In an era in which streaming platforms like Spotify are one of the most popular methods of listening to music, and services are starting to increase the number of ads they place on their platforms, it make sense that some money-conscious music fans might start looking for a loophole to get their music streaming for free, right? Well, it turns out that a lot of people have been doing just that.
As Reuters reports, roughly two million of Spotify’s users have been utilising various means in order to access ad-free versions of the service without paying.
Back at the end of 2017, Spotify announced that they had roughly 159 million users using their service, with about 71 million of those being paid subscribers. Now, as the company readies themselves to start trading publicly next week, they have revealed the startling news in their IPO filing.
“On March 21, 2018, we detected instances of approximately two million users as of December 31, 2017, who have been suppressing advertisements without payment,” the company outlined in the document.
While Spotify does not mention the methods that this 1.3% of their users are using in order to illegally access the service, a cursory web search seems to highlight thriving communities dedicated to finding ways around the subscription fee, which varies from using unauthorised versions of the software to simple ad-blocking software.
As Spotify notes in their IPO filing, this unauthorised access could spell trouble for them if it continues. “We are at risk of attempts at unauthorized access to our Service, and failure to effectively prevent and remediate such attempts could have an adverse impact on our business, operating results, and financial condition,” the company explains.
“Unauthorized access to our Service may cause us to misstate key performance indicators, which once discovered, corrected, and disclosed, could undermine investor confidence in the integrity of our key performance indicators and could cause our stock price to drop significantly.”