Spotify passes 500 million monthly active users for the first time

Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

Spotify says over half a billion people, 515 million to be exact, use its streaming service on a monthly basis as of March 31st. That’s an increase of 22 percent compared to last year, or 5 percent versus last quarter. Spotify said the user growth exceeded its guidance by 15 million, with CEO Daniel Ek commenting that the results represented the service’s second largest quarter of user growth in its history. Paid subscribers, meanwhile, now sit at 210 million, a 15 percent increase year-over-year.

The audio streaming service hit the milestone during a quarter of streamlining and cost cutting. In late January the company announced it would be laying off 6 percent of its global workforce, which is estimated to impact nearly 600 staff….

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