Spotify today announced it had reached 15 million paying subscribers and 60 million total users. It continues to feed the same narrative that the company has been pitching to the industry recently:
- The company is growing like a weed
- The ratio of paid subscribers to free users remains stead at 25%
- It provides enormous amounts of money to the industry that should be flowing to artists
Spotify’s growth is impressive. Outside of the year the company failed to update us on their sub numbers, the company is averaging 18.5 percent increase in both subs and users quarter over quarter. I’m assuming the company didn’t announce for a year as it appears the growth had slowed. But it has picked up again.
If the company can continue the momentum, it will hit its self-proclaimed goal of 30 million paid and around 120 million free users sometime early in 2016.
It is not clear how much Spotify’s growth is because of inroads in each market and how much is due to launching in new countries. The company recently expanded into Canada, which has been fairly barren when it comes to on-demand music services. The service is now available in 61 countries and their territories (hello unlimited free music Guam).
If the company is finding success launching new countries, it’s good news. There’s plenty more expansion to go if the company is to deliver on its promise in becoming a worldwide platform of music listening. Unfortunately, the easy countries are out of the way.
Now comes the hard part.
Spotify will have to roll out in countries that might not want the competition (India or China), have yet to fully embrace digital (Japan), might not be able to afford the pricing model (most of Africa) or have a combination of all these factors and Vladimir Putin as president, ahem. How Spotify navigates these thorny issues, along with staving off new competitors like Apple and YouTube, will go a long ways toward determining its success.
Meanwhile, I’m sure these numbers mean Spotify’s IPO apparatus will start to crank up. Based on how hot the market is right now, I would expect the company to go out as soon as it can–before the bubble bursts.