• Spotify's growth rate increased since Apple Music June debut
  • CEO Daniel Ek: wireless carriers vital to future user gains

Spotify Ltd. said it has added customers since Apple Inc. debuted Apple Music in June, as the tech giant’s expansion into music streaming has created a larger global market for Spotify’s service.

The notion that Apple would be a “Spotify killer” was overblown, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said at an event in Toronto Monday. Though he declined to give specific numbers on customer gains, Ek said the London-based company is seeing more traction with music listeners than ever before.

“We keep setting new records week by week,” Ek said.

Spotify is the world’s largest subscription music-streaming service with 20 million users who pay a monthly fee to listen to as much music as they want. The service costs $9.99 in the U.S., the same price Apple will charge for Apple Music once customers use up a free three-month trial. Apple’s position as the world’s largest music retailer -- which it reached by offering individual songs for sale online through its iTunes service -- is in danger, with music-streaming revenue expected to exceed sales from downloads next year, according to MusicWatch.

Ek, speaking at the event with Rogers Communications Inc., said Spotify’s partnerships with wireless carriers is critical to growing its user base.
The company has around 40 partnerships with carriers around the world, he said.

Rogers, whose wireless unit is Canada’s biggest with 10 million customers, recently began offering higher-paying users free subscriptions to Spotify’s premium service as part of its plan to increase data usage and keep customers from switching to competitors. 

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