Foto: TT.
Spotify plans to hire 500 new employees. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT.

Spotify to boost staff numbers

Swedish online music streaming service Spotify plans to increase its workforce by a third, its co-founder and chief executive told reporters Tuesday amid increasing competition from other brands.

"We are 1,500 and we are recruiting another 500, up to 2,000 people," Martin Lorentzon told reporters at a trade fair in Helsinki. He did not specify when the new staff would join the company, according to AFP.

Spotify is the world's largest online music streaming service, but Lorentzon's announcement comes at a time when the company is facing fierce global competition from web giants like YouTube, which recently launched an advert-free music video service, and Apple, which bought music service Beats last Spring. Another challenger is French company Deezer.

"Everyone loves music, so if you have a product which everyone loves of course there will be competitors.... Competition is also good. Then I have to run faster," Lorentzon reportedly said in Helsinki.

Earlier this month, Spotify made global headlines when US pop star Taylor Swift removed her entire catalogue from the music service after having previously withheld only new releases.

In an interview with Yahoo Music, Swift said: "I'm not willing to contribute my life's work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music. And I just don't agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free."

In response, Daniel Ek, Spotify's chief executive, posted a statement on Spotify's blog defending the company’s business model and updating some of its statistics. Spotify has now paid $2 billion in royalties in total, Ek said, and it continues to grow quickly, with 50 million users around the world. Out of those, 12.5 million pay for subscriptions.

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