Spotify today reported its third quarter earnings for 2018, announcing that paid subscribers for its streaming music service have grown to 87 million and total monthly active users (including the free tier) now reach 191 million. This is an increase from 83 million paid subscribers and 180 million total users that Spotify had in July 2018.
In terms of year-over-year growth, paid subscriber numbers have grown 40 percent in comparison to 2017 and MAUs have grown 28 percent. Spotify touted its various multi-partner bundles as a big help to signing up new subscribers, which are also retaining users for longer and driving churn lower. The latest bundle includes Spotify, Hulu, and Showtime for $4.99/month for students.
Spotify is in an ongoing race with Apple Music to add more subscribers, and as of now Spotify is still winning in terms of paid subscribers. It's been a while since we've heard news of updated Apple Music subscriber numbers, with the last count in April 2018 putting Apple's service at 40 million paid subscribers. Apple Music does not have a free tier like Spotify, but counting users on the three-month free trial along with paid users, Apple's service hit over 50 million subscribers in May 2018.
These numbers refer to global paid subscriber users, and in a report over the summer it was suggested that Apple Music is actually ahead of Spotify's paid subscriber count in the United States. Both Apple Music and Spotify were said to have more than 20 million paid subscribers in the U.S. as of July 2018, and at the time Apple was "a hair ahead" of its rival.
Looking into the fourth quarter of 2018, Spotify expects paid subscribers to reach 93-96 million users, while monthly active users are predicted to break the 200 million user milestone and sit somewhere between 199-206 million users globally.