Spotify says it has almost twice as many paying customers as Apple Music -- and it's not slowing down

Michael Loccisano/GettyDaniel Elk, the CEO Spotify.

  • Spotify said in its IPO filing that it has 71 million paying subscribers, which it believes is double the number of Apple Music subscribers.
  • Both services cost $US9.99/month.
  • The percentage of paying Spotify customers cancelling their subscriptions has decreased since 2015, indicating that they’re not jumping ship for Apple Music or other competitors.

Spotify filed to go public on Wednesday, and it’s putting its rival streaming service Apple Music on notice.

Not only does Spotify appear to have more than twice as many paying users than Apple Music, but fewer Spotify users are jumping ship every year.

According to its F-1 filing, Spotify says that it was had 159 monthly users and 71 million premium subscribers as of December 31, 2017. That’s almost double the subscribers of Apple Music, its largest competitor, which has 36 million subscribers globally, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.

“With a presence in 61 countries and territories and growing, our platform includes 159 million MAUs and 71 million Premium Subscribers as of December 31, 2017, which we believe is nearly double the scale of our closest competitor, Apple Music,” writes Spotify in the filing. Both services cost a base rate of $US9.99 a month.

The filing also points out “premium churn” – the rate at which premium subscribers cancel their Spotify subscriptions – is decreasing every year, indicating that Spotify hasn’t been losing users to Apple Music or any other competitor. In the fourth quarter of 2015, the year Apple Music launched, Spotify saw premium churn of 7.5%. By 2017, that was down to 5.1% over the same period.

Spotify also says that it believes its Family Plan and Student Plan initiatives, which offer monthly subscriptions for families and students at a reduced price, will cause the number of cancellations to trend downwards over time.

While Apple may be lagging behind Spotify overall, it’s still gaining ground fast. According to The Journal, Apple Music is expected to surpass Spotify in the U.S. this summer. And Apple Music is available in 114 countries, while Spotify is only available in 61.

But in its bid to go public, Spotify is letting would-be investors know that the rise of Apple hasn’t stopped it from topping the streaming music business. And it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

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