Spotify Paying Subscribers Hits 83 Million

Spotify streaming music service with a small pile of coins

Spotify just announced it has 83 million paying subscribers worldwide which is more than double Apple’s 40 million subscribers. That’s a 10% increase for Spotify quarter over quarter, and a stark reminder that the streaming music service is still substantially larger—at least as far as total users—than Apple Music.

Spotify streaming music service with a small pile of coins
Spotify may have more paying subscribers than Apple music, but it isn’t making any money

Spotify’s total paid subscriber numbers are even higher than analysts expected. According to Reuters, projections pointed to 82 million.

While Spotify’s paid subscriber count is on the rise, it doesn’t mean the company is rolling in cash. In fact, Spotify is still operating at a loss and that isn’t likely to change soon.

Spotify lost US$460 million in its second quarter. The company lost $220 million in the same quarter last year. It’s strategy of focusing on increasing users instead of profit sounds a lot like, “We’re losing money on every sale, but we’ll make it up in volume.”

Apple, in comparison, has a much larger overall business with plenty of money to fund Apple Music. The iPhone and Mac maker also doesn’t offer a free tier so all of its users outside of the three month free trial period are paying subscribers.

Even though Apple’s overall streaming music subscriber numbers are significantly lower tha Spotify’s, it has a higher likelihood of turning a profit in that market. It’s also a reminder that cherry-picking US subscriber numbers to show Apple Music as a bigger streaming music service doesn’t tell the whole story.

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