is a commercial music streaming service providing digital rights management-restricted content from record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal. The service was launched in October 2008 by Swedish startup Spotify AB.
With the service, music can be browsed by artist, album, genre, playlist, or record label, as well as by direct searches. On computers, a link allows the listener to purchase selected material via partner retailers.
In 2010, there were 2.5 million paying subscribers and around 10 million users. Over the past four years usage has grown steadily to the point where, in May 2014, Spotify announced that they have reached 10 million paid subscribers
, and have more than 40 million active users.
Founder and CEO, Daniel Ek told the BBC
: "We've had an amazing year, growing from 20 markets to 56 as people from around the world embrace streaming. 10 million subscribers is an important milestone for both Spotify and the entire music industry. We're widening our lead in the digital music space and will continue to focus on getting everyone in the world to listen to more music."
The news comes, according to the Daily Mail
, as Apple believed to be preparing to buy Beats and its streaming service Beats Music.