Spotify Reaches 15 Million Subscribers

Streaming service has tripled its number of paid users in just two years

Spotify now tops 15 million paid subscribers. Credit: Getty

Spotify's total number of paid subscribers has topped 15 million, according to a recent post on the company's blog. To mark the occasion, Spotify posted a playlist titled "15 Million Thank Yous" that boasted triumphant, celebratory tracks like Kanye West's "Touch the Sky," Katy Perry's "Firework" and, obviously, Kool and the Gang's "Celebration."

As The New York Times reports, Spotify has tripled its number of subscribers in just over two years, and this most recent announcement comes only eight months after the streaming service notched 10 million subscribers. The majority of Spotify's 60 million users, however, continue to use a free version of the service supported by advertisements.

Still, record labels and distributors count Spotify as one of their top revenue sources, and the service boasts that it has paid out more than $2 billion in music royalties since launching internationally in 2008.

But those numbers haven't impressed everyone: A number of high-profile artists, like Thom Yorke and David Byrne, have spoken out against Spotify, while others — including Taylor Swift, the Beatles, Jason Aldean and Garth Brooks — won't make their music available on the service.

Swift decided to pull her whole catalog from Spotify last year, just one week after the release of her album, 1989. In an interview with Yahoo, she explained her motives saying, "I'm not willing to contribute my life's work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music. And I just don't agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free."

While Scott Borchetta, president of Swift's label Big Machine Label Group, called the move a "big fist in the air" that other artists would likely follow, the Times suggests all the publicity may have actually encouraged more people to sign up for Spotify. When the company last disclosed its numbers in early November 2014 — just days after Swift removed her music — Spotify counted 12.5 million subscribers, meaning they've jumped a whopping 2.5 million in just two months.

"Here’s the thing I really want artists to understand: Our interests are totally aligned with yours," wrote Daniel Ek, Spotify's co-founder and chief executive in a blog post after Swift's decision. "Even if you don’t believe that’s our goal, look at our business. Our whole business is to maximize the value of your music."