Spotify surges past 300M users after successful Russia launch

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Spotify now has 320 million monthly active users and 144 million paid subscribers, an increase of 29 and 27 percent respectively year-over-year, the company announced in its latest earnings release. User growth was driven by marketing campaigns in India, as well as the service’s launch in Russia and 12 surrounding markets. The company called Russia its “most successful new market launch to date.”

The service’s user and subscriber growth puts it comfortably ahead of rivals services from Amazon and Apple. As of January this year, Amazon Music said it had 55 million customers, of which “nearly all” were paying subscribers, according to the Financial Times. Meanwhile, Apple reported last year that it had 60 million paying subscribers, and does not offer a free tier outside of promotions and free trials.

Spotify user growth continues unabated.
Image: Spotify

However, despite Spotify’s quarterly user growth, and revenue growth of 14 percent to €1.98 billion (around $2.32 billion), it still made a loss of €101 million (around $118 million) in the quarter, down from a profit of €241 million ($282 million) a year earlier, according to The Wall Street Journal. That’s partly because the company is trying to grow its user base by luring new users in with discounted plans. Revenue per user dropped 10 percent to €4.19 (around $4.92) compared to last year.

Spotify now has 1.9 million podcasts available on its service, up from more than 1.5 million last quarter. Spotify says that 22 percent of it monthly users engaged with podcast content in Q3, up from 21 percent last quarter.

The Joe Rogan Experience is now Spotify’s most popular podcast across its English-speaking markets, the company said in its earnings release. The Rogan show has recently been criticized for interviewing Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. In an internal email seen by Buzzfeed News a senior Spotify executive defended the decision, and said that it was important to host “diverse voices” on its platform. Spotify says that the Joe Rogan Experience will become a Spotify exclusive by the end of this year.


I swear I thought Spotify would be much bigger than that.

300M is about the population of the US, or half of Europe. For example, Netflix has ~170M subscribers. You’re right though, it is a service for the more privileged and it’s less surprising when you factor that in.

Spotify free is enough for me cause I personally don’t mind ads. IMO, the major difference between free or paying subscribers is whether you can download music for offline listening. There are always software like Audacity or Spotify downloader that enable you to do that as long as you keep it for personal use.

Now I use Spotify free plan. But as I prefer to listen to music offline, I use a Spotify Song Converter to download and convert Spotify music for offline listening. And I can convert the music to other audio formats for using on different devices.

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