The holidays stuffed Spotify’s stockings with paying ears. According to a blog post on the official Spotify website, the music streaming giant eclipsed 15 million paid subscribers worldwide for the first time by the end of 2014.
Even in the face of intensified promotional pushes from competitors Deezer and Tidal, Spotify had its best month ever to end 2014. Spotify reached 10 million paid subscribers in May 2014 and had 12.5 million paid subscribers as of November 2014. Spotify’s blog posts states that the streaming service gained its 15 millionth paid subscriber before the calendar turned to 2015, suggesting Spotify accumulated around 2.5 million paid subscribers in December alone. The total number of active users on Spotify increased at a similar rate, growing from 40 million in May 2014 to over 60 million by the end of 2014.
The company’s latest promotional attempts at attracting paying customers paid off at historic levels. In December, Spotify offered three months of Spotify Preemium for $1 a month following integration with Uber, and Beyonce’s earth shattering album debut on Spotify weeks before. The last few months of 2014 also saw the leader in premium on-demand music streaming losing the music catalog of the highest selling artist of the last 5 years in a highly-publicized break-up with the queen of broken relationships, Taylor Swift. But that rift may be another example of the inherent goodness of any form of publicity. In the middle of Spotify’s biggest month in paid subscriber adoption, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel EK told Billboard Taylor Swift’s rally against the streaming company meant “the public probably learned there’s something called Spotify, and that it’s not Pandora.”
More paying subscribers have not always translated into profit for the Swedish company, which is still fighting to prove its worth in an industry that is notoriously slow to adopt any form of change. In 2013, Spotify accumulated $1 billion in revenue with a paid subscription base of six million people. While it decreased its net losses by 30 percent from 2012 to 2013, the company still incurred $80 million in losses. Spotify has not released its 2014 earnings report, but with a subscription base that has more than doubled since 2013, the company should hit the $2 billion mark in revenue for the first time. Spotify’s success is indicative of a burgeoning on-demand music streaming market that saw the number of total streams increase by over 54 percent in 2014 to 78.6 billion audio streams.
As a thank you to its users, Spotify has compiled a “15 Million Thank Yous” playlist, including songs from Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, Eminem and Calvin Harris, four of the five most streamed artist on Spotify in 2014. Check out the full playlist below: