Spotify is growing rapidly, announces 40 million paid subscribers

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Spotify’s paid user base is expanding more rapidly than ever, with the on-demand streaming service now boasting more than 40 million paid subscribers. That’s some massive growth since March of this year, when the Swedish service reached the 30-million mark.

The announcement came in the form of a tweet from CEO Daniel Ek, who published a short message early Wednesday morning on the social media platform that said, “40 is the new 30. Million,” followed by a smiley face emoji. Apple Music, the company’s biggest competitor, currently boasts 17 million monthly users.

Spotify’s increased subscription rate, which was previously estimated by industry experts to hover around 1 million new paid users per month, was likely boosted by the company’s choice to extend the $15-per-month family plan to up to six family members. That means that while more users are technically paying for the typically $10-per-month service, revenues may not have increased proportionally.

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No data as to Spotify’s current cash flow and profitability has been released by the company, but like many streaming services, it has never turned a profit on paper. Last year, Spotify lost nearly $200 million dollars, and continued operation by virtue of private shareholder investments, and by garnering nearly $1 billion in debt-based funding, the terms of which strongly indicate the company will go public in the very near future.

With the largest paid streaming user base in the world, an IPO from Spotify will likely be a big success for the company, especially with paid subscribers — the most profitable element of its business — growing so rapidly.

Spotify continues to operate the free version of its service as a way to entice new subscribers, and had more than 100 million monthly users signed up as of June of this year. Whether or not it will continue to remain free after the company eventually goes public remains to be seen, but if the massive increases in paid subscribers can float the free side of the service, Spotify will probably continue to be available to paid and unpaid users alike.

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