Spotify reaches 50 million paying users

Spotify has reached a new milestone after it crossed 50 million paying users. The service is currently available in over 60 markets, with a total catalog of more than 30 million songs.

The streaming firm clocked 40 million ‘Premium’ subscribers in September 2016, having hit the 30 million mark in March, so the growth rate has continued to be fairly consistent. Aside from its $9.99 paid plan, Spotify also offers a more limited free option that it monetizes via ads. In June last year, the company disclosed that it had reached 100 million registered users — including paying and non-paying users — but we haven’t had a newer figure since then.

There’s plenty of competition in the market, and Spotify’s nearest rival is Apple Music, which reached the 20 million paid user mark in December. Tidal, the service owned by rapper (and soon-to-be-VC) Jay Z, reached three million last March which was its last update.

Spotify’s new user number comes the same week that SoundCloud, a rival it has considered buying on numerous occasions before talks broke down in December, came out with a new and cheaper subscription plan to increase its competitive edge. The revamped SoundCloud package starts at $4.99, with a $9.99 option, although it isn’t clear just how popular it will prove to be.

Spotify may have a new plan of its own soon. The Verge recently reported that the company is preparing to introduce a Hi-Fi music tier, which would be charged at an additional $5 a month — so $14.99 overall. Spotify already offers a $14.99 tier for families which grants a premium subscription to up to six users.