Spotify has reached 75 million monthly listeners and 20 million paid subscribers. “We could have never achieved this growth without all of you- the music fans who listen, discover, share and celebrate music and artists every day. Thank you, 20 million X,” the company wrote in a statement. The announcement comes just five months after the music streaming company revealed it had garnered over 15 million paid subscribers and 60 million active users worldwide. Spotify’s free music services have been criticized because most people believe it provides fewer royalties to artists, even though the company contends it has paid out $3 billion dollars in royalties.
In the first quarter of this year, Spotify paid out $300 million in royalties to artists, producers, and songwriters. Earlier this year, Spotify reported that their Premium subscribers‘ streams generate a higher percentage for artist revenue than their free listeners. “Recently, these variables have led to an average per stream payout to rights holders of between $0.006 and $0.0084. This combines activity across our tiers of service. The effective average per stream payout generated by our Premium subscribers is considerably higher.” The company has also gone to great lengths to encourage users to upgrade to their premium paid membership. Spotify is currently offering listeners the low-rate of $.99 cents (per month) for three months of its premium services. Spotify’s regular rate is $9.99 per month, and its two-person package costs $14.99 per month.
Even though Spotify is at the “top of the food chain,” its competitors are hoping they can dethrone the music streaming giant. Amongst its competitors are Pandora, Google Play, Tidal, and the newly formed Apple Music. Apple’s streaming service will launch on June 30th, and it will be available for Android in the fall. The service will cost users $9.99 per month, or users can join Apple Music’s family plan of up to six users for $14.99 per month. The company planned on offering its services between $5.00 and $8.00, but that rate was not approved by the record labels. To ensure it can attract millions of listeners to join their service, Apple Music has recruited Drake to be the company’s music ambassador.
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