Spotify - one million paying customers and counting

8 March 2011

spotify-logoDespite the delay of their US launch, Spotify continues to pile on new users; the European music service has just announced one million paying subscribers. That's a million customers paying a monthly fee of either £4.99 or £9.99 for music they can't own.

That's not meant as a pithy, sly criticism. As a Swedish company, Spotify could rightly expect traction on its home turf, where there's more of a culture of non-ownership, where renting property is preferred over buying a home.

In Blighty we prefer to own our goods and we love our mortgages. Slowly but surely, Spotify is gaining listeners in the UK and supporting third party communities such as Share My Playlists; we're coming round to the notion that services, rather than purchases, can satisfy our musical needs.

Of course, one million paying customers is still a tiny percentage of the total population that has access to Spotify (the service is available in seven EU countries) but in context of the service itself, one million paying customers represents 15% of Spotify's active monthly users. That's not a bad conversion rate.

There are still issues with the service; as we've mentioned before, it's not unusual to see whole albums disappear from Spotify, even for Premium users paying a tenner a month. But there have been changes, even for free users; there have been subtle improvements in how commercials are delivered; there are fewer, higher quality campaigns which reflects better on the brand, and an increase in users means fewer ads can streamed per account to deliver the same inventory.

Next up for Spotify is the USA; a source close to the project/mate down the pub tells us that it's more a matter of weeks away, rather than months.


  • Marketing W.
    Might be a Swedish company but from what I understand they're based in the UK.
  • Paul S.
    Spotify was founded in Sweden five years ago, Spotify was initially launched in Sweden and their R&D base is still in Sweden. Their HQ is now in the UK, but the point was that the culture of consumers in Sweden is perhaps different to that in the UK. The most consistent criticism of friends when considering Spotify has been they don't want to pay for something they don't own.
  • PokeHerPete
    You don't own it because its a fucking service.
  • Paul S.
    Yes. That's the point. Thanks for playing.
  • Alexis
    If you're on free, it's quicker to press ctrl-q and restart the app than sit and listen to an ad.
  • Mark H.
    I'm a subscriber. With regards to 'ownership' I listen to a wide variety of new and old stuff and anything I particularly like I buy. Most of the stuff I listen to however I'm not bothered about owning. It's changed the way I consume music as I'm not constrained by my wallet any more (never got into pirating stuff).
  • james d.
    You mean I dont own xbox live either? Swedish youths do pirate a lot, but its mostly due to the ubiquity of fast internet for a very long time and a high level of technical skill. Most 40+ swedes I know still buy their media in the traditional way however, from a shop.
  • chris r.
    as long as they keep it £10 or under i'll keep subscribing pretty much any music you want whenever you want no lag on the phone, good quality, also handy for in the pub also when talkin about music(!) they could make the search tool better is my only gripe

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