“It seems like only yesterday we were hatching ideas for a new music service in a tiny office-cum-apartment with a broken coffee machine, and the party we threw having reached one million users almost two years ago today was one to remember,” said Spotify founder Daniel Ek in his March 8 blog. “So it’s with a sense of real pride and excitement that we can announce a new milestone today, having welcomed our millionth paying subscriber to the service. It’s a testament to our fantastic users who continue to support us and spread the Spotify word, either by telling friends or sharing some of the 200 million playlists that you’ve put together so far.”
Spotify has about 10 million registered users across the U.K., Finland, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Spain and a song catalog with over 10 million tracks. The company offers a free ad-supported channel with a cap on total time per month, and a paid subscription offering with better quality sound that also allows users to enjoy the service on mobile devices. Reports say that Spotify lost $26 million in 2009, however the pace of success has been accelerating in recent months. For example, the first goup of 250,000 subscribers took 21 months to amass. However, the last group, from 750,000-1 million took a scant three months.
Of course the biggest single question mark now hanging over Spotify, is its ability to seal the deal with the U.S. labels and launch on this side of the big pond. Reports indicate that Sony and EMI in fact have formed agreements to enable a U.S. launch, but that leaves WMG and Universal still deciding. Should the service successfully negotiate, its next big set of metrics will find it being measured against iTunes which controls the digital market stateside.