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Spotify now boasts 100 million paid subscribers. This makes Spotify the first music streaming service to hit the milestone. It also means Spotify retains its crown as the biggest streaming music service in the world, despite competition from Apple Music.
A Brief History of Spotify
Spotify first launched in 2008, making its debut in its native Sweden. It then launched in the UK and across Europe, before crossing the pond to the US in 2011. Spotify offers both free and paid tiers, with the free tier supported by advertising.
Artists have a love/hate relationship with Spotify. On the one hand, Spotify has helped stop people from pirating music. However, there have been complaints about the amount of money the company pays artists, leading to Taylor Swift publicly dissing Spotify.
None of which has prevented Spotify from growing year on year.
Spotify Boasts More Users Than Ever
Spotify recently reported its earnings for Q1 2019, and it’s a mixed bag of good, bad, and ugly results. However, the headline is that Spotify now boasts 100 million paid subscribers, which represents a year-on-year increase of 32 percent.
This number is dwarfed by the 217 monthly active users (MAUs) Spotify now boasts. Which means well over half of the people using Spotify are opting to make use of the free tier rather than pay up. The number of MAUs is up 26 percent on the same time last year.
Spotify’s paid subscribers:
Mar 2019: 100 million
May 2018: 75 million
July 2017: 60 million
Mar 2017: 50 million
Sep 2016: 40 million
Jun 2015: 20 million
May 2014: 10 million
Dec 2012: 5 million
Mar 2011: 1 million
Jul 2010: 500,000
May 2008: 0
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) April 29, 2019
Despite this positive growth in both the number of monthly active users and paid subscribers, Spotify is still losing money. For the quarter covering January to March 2019, Spotify posted a loss of $158.3 million, slightly down on last year.
As a comparison, Apple Music has around 50 million paid subscribers, and no free tier. However, Apple Music only arrived on the scene in 2015, so the company has gained ground on the market leader in an impressively short space of time.
Spotify Has Big Plans for the Future
Spotify has big plans for the future. For starters, it’s busy acquiring companies specializing in podcasts, including Gimlet, Anchor, and Parcast. Podcasting is really hitting its stride as a medium, and Spotify is right to be investing heavily.
The company is also continuing to push into new territories. In February 2019, Spotify launched in India with a ridiculously cheap plan. And the company is now boasting it has picked up more then 2 million users since launch. And that’s sure to increase.
Image Credit: Sunil Soundarapandian/Flickr