Spotify co-founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon launched the music-streaming service in 2005 out of an apartment in Sweden, launching in Europe a year later. The company became available in the US four years later and quickly became popular for features like Discover Weekly playlists and New Music Fridays. In spring 2011, Spotify announced it had reached 1 million paid subscribers.
When Apple Music launched in 2015, and brought the might of Apple’s marketing team and user base along with it, Spotify appeared to be doomed. Apple was able to claim half of Spotify’s users in a little over a year.
As the chart from Statista shows, Spotify didn’t have to worry about competition from Apple for too long. Since 2016, its user base has grown exponentially faster than that of Apple Music, and Spotify announced this week it had reached 60 million subscribers. Apple Music has around 27 million subscribers, as of June 2017.
This new figure puts Spotify in a strong position for its plans for a direct listing, which the Wall Street Journal reported could take place at some point this year. A direct listing allows the company to go public without quite going public. Instead of a public sale of shares by the company, insiders and early stockholders will be able to directly sell their shares on an exchange. The company was valued at $US8.5 billion in June 2015, and with its new user numbers, company executives will have lots to tout to investors.
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