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Spotify vs. Netflix: User growth 2015 – 2020. Spotify wins total; Netflix wins subs.

We collected Spotify and Netflix annual user growth end-of-year numbers for 2015 through 2020. For Spotify the annual metrics are two-part: Subscribers (Spotify Premium) and non-subs (Spotify Free). Netflix is a subscriber-only service. So, three growth lines are represented here.

SOURCE: Statista

Spotify’s growth of paid subscribers has risen each year, but also less dramatically each year by percentage. From 2015 to 2016 the service gained 71% more subs. From 2019 to 2020, than number was 25%. But there is nominal growth: Spotify gained 20-million subs 2015-2016, and 31-million in 2019-2020.

Spotify has only 76% the number of monthly paid subscribers as Netflix (at end of 2020), but 31% more total users than Netflix subscribers. Further, Spotify is growing monthly subscribers at a quicker rate than Netflix, closing the gap year-over-year since 2015, though at a decelerating pace.

Spotify made its biggest gain toward the Netflix subscriber number in 2015-2016, when it jumped from 39% of Netflix’s subscriber reach to 64%. Each year after that the gain lessened. In 2020 Spotify reached 75% of Netflix’s subscriber number, after reaching 74% the previous year.

Spotify’s two-tier platform naturally has an advantage in total usage footprint over Netflix’s subscriber model, and is widening the total usage gap between the two services. In 2015 Spotify’s total usage footprint was 128% of the Netflix number; in 2020 it was 169%.

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Brad Hill

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