Spotify hit 124 million subscribers at the end of 2019, up 29% from the previous year, the company reported Wednesday. However, tempering that subscriber increase, Spotify reported a loss of 209 million euros ($231 million) in the fourth quarter.
Spotify’s latest membership number growth appeared to keep it well above its closest competitor Apple Music; Apple last disclosed that Music had 60 million subscribers back in June. Spotify also said Wednesday that 271 million people total now use its service at least once a month, up 31% percent from a year earlier. Spotify, unlike Apple, has a free tier that lets anyone listen to music with advertising. Apple has never disclosed a monthly-active-user stat; almost all people who use Apple Music are subscribers.
In the last year, Spotify has targeted its next stage of growth in podcasts — an area that Apple so dominates that the name of the format originally derived from Apple’s iPod. It budgeted between $400 million and $500 million to invest in podcast acquisitions last year… Looking ahead to 2020, Spotify predicted that it will have 142 million to 153 million paid subscribers by the end of this year…
MacDailyNews Take: Good luck with your quest to dominate podcasting, Spotify. You’re gonna need it.
Spotify is really good at one thing: Losing money.
Apple Music surpassed Spotify in paid subscriptions in the U.S., the world’s largest music market, in early 2019.
Spotify offers 20% fewer tracks than Apple Music for the same price. Apple Music boasts a catalog of 60 million songs; Spotify has just 50 million. Don’t overpay for less! If you’re still subscribing to Spotify, it’s past time for you to cancel it and upgrade to Apple Music. (See also: How to move your Spotify playlists to Apple Music.)
Note: Spotify launched nearly 14 years ago on April 23, 2006. Apple Music turns five-years-old on June 30, 2015.