Spotify now has 60 million users in 58 countries and offers access via a two-tiered model: Subscribers can listen to music accompanied by ads for free, or they can pay €9.99 a month and bypass advertising. Yet despite its position as the most popular music streaming service in the world, Spotify is still operating at a significant loss: In 2014 the company reported net losses of €173 million, up from a loss of €55 million in 2013, despite a 45 percent increase in revenue. Also, there is now increased competition from recently launched streaming services such as Google Play, Apple Music and the Jay-Z-owned Tidal. Cynics, therefore, claim that Mr Elk’s public apology is a consequence of media exposure only, and that Spotify’s attempts to increase its access to data is typical of sinister corporate policies to maximize financial return from the collection and storage of data. As Paul Mason opinioned (see here), Spotify’s real intention is not to make the user experience better but rather “to commercialise the aggregated knowledge it gets for free when we interact on the network. The control and knowledge over the aggregated data will be for Spotify, not us.”
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