Spotify now reigns supreme as the world’s biggest mobile music streamer

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Android and iOS users alike have earned Spotify some serious bragging rights. The company’s mobile music streaming apps boasted the largest number of active users around the world in Q3, according to new data from App Annie.

Compared to last year, the report shows that Spotify was able to steal the iOS crown from Pandora and remained at the top among Android users. Pandora did, however, move up the Android list, closing in and taking second place. As Variety points out, Spotify’s global reach is much larger than that of Pandora, so the latter’s U.S. user base continues to impress.

The report also found that Spotify, which is available in 58 global markets, led music streaming app downloads in nine of the industry’s 15 biggest markets. Its growth was especially notable in India and Japan, in spite of local competition. Saavn and Gaana of India both cracked Android’s top 10, showing that streaming has become more popular there.

While Spotify’s numbers are impressive and App Annie predicts further growth, Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews has been clear in his opinion that free on-demand music isn’t sustainable. He penned an op-ed for Business Insider, published on December 1, likening such streaming to allowing consumers to walk into record stores and take what they want without paying. “If consumers can legally listen to free on-demand music permanently without converting to paying models, the value of music will continue to spiral downward to the benefit of no one,” he writes.

The industry is certainly evolving, and music streamers will need to continue to address how to derive profits in light of consumers’ relative unwillingness to pay. Nonetheless, there’s no arguing that what Spotify is doing now is working, at least in terms of attracting users.

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