Earlier this month music streaming giant Spotify began cracking down on accounts using forked versions of its app to bypass ads. Now the company has revealed how widespread the problem had become.
In a filing to the SEC ahead of its pending stock market floatation, Spotify said a whopping 2 million people were obtaining Premium-style benefits through the hacked apps.
“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 said (via Variety).
Spotify had earlier responded by disabling the mobile apps of users suspected of foul play.
The firm warned: “If we detect repeated use of unauthorised apps in violation of our terms, we reserve all rights including suspending or terminating your account.”
It asked users to reinstall the official version of Spotify in order to begin streaming music once again.
Related: What are Spotify Stations?
While two million doesn’t sound like a lot, that’s approximately $20 million a month in potentially lost earnings, assuming those people paid for Premium.
It also prevented Spotify picking up ad revenue from those who don’t deem music a commodity that should be paid for.
Given Spotify is approaching the time where there’ll be profit-seeking shareholders to please, (rather than patient venture capitalists more comfortable with short term loss), every penny will begin to count.
When filing for the IPO last month, Spotify announced it had 159 million users in total and around 88 million of those use Spotify Free.
It has now restated those figures to account for the illicit usage, claiming 157m users, with 71m paying customers.
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