STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Playing down the threat to his business from the world’s most valuable company, the founder of music streaming service Spotify said the industry was big enough for several players and his firm did not have to be number one.
“To me it is enough to be among the top three,” Daniel Ek told Swedish business daily Dagens Industri in an interview published on Thursday, his first since Apple launched its streaming service in an industry packed with competition.
“But right now we have an advantage of being the number one in music,” said Ek, who is also Spotify’s chief executive, adding his ambition was to keep that position.
The unlisted Swedish company last year grew revenues by 45 percent to 1.08 billion euros ($1.22 billion) and posted an operating loss of 165 million euros.
U.S. competitor Pandora Media expanded at a similar rate and reported revenues of $921 million.
In an apparent response to the launch of the Apple Music service, Spotify posted a note of thanks to its clients on its blog on Wednesday, saying it now had more than 20 million subscribers and more than 75 million active users, roughly double the numbers a year ago.
Filling its coffers to spend on further growth, Spotify this week closed a round of funding that raised $526 million, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, while Swedish telecom operator TeliaSonera said it had bought a 1.4 percent stake, valuing Spotify at $8.2 billion.
($1 = 0.8844 euros)
Reporting by Sven Nordenstam; Editing by Mark Potter