Chart: Spotify’s Growth Story; Next Stop: 100 Million Users?

Spotify is getting its systems in order to support a planned 100 million users in the future, job openings suggest.

But, as it prepares to announce a “new direction” on Wednesday, how has the music service fared so far?

I researched disclosures since Spotify’s 2008 inception to present this four-year chart illustrating its growth to date…

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One can clearly see how Spotify caught on like wildfire in 2009, prompting the company to introduce limitations like a UK invite-only system just to manage the server load.

Within the base of total users, premium subscription growth has been steady and less pronounced, but has doubled in the last year, to 2.5 million.

The company has not specified a U.S. subscriber count but, viewed here, the subscriber growth has mostly occurred on the trajectory Spotify was already ploughing.

Spotify is not giving us an update on its total registered users base beyond the 10 million it gave a year ago. Particularly with a new audience coming through Facebook, this number has likely exploded to the point where it would make Spotify’s premium conversion rate look very small.

So, this spring, Spotify changed to expressing its subscriber count within a count of monthly active users – a more meaningful approach.

Having secured funding to go global, Spotify and its rivals are now racing each other in markets like East Asia, Australasia, central Europe and Latin America.

A rumoured expansion of Spotify’s API, allowing countless online services to leverage Spotify’s music to paying Spotify subscribers, could make Spotify the kind of broad platform capable of achieving the 100 million users it is targeting.