Spotify - one million paying customers and counting
Despite 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.