Spotify now has 3 million paying customers

Paul Williams
Spotify now has 3 million paying customers

The figure was revealed at an industry event at Universal Music UK's Kensington offices by Spotify chief content officer Ken Parks who said this customer base was typically spending twice as much money annually on his company's paid-for services than the average music fan does on music. For Spotify's premium offering, which allows users to access the service ad free on a computer and mobile, this amount to £120 a year in the UK, $120 in the US and 120 Euros in mainland Europe.

More than one in five of Spotify's customers in the dozen countries where it is available are now paying, rather than just using the ad-supported free service.

At the event, which was hosted by Universal and investment bank GP Bullhound, Parks also responded to a decision by parts of the music industry not to make available some new releases on Spotify for fear it will cannibalise download or CD sales. Among those releases that either are not on Spotify or whose availability was delayed are Adele's 21, Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto and The Black Keys' El Camino.

Parks said this had to be put into some historic context, recalling when iTunes first launched there were some high-profile absentees, including from some artists like Radiohead who did not want their albums unbundled. But he noted that just because a release was not on Spotify did not mean it was not available to stream somewhere else online, either for free or where less money would go back to the industry.

"It just encourages people to go to places that don't monetise as well," he said. "What we really want to do is reward the good people who are spending the money, rather than punishing them."

Also taking part at the event, which was held on Thursday night, were GP Bullhound founding partner Hugh Campbell, Alice Enders of Enders Analysis, Beats By Dre president & COO Luke Wood and Universal Music Group International digital vice president Francis Keeling.

The event concluded with a performance by Polydor artist Michael Kiwanuka who earlier this month won the BBC Sound Of 2011 poll


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