Ever since Napster entered our collective consciousness back in the late nineties, the way we listen to music has never been the same. With the advent of freely available music online, the bulky CD Players were on their way out by the start of this millennium, and in their place, came the tiny little MP3-players that could play music files downloaded from the internet. Streaming music was still not a ‘thing’ per se, but over the next decade, services like Pandora, Rdio, SoundCloud, Grooveshark and of late, Google Play Music and Apple Music, have forever altered how we listen to our favorite tracks at home or on the go. Over the last decade, though, music streaming has gained in popularity thanks to the omnipresent smartphones, and even though the market has gotten exceptionally competitive over the past few years, some companies have continued to gain more subscribers under trying circumstances.
Spotify is the undisputed leader in the world of streaming music, and has been so for a while now. The company has not just survived the crowded music-streaming business, but even thrived in a hostile environment where many of its competitors have faded away over the years, while others, like Rhapsody, have resorted to renaming itself in order to stay relevant. In a testament to how big the industry as a whole has become over the years, Spotify AB, the Swedish company behind the eponymous service, has now announced that it has reached an important milestone in terms of its global subscriber numbers. The service apparently now has a whopping 100 million monthly active users, which represents a significant increase over the 75 million figure that was reported a while back.
Out of those 100 million users, Spotify has around 30 million paid subscribers, with the rest opting for the free tier that comes with advertisements. Even as the company has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 2006, the industry itself has come under intense scrutiny in recent times from artistes who believe that the streaming platforms do not pay them a large-enough share of their revenues. As for Spotify though, the company reportedly pays out a hefty chunk of its earnings to artistes and their record labels. According to Reuters, that figure hovers around the 80% mark, which is why the company is yet to start making any money in spite of being the industry leaders. In fact, reports indicate that the company has actually suffered operating losses to the tune of €165.1 million ($187.26 million) in 2014 and €184.5 million ($209.26 million) last year.