Business News Digital

Spotify passes 30 million paid subscribers, updates mobile ad platform

By | Published on Tuesday 22 March 2016


Spotify CEO Daniel Ek yesterday confirmed that Spotify had passed the milestone of 30 million paying subscribers. And he did so with a nonchalant, ‘oh was that a thing people were wondering about?’ sort of tweet.

Retweeting a photograph of Barrack Obama arriving in Cuba for the first US presidential visit there since the country’s 1959 revolution, Ek wrote: “We have 30 million Spotify subscribers, but none of them are in Cuba… yet. So cool to see Cuba opening up!”

I think everyone can agree that one of the first things people in Cuba are going to need once trade restrictions are fully lifted are premium Spotify accounts. Well done Daniel for highlighting their plight.

Anyway, now that he’s made this all about him, let’s carry on running through the numbers. It had been rumoured recently that Spotify was getting closer to the 30 million premium subscriber milestone. The last time figures were announced, it was 20 million last June. Before that it was fifteen million in January 2015. And that, kids, means that Spotify is converting users to paid accounts at an increasing rate, despite Apple Music.

The other rumour going around is that Spotify’s total active user count – ie premium plus freemium – has now reached 100 million. However, at an event on the streaming service’s Discover Weekly feature at the Convergence festival in London on Saturday, reps for the company were sticking firmly to the official 75 million figure announced last June. Which either means that Spotify has lost a lot of free users since then or they were lying. FYI, they were lying. But hey, they made that Discover Weekly thing, so we’ll forgive them.

Sticking with Spotify’s freeloading users, Spotify has announced an update to the way it serves adverts to them on its mobile apps. The company yesterday announced the launch of Overlay Mobile, an extension of the existing Overlay ad option on its desktop software. The adverts pop up when a user returns to the software, and on mobile apps will stay put until dismissed by the user.

The company has also added 100 new interest groups for advertisers to use for targeting their adverts to US Spotify users. According to Mobile Marketing Daily, the new groups include things you’d think were already covered, like ‘moviegoers’, ‘car buyers’, ‘luxury shoppers’, and ‘sports fans’.