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Spotify’s miracle growth undermined by artists’ revolt Add to ...

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Imagine a nascent tech company – say, a video game firm – whose core product attracts a mix of free and paid users, who number in the millions. Their subscriber base has swelled, according to figures from the Wall Street Journal; since 2011, free users have jumped by roughly 270 per cent, while paid users have grown by 600 per cent. And while the company isn’t yet profitable, revenue more than doubled in 2012, to €435-million ($600-million). By now, most investors would be asking, where do I sign up? The company is not a video game one, but Swedish streaming music juggernaut Spotify, and it does indeed have enormous potential. But if and when the firm does IPO – rumours have swirled for several years, and valuations have approached $3-billion (U.S.) – it will have to reconcile with musicians, and right now, they seem further apart than ever.

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