Spotify Hits 100 Million Paid Subscribers Worldwide as Global Expansion Pays Off

Spotify has reached 100 million paid subscribers, a first for any online music service.

Swedish music streaming service Spotify reported a better-than-expected rise in first-quarter revenue on Monday as the music streaming company hit 100 million paid subscribers for its premium service.

According to a press release, Spotify’s latest earnings reveal that its monthly active users increased from 173 million in Q1 2018 and 207 million in Q4 2018 to 217 million in Q1 2019, with its overall user base up 26% year-on-year and 5% since the last quarter. However, Spotify’s premium subscribers — those who pay $10 USD per month — hit the 100 million user mark precisely, a notable milestone for the company as it seeks to increase income from those who choose to pay hard cash.

By comparison, Apple Music surpassed 50 million paid users during the December 2018 quarter (at the end of November, it had 56 million paid and trial customers).

The Swedish company also reported total Q1 revenue of $1.69 billion USD, topping analysts’ expectations of $1.64 billion. Spotify posted a net loss of $158 million USD, versus a net loss of $189 million in the year-earlier period. According to Spotify, the uptick in its share price during Q1 “significantly increased our operating expenses” for the period because the stock bump increased payroll taxes associated with employee salaries and benefits, including stock-based compensation.

The growth in users was partly attributed to an expanding partnership with Google, utilizing the Google Home Mini voice speaker. Spotify has identified the use of voice speakers as a critical area of growth. Competitors such as Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music have made strong inroads into music streaming with their Siri and Alexa voice speakers. Spotify also has partnerships in place with Samsung and Hulu.

The growth in Spotify’s user base also comes as the music and podcast streaming service has undertaken an aggressive international expansion plan spanning the likes of the Middle East and North Africa, where the company has been offering cut-price subscription plans.

In February, Spotify launched in India, expanding its presence globally to 79 countries. The company has tallied up over 2 million users in India since its launch there two months ago.