Spotify Officially Hits 50 Million Paid Subscribers

Spotify Logo
Courtesy of Spotify


Spotify, the world's largest music subscription service, today announced a major milestone: 50 million paid subscribers. In a post on Twitter, the music streaming service wrote the following: "Thank you to our 50 million subscribers #Spotify50."

This is Spotify's first user number announcement since the service hit 40 million last September, which means it took the streaming service just five-and-a-half months to gain 10 million subscribers -- half a month quicker from when the service went from 30 million to 40 million subscribers.

The numbers are especially significant as 2016 was the first year ­streaming overtook physical sales and became a dominant driver of revenues in the music industry, accounting for 51.3 percent of album consumption units and besting physical and downloads combined, ­according to Nielsen Music.

Streaming led the U.S. music industry to its first back-to-back yearly growth this millennium and in the first half of 2016 was the single ­highest source of revenue in the U.S. recorded-music industry, ­bringing in $1.61 billion. All three major labels -- Universal, Sony and Warner -- posted streaming-driven double-digit percent boosts in earnings throughout the past year.

Streaming subscriber growth has also consistently increased ­over the past few years; in 2016, Spotify and Apple Music together added more than 20 million ­subscribers, boosting their announced ­numbers to 40 ­million and 20 ­million, respectively, by the end of that year. (Apple svp Eddy Cue recently said on a panel that Apple Music is "well past" the 20 million paid subscriber mark.)

While the growing user numbers are impressive, it should be noted that Spotify has yet to turn a profit, having lost nearly $200 million on $2.2 billion in revenue in 2015, the most recent public figures available. And the company's $1 billion round of convertible debt, raised in March 2016, will require hefty interest payments the longer the company stays private. Regardless, the increased scaling of subscribers and major revenue has to be an encouraging sign.

A rep for Spotify verified the announcement, but declined to offer further comment.

After Spotify's announcement, several high-profile artists took to Twitter to congratulate the service on its latest milestone.