SPOTIFY: We had 'our fastest subscriber growth ever' in the second half of 2015

Daniel ek spotify 1Getty ImagesSpotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek.

Music streaming service Spotify says the second half of 2015 was its best period for growth ever.

After news broke that Apple has 10 million Apple Music subscribers, we reached out to Spotify for comment.

While it wouldn’t talk directly about Apple, or even where its subscriber numbers are now, Spotify’s head of communications Jonathan Prince told us, “The second half of 2015 was our fastest subscriber growth ever.”

The last time Spotify announced numbers was in June of 2014. At that time it had 20 million subscribers, up from 10 million a year prior. If Spotify’s growth was faster than ever in the second half of 2015, then it added more than 5 million new users over the last six months of the year. If we had to guess, we’d say Spotify had 25-30 million subscribers at the end of 2015.

So, for now Spotify has a much bigger lead than Apple. But, Apple has an advantage being the default music app that ships with every single iPhone. That will continue to drive subscriber growth, posing a challenge for Spotify.

One thing working in Spotify’s advantage: Its app is critically acclaimed. Apple’s music app has been dismissed by critics.

But, even that may not matter. Google Maps is a better product than Apple Maps, but Apple Maps is more popular with users. According to Apple, iPhone owners use Apple Maps “three times as much” as its next leading competitor, which is Google Maps.

The fact that Apple got to a third of Spotify’s paid user base in just six months with a subjectively inferior product has to be worrisome for Spotify, and its investors who last valued the company at $8.5 billion.

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