Spotify Thanks Apple Music For Its New Customers
Apple Music has existed for less than a year and boasts 13 million paid subscribers, but an exec at chief rival Spotify believes that's a good thing. Speaking with Reuters recently, vp of sales Jonathan Forster said it was "great" that Apple has taken an interest in the platform. "They are definitely raising the profile of streaming," he said. "It is hard to build an industry on your own."
According to Forster, Spotify has been "growing quicker and adding more users than before" the launch of Apple Music on June 30 of last year. Around that time, Spotify had an estimated 20 million paid subscribers. Now, it has 30 million premium users with close to 100 million streaming via the freemium tier.
"It would be terrible if we were just taking each other's users or to learn there was just a ceiling of 100 million users -- I don't think that is the case," he noted. Forster also said that despite the rapid growth, the company's conversion rate (turning freemium users into paid ones) has held steady at between 25-30 percent.
While added competition is "great" during this transitional period for music consumers, Forster opined that a crowded market of streaming services may not be sustainable in the long run -- and that eventually the big fish are going to have to eat the minnows.
"My Internet history would tell me that there's probably not going to be that many significant players, and then maybe smaller niche cases ... maybe there could be a classical music streaming service," he said. "It's a hard business."
Forster was also asked whether Spotify would consider being acquired by a giant like Google. "I've always felt Spotify likes being Spotify," he answered. "We have fought to get to where we are today and we are quite happy and it would be emotionally hard not to be us, but who knows?"