Streaming music keeps on booming, though the radio of freeloaders to paid users stays the same.
Just in case Spotify’s dominant position in streaming music wasn’t already established, the company revealed Wednesday that it now has 40 million active users and 10 million paid subscribers.
That’s up 67 percent from last March, when Spotify had 24 million users, 6 million of whom paid for the streaming music service. Spotify says it has streamed 12 billion hours of music since its 2008 launch and that users create or update more than 5 million playlists per day.
Many of Spotify’s on-demand streaming competitors don’t disclose their user numbers, but it’s likely that no one comes close. Rhapsody, which has been around since 2001, revealed in April that it has 1.7 million paid subscribers.
While Spotify’s growth is impressive, the ratio of unpaid to paid users is unchanged from last year — roughly a quarter of users pay $10 per month for Spotify Premium, which removes audio ads from the user experience. Beats Music, which may or may not be getting bought by Apple, reportedly converts 70 percent of users to paid subscriptions through a partnership with AT&T, according to Bloomberg.
Spotify has faced some criticism from musicians who feel short-changed by the service, but the company has tried to convince the artists that there’s lots of money to be made, especially as more people sign up for paid subscriptions.