the last quarter and the early work appears to be paying off. The platform now offers more than 1.5 million shows, half of which launched this year. And people are listening, too. The streaming giant said 21 percent of its total MAUs are now engaging with podcast content, up from just 19 percent in the first quarter.

Looking ahead, Spotify anticipates finishing the third quarter with between 312 million and 317 million MAUs and by the end of the year, they hope to have closer to 350 million users.

Image credit: Christopher Penler, Funstock