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Spotify flips bird at Taylor Swift, adds MILLIONS more users

Christmas promo bonanza for music-streaming bods

By Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jan 2015

Spotify says it now has 15 million subscribers, up five million from last May, having added 2.5 million paying punters in the Christmas period alone. It also claims to have 35 million users on its free ad-supported version.

Spotify launched a new “family plan” in October, allowing two household members to subscribe for £17.99 and add additional accounts for £5 a month, up to a total of five members. It also baited the trap with a new promotion, offering new subscribers three months of Spotify for £1.99 a month.

The deals prompted an impressive spurt of growth and solidified Spotify's lead over the many me-too streaming music services that launched in its wake. Streaming services were, however, hit by the defection of the year's most popular artist Taylor Swift in the final quarter, who preferred to "window" the release of her bestselling album 1989.

Despite Spotify's growth, 15 million users world wide generate only a small amount of revenue for artists, publishers and labels compared to the return from a la carte song downloads, aka “music that you can keep”.

The BPI estimated streaming services returned just £175m to the UK industry, while digital downloads fell nine per cent.

In an aggressive post responding to Taylor Swift's decision to pull her music, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek explained that artists should accept the rates or put up with getting their music stolen. ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing