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Spotify boasts 70 million subscribers as stock market listing looms

By | Published on Friday 5 January 2018


Spotify last night took to Twitter to politely brag that it now has more than 70 million paying subscribers. The sneaky tweet means the streaming service has already generated three big music business headlines this year, though this was the first one to stem from an official announcement.

Earlier in the week it was reported that Spotify used the Christmas break – when everyone was otherwise occupied – to file some confidential paperwork in relation to its long awaited stock market listing.

Spotify will become a publicly traded company via an unusual direct listing rather than a cash-generating initial public offering, the hope seemingly being that the former approach will come with less risk. Reports now suggest that, following a filing with the US Securities And Exchange Commission over the Christmas break, Spotify could arrive on the New York Stock Exchange in the first quarter of this year.

Given Spotify’s future success is more dependent on its premium service than its ad-funded platform, the latest premium user stats brag will help as it continues in its march to Wall Street. It last updated its official paying user numbers back in July last year when it passed the 60 million mark, meaning the next ten million were added in just over six months.

The third Spotify headline this week related to the news independent music publisher Wixen had sued the streaming firm for $1.6 billion over unpaid mechanical royalties, the latest in a long line of lawsuits stemming from America’s useless mechanical rights licensing system.

The Music Modernisation Act, proposed late last year, seeks to solve the mechanical royalties issue that has plagued the streaming sector in the US. Wixen seems to like some aspects of those proposals, but has problems with others.

Indeed, it blamed the Music Modernisation Act proposals for it having to file its own mega-bucks lawsuit against Spotify at this stage, despite it already being involved in an earlier class action on the mechanical royalties issue.

Premium subscribers can read more about Wixen v Spotify in CMU Trends, which has made it one of its top five music lawsuits to watch in 2018.

Meanwhile, Spotify, 70 million subscribers, woo!