Digital music service Spotify says it now has 15 million active users and 4 million paid subscribers worldwide.
Spotify executive Ken Parks revealed the figures yesterday (7/31) at the Global Business Summit in London. The most recent figures released by Spotify in January 2012 indicated a total user base of 10 million, 3 million of which were paid subscribers.
Spotify founder/CEO Daniel Ek stated in April that he is aiming for a turnover goal of $888 million for 2012, following reported growth of 160% in 2011. On the other hand, Billboard points out it might be impossible to reach that goal given the current rate of growth. In fact, it may have taken Spotify longer to go from 3-4 million subscribers than the 2-3 million climb.
Still, the subscriber growth has to be encouraging for label partners, who have been uncertain about Spotify’s royalty payment structure and apprehensive that it might hinder paid download sales. More labels have indeed been expressing approval of the site as of late, including metal label Century Media Group, which had previously withheld its entire catalog from the service. Additionally, Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills told the Telegraph earlier today (7/31) that streaming services have brought in much needed revenue for Beggars Group artists with large catalogs and little new material.
“Some of our catalogue artists earn more from streams than downloads of individual tracks [or] any other format,” said Mills. “If we didn’t have digital we wouldn’t have a business. Physical is still important to us but the lesson we learned over last few years is that you have to strike a balance between giving people what they want on the one hand and actually being a business [and charging for content].”
Spotify also announced the release of a free streaming radio service for Android devices at the Summit, with which it ultimately hopes to convert more of its free users into paid subscribers. Spotify became available to US customers in July 2011 and is available in 15 countries.