In a feat best described as sad but predictable, the most streamed song in Spotify's history is a hybrid of the questionably popular genres of electronic dance music and country that would feel immoral in the lab of the most insane mad scientist.
In this case the mad scientist in the beat lab is Swedish producer and DJ Avicii, and the song is 2013's "Wake Me Up" with Aloe Blacc. It has now been played on the music streaming service a whopping 235 million times. That's in addition to over 350 million YouTube views (plus another 150 million for the text-only video version), a whole lot of iTunes downloads, and every time you heard it played every six and a half minutes at the bar last summer. Translation: People were nuts for this twangy, pop jam that, in the words of Spin's Philip Sherburne, "has more in common with country two-step than club music."
Thanks to all the song's enormous popularity, Avicii, whose real name Tim Bergling, raked in $20 million 2013, according to Forbes.
The second most-streamed song in Spotify history, similarly run into the ground until it was a fine powder, is Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell Williams' "Blurred Lines," which was streamed over 160 million times -- or 75 million less times than "Wake Me Up." Despite these astronomical play counts, neither Thicke nor Avicii hold Spotify's title for most streamed artist. That title belongs to rapper Eminem for male artists and Rihanna for female artists. French producer David Guetta holds the title of most subscribed artist on the service, with 5 million followers.
Avicii's record isn't the only good news for Spotify recently. On Wednesday, the company said it had reached 10 million paid subscribers who each shell out $10 a month to use Spotify Premium, a feature that enables customers to stream music without commercials and on their devices. The service said it now has a total of 40 million active users across 56 countries -- a jump up from 24 million active users when the company last announced public stats in March 2013. These users have collectively curated over 1.5 billion playlists.
Despite all of this, Spotify is still not profitable.
In terms of competition, the latest figures show that Spotify is widening its lead in the streaming market. Streaming services such as Deezer (12 million active users, with 5 million paying), Rhapsody/Napster (1.7 million paying) are lingering behind, while other services like Microsoft's Xbox Music, Google Play All Access and Rdio have not revealed figures recently. Pandora, which operates a bit differently from Spotify with strictly radio-based functionality, revealed in April it has a massive 76 million active monthly users, but only 3.3 million of them pay to skip advertisements.
Even with its big play counts, Spotify comes nowhere close to the one site for streaming songs that still reigns supreme: YouTube. Spotify has also struggled when it comes to the relationship between the service and the artists and labels that give it their music. In October, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke referred to Spotify as "the last desperate fart of a dying corpse," only months after removing the catalogue of his side project Atoms For Peace from the service. His decision prompted some indie labels to tell The Huffington Post that they would support their artists if they were to boycott Spotify.
Wake us up when it's all over.
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