Spotify climbs to 20M paid subscribers, picks up $526M in funding ahead of Apple Music launch

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With the debut of the competing Apple Music service only weeks away, Spotify on Wednesday announced that its total subscriber base has climbed to 75 million people, 20 million of whom are subscribers to its more profitable Premium tier.

The numbers represent fairly rapid growth, since at the beginning of 2015 those same figures were 60 million and 15 million, respectively. A year ago, the company had just 40 million subscribers, a quarter of them on Premium.

On Tuesday Spotify closed a $526 million funding round, $115 million of which came from European telecommunications firm TeliaSonera. The two companies will cooperate on areas like media distribution, data analytics, and advertising, according to the Wall Street Journal. The new funding gives Spotify a value of $8.53 billion.

Both announcements come hot on the heels of Monday's introduction of Apple Music, which counts Spotify as its primary competition. The services each offer a mix of on-demand streaming and radio content, and cost $10 for full functionality.

Spotify however lets people access on-demand music for free on an ad-supported tier, and is venturing into podcast and video content. The only free Apple Music content will be Beats 1, a live radio station hosted by celebrity DJs in Los Angeles, New York, and London.

Initially at least, Spotify will also enjoy much broader platform support, with apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, the Web, Roku, PlayStation, and more. When Apple Music launches on June 30, it will be limited to iOS, Mac, and Windows, with Android and Apple TV ports due in the fall.

Earlier this week a rumor claimed that Apple is hoping to reach 100 million subscribers. That number would be a first in the music industry, and likely impossible without blanketing as many platforms as possible.


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