“It seems like only yesterday we were hatching ideas for a new music service in a tiny office-cum-apartment with a broken coffee machine."
—-Daniel Ek, Spotify founder


European Subscription Service Tops 1 Million Paying Subscribers Without U.S.
Although it’s not yet available in the U.S., Swedish music subscription service Spotify has just reached the milestone of 1 million paying subscribers across Europe.

The streaming service has deals in America with both Sony Music and EMI, while both UMG and WMG remain holdouts at this point.

The public figure of actual users is closer to 10 million, last announced in September 2010.

The million mark already puts Spotify above the eight-year-old Rhapsody’s 750k and the reconfigured Napster’s reported 761k, which was its last announced total before Best Buy bought it in 2008. Thumbplay, recently acquired by Clear Channel, has just 20k. The N.Y. TimesBen Sisario wrote this morning of yet another streaming competitor, MOG, which is now moving into automobiles and home TVs.

Spofity, which launched in Oct. 2008, has been rapidly adding subscribers. The last quarter million paying customers came faster than the previous three quarter million. Its announcement for reaching the 750k subscriber mark came last December. The service hit the 500k mark around mid-July and the 250k mark came in late January 2010. If subscriptions keep growing at this rate, it would take under one year to reach two millions subscribers, and that’s without the world’s biggest music market.

Said founder Daniel Ek in a statement on the company’s website this morning:

“It seems like only yesterday we were hatching ideas for a new music service in a tiny office-cum-apartment with a broken coffee machine, and the party we threw having reached one million users almost two years ago today was one to remember.

“So it’s with a sense of real pride and excitement that we can announce a new milestone today, having welcomed our millionth paying subscriber to the service. It’s a testament to our fantastic users who continue to support us and spread the Spotify word, either by telling friends or sharing some of the 200 million playlists that you’ve put together so far.

“From everyone at Spotify, we’d like to give you all massive thanks. We’ll continue to focus on providing you with the best music service possible, and look forward to adding even more cool new features over the coming months. What’s really exciting is that this is only the beginning. Thanks for listening!”

Ek went on to comment: “Growing to over 1 million paying subscribers is an awesome milestone for us and we're humbled to see how popular Spotify has become over the past two years. More than ever, we're seeing the power of our freemium model, with the vast majority of subscribers upgrading after having first used the free service and the ratio of paying subscribers to active free users now 15%. We're excited about what's in store for this year and will keep working away to make Spotify the best music service possible."