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Dethroning Spotify just got a lot harder for Apple

Published Jun 10th, 2015 6:55PM EDT
Spotify Paid Subscribers 20 Million

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Apple Music’s bar for success just got higher. Spotify on Wednesday reported that it now has 20 million paid subscribers, up from the 15 million paid subscribers it had in January. In total, Spotify now has 75 million users, up from the 60 million users it reported earlier this year. The new paid subscribers number is also double the 10 million paid subscribers that Spotify reported in May of 2014.

RELATED: ‘Card-carrying Apple fanboy’ rips Apple Music launch, compares it to Tidal

“That’s an average of one new subscriber every three seconds over the last year,” Spotify crows in its official announcement. “More people listening on Spotify means more payouts to the creators of the music you love.  As we grow, the amount of royalties we pay out to artists, songwriters and rights holders continues to climb faster than ever. We have now paid more than $3 billion USD in royalties, including more than $300 million in the first three months of 2015 alone.”

So Apple Music, which will launch at the end of the month, certainly has its work cut out for it. While it’s unlikely that Apple Music will peal away Spotify users, it’s entirely possible that it will be able to attract people who have never paid for a music subscription service before — in other words, while there are 20 million paid Spotify subscribers, there are still millions more people who aren’t subscribers to any music service. Those people, in all likelihood, will be the people Apple Music targets.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.