Music streaming service Spotify has reported a bigger net loss in 2019, driven by aggressive investing, but said it had more active users and paying subscribers.

At the end of 2019 Spotify's number of monthly active users had grown to 271 million, a 31% increase from a year earlier.

The number of premium subscribers rose by 29% to 124 million.

According to media research firm Midia, Spotify is the leading company when it comes to paid music subscriptions and at the end of June last year had over 35 percent of the market, followed by US tech giants Apple and Amazon.

The streaming giant also said it had seen exponential growth when it came to podcasts and the hours streamed had increased by around 200% year-on-year.

But with aggressive investments in both research and marketing the company also reported a net loss of €186m for 2019, more than double that of the year before when the company posted a loss of €78m.

"On the cost side, we have been consistent in our messaging. Any decision to accelerate our investment in podcast and technology spend should be viewed as an indication of our belief that our strategy is having tangible results," the company said in a statement.

Having faith in its strategy and having seen the benefits of investing in podcasts, Spotify said "2020 will be an investment year" as well.

In its guidance for 2020, the company said it was expecting to have between €328m and €348m active users by the end of the year, and it expected an operating loss between €150m to €250m.

Meanwhile Spotify has announced the acquisition of Ringer, a sports and entertainment podcast network, for an undisclosed sum. It marks the latest podcast acquisition by the streaming firm.