Spotify Hits 40 Million Paid Users, But Loses Its Chief Revenue Officer

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A week after Apple Music updated its subscription numbers (17 million) and quick on the heels of Pandora announcing licensing deals that should bring it closer to its own streaming service, Spotify has ust revealed an impressive bit of news of its own: 40 million -- as in, paid users to its premium tier.

It was also announced that Spotify's Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Levick has decided to leave the company -- actually, he left a week ago -- to free up time for family and other "passions that I haven't even really begun to explore because frankly, I just haven't had the time." Levick, formerly of AOL and Google, recently celebrated five years at Spotify and explained his decision in a post on Medium.

"Working hard is hard work," he writes. "And, I truly believe if you want to be on a winning team, you need to be your hardest working self. So, in looking at another five years on team Spotify, it started to become clear that maybe a change is in order."

Levick departs as Spotify prepares for its IPO, which sources peg for late 2017.

Can Spotify Survive the Impending Storm As It Prepares to Go Public?

Roughly the same time Levick made his announcement, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek logged onto Twitter to tease the new subscriber tally, telling his followers that "40 is the new 30." The last time the Sweden-based service released paid sub numbers was way back in March, when it hit 30 million. Spotify, with its free tier, hasn't said how many monthly active users it has since it crossed 100 million in June.

​Attracting and/or converting 10 million users to its paid tier in roughly six months is a positive sign for the company, which has steadily grown while its biggest premium-only competitors, Apple Music and Tidal, duke it out by trying to lure in subscribers with exclusive releases. So far, Spotify has stuck to its all-tiers-or-nothing approach to releases, though the service is said to be close to softening that stance.

40 is the new 30.
Million. --- Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) September 14, 2016