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As Apple’s music chief leaves, Spotify’s subscriber base soars to 70 million

Jimmy Iovine

Jimmy Iovine talked a big game about helping Apple’s streaming efforts for the long haul, but word has since surfaced that the revered music industry vet will be leaving Apple for good once his stock options vest. Iovine originally joined Apple in 2014 when Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion, still the company’s largest acquisition to date.

With Iovine at the helm, Apple Music endured a shaky start and has gone on to be something of a success. Last we heard, Apple Music — as of September 2017 — now boasts more than 30 million paying subscribers. But for as far as Apple Music has come in recent years, Apple’s streaming service still can’t seem to keep pace with Spotify.

Just one day after reports of Iovine leaving Apple surfaced, Spotify fired off a tweet indicating that it now has a whopping 70 million paying subscribers.

That’s an increase of 10 million subscribers from this past July when Spotify said that its subscriber count was at 60 million. That’s a solid 16% gain in just six months time. As for overall users, we didn’t get an update on that, but Spotify this past summer said that its service has upwards of 140 million users, the majority of which presumably take advantage of Spotify’s ad-supported free tier.

Incidentally, Spotify is getting ready to go public, having just filed the requisite documents with the SEC earlier this month. If all goes according to plan, Spotify will go public sometime during the first half of 2018. Interestingly, though, Spotify may go about its IPO in a unique way.

As Reuters reported recently:

If Spotify, which was valued at as much as $19 billion last year, goes ahead with its plans, it would be the first major company to carry out a direct listing, an unconventional way to pursue an IPO without raising new capital.

A direct listing mainly eliminates the need for a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite an IPO along with many associated fees and could change the way companies approach selling shares to the public.

Spotify’s IPO aside, it will be interesting to see how Apple Music is impacted, if at all, by Iovine’s departure give that he was seemingly the driving force behind many of the service’s distinguishing features such as curated playlists and exclusive launches from A-list artists.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.