Spotify has become a juggernaut in the music industry, and today the music streaming company released some numbers to prove it. It now has 20 million users overall, with 5 million of them paying monthly fees to do it. One million of them are in the U.S. alone. And as a mark of how fast it’s growing, one million of those paying users were added in this last year alone.
The numbers were unveiled at an event being held jointly in New York and London to unveil some new developments for the company. We’ve put our bet on that news being about discovery.
Daniel Ek, the CEO and co-founder, said that the U.S. paid subscriber numbers make it the biggest service of its kind in this key market.
“People are most interested in how we’re doing in the US,” he said today. “In just over a year we’ve now passed 1 million paid subscribers. This makes us the biggest subscription service here but also the fastest growing. We’ve done in a year what it’s taken other a decade to do.”
He also noted — maybe as a foreshadowing of what Spotify will tell us later — that there are 1 billion playlists now on the service; 4.7 billion of them, he noted, are called “love.” (Talk about a discovery problem.) Perhaps a little ironically, given all that love, he told the audience, “We’ve unleashed a ton of creativity.”
The company is playing an interesting game, trying to be the most mainstream music streaming site, making music streaming mainstream. But at the same time keeping an edge.
“We’re punks because we’re restless,” he said. “We’re pumk but in a positive way. What we’re about is trying to build something for the long term… Our mission is to bring all the music to every single person on the planet.”
And as a nod to trying to play the game with the bigger music industry he also noted that 70% of proceeds on the service get paid out to rights holders. “We’ve paid out over half a billion dollars,” he said. In the last nine months, that rate doubled. “We’re growing in a way that benefits the whole system.” Those payments have even convinced Metallica to put their entire catalogue on Spotify, despite being the band who pushed to get Napster sued into shutting down.