Spotify Already Has 70,000 Paying U.S. Subscribers

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Photo: Illustration: Ellis Hamburger

After a little more than one week in the U.S., Spotify already has 70,000 paying subscribers.That’s according to estimates from Billboard editor Bill Werde, who got the numbers from three separate execs in the music industry. Spotify wouldn’t comment.

At that rate, Spotify would have more than 3 million paying U.S. customers after one year. Leaked marketing documents reveal it hopes to have 50 million U.S. users — paid and unpaid — by that time.

By way of comparison, the leading U.S. subscription music service, Rhapsody, just passed 800,000 subscribers. It’s been around for almost 10 years.

Spotify had a lot of pent-up demand — the service was rumoured to be coming to the U.S. for more than a year — so it’s unlikely that sign-ups will keep up that pace.

But it does show that Spotify’s freemium model is working so far.  Spotify offers very generous terms on the free Web-based version of its music service — there’s no cap on listening for six months — in hopes that customers will love what they see and sign up for the premium service, which offers mobile access and other perks.

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