Spotify hits 20m paying subscribers, 75m total active users


Just hours after confirming a $526m investment round, Spotify has announced that it has now attracted over 20m paying users.

The timing surely isn’t coincidental, coming just two days after Apple revealed Apple Music – and mentioned that its app will be installed on almost a billion Apple devices when it launches on June 30.

Spotify says its total user base has now surpassed 75m people, leaving 55m existing active free users.

Interestingly, Spotify announced 10m paying subscribers at the end of May 2014. That means it has now doubled its subscriber base in little over a year.

And don’t forget, that initial 10m group of subscribers took the service the best part of six years to build up.

(Spotify’s last update from January this year was of 15m paying subs and 60m total active users.)

Spotify says it is now adding a subscriber to its platform every three seconds.

It’s also provided some information on what it says it’s actually paying artists.

In a blog post, Spotify confirms that it has now passed more than US $3bn to songwriters, artists and other rights-holders since launch – and more than $300m in the first three months of 2015.

It’s also provided two graphs that are sure to ignite some debate.

The blue columns below denote average actual payouts to rights-holders (labels, artists, songwriters and publishers) on behalf of a single artist or band over the last 12 months – which started with 10 million subscribers.

The green columns show projected average payouts over the next 12 months for the same acts, but representative of a starting point of 20 million paying subscribers.

image01 image00Music Business Worldwide

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  • David237856

    I wonder how many of the new ‘paying subscribers’ are just paying the very low introductory rates which Spotify launched late last year?

    And prepare for howls of derision at the claim that niche/indie artists are typically getting around $1 m a year from Spotify. Using Spotify’s own upper figure for average payout of 0.8 US cents per stream, that would require 125 million streams a year. That’s a bloody big niche. As a reality check, ‘Biophilia’ by Bjork – hardly the most obscure of niche/indie artists – has only received about 10 million track streams in total in several years on Spotify.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    My assumption is that Spotify’s “typical” is a simple arithmetic mean taken by dividing total payout by number of artists. That’s not the correct statistical measure to use when the data almost certainly has a strongly skewed distribution with a long opposite tail (e.g., for the indie/niche category, a few indie artists make huge money, most make next to nothing).

    It’d be much more useful to divide payouts into, say, quintiles, so that we can get an idea of how skewed the distribution is. My guess would be that the bottom three quintiles would have median payouts that are pretty dire.